Well, we made it! During one of the most challenging years in history, we all stood side by side, and came through 2020 together. While there is still a ways to go, we wanted to send you a hopeful note to ring in the new year. Here is what we are hopeful for in 2021 and beyond:
Obviously the first thing on our mind and that which we are so hopeful for: is health. We are hopeful this year will bring Covid vaccinations, better treatments, and an increasing safety and well-being for you and your family and your community. At KIM+ONO, we have always centered wellness as part of our mission. We want each one of our silk kimono robes to bring you a deep sense of well-being, calm, breath, and self-love each and every time you slip into it. This year has brought us all so many challenges, but no group has dealt with such an ongoing marathon than our Frontline Workers. In the spring, your purchases helped KIM+ONO give back to our San Francisco community. We took a portion of the proceeds from our kimono robe sales to give back to the hospital staff at local SF hospitals, to support other local businesses like our favorite coffee shop Andytown, to provide PPE to a local nursing home, and to support local shelters and women’s communities by providing meals from local restaurants who also needed support. At KIM+ONO, we know that individual health and wellness is interconnected to the health and wellness of the community you live in. That’s why it was imperative for us to give back to the community that has nurtured us all of our lives and welcomed us with open arms when we started selling silk kimono robes in our kimono store in Chinatown, SF. Our hope for you this year, lovely, is that you feel that deep sense of well-being permeate from your community to your home. We hope you stay healthy and safe, and that you are given a chance to breathe a little bit deeper and feel a little bit more grounded this year.
The pandemic laid bare a wound that our country had not adequately addressed before now: the issue of racial justice. As a WOC-owned small family business, KIM+ONO is a place that will always stand on the side of justice and equality. This past summer, we put our money where our hearts were and donated to the NAACP, Campaign Zero, Black Women’s Blueprint, and Project Nia. We also committed to doing more to amplify black voices, stories, and images. Even as women of color, our team knew we could be doing more and so we did: we created images to honor the diversity of our country and de-center the white gaze; continued to work with a diverse group of artists behind the scenes; featured Black-owned entrepreneurs and brands that we love and/or carry in our brick and mortar kimono store; educated (and continue to educate!) ourselves on how to practice anti-racism and true allyship; keep looking inwardly to challenge any pattern that doesn’t align with our belief that every man and woman is created equal. We are a small family business and team of ten, but we already know how our focus on where we put our money, time, attention, and celebration can make a difference. We are so hopeful that this continues in 2021 and beyond. Black lives still matter, and we are as committed as ever to ensuring our online shop and kimono store is a place where Black lives are safe, amplified, and celebrated.
There is nothing we love more than seeing your photos of how you wear your silk kimono robes. Whether it’s a plus size kimono robe or a black kimono wrap or anything in between, you are always the inspiration for our designs. And that’s because of your brilliant self-expression. Every kimono robe falls differently, is styled differently, and has a different vibe based on you, the person wearing it! It’s so beautiful to watch you express yourself through these pieces — because you are the most beautiful part of your look, after all. So this next year, our hope for you is that you feel confident in your self-expression. Whether it’s speaking up in a conversation, or what you wear when you leave your house, we hope you feel confident in being exactly who you are. Because you could not be more beautiful.
We know that it’s been a hard year, and we know that we still have some months to go until we’re all able to be vaccinated and feel a sense of normalcy (whatever that ends up being!) again. But we also know that with incredible resilience — which we are being asked to cultivate this winter season — will also blossom into incredible strength. And we have seen so much resilience in you this year, lovely. Last spring before Mother’s Day, we asked you to nominate the mothers in your lives who have been giving back on the front lines during this unprecedented crisis so we could gift them with a kimono robe. Your responses blew us away. There were so many incredible stories of love, compassion, and bravery. The service these women gave across all fields from hospitals to mental health facilities to nursing homes highlights just how many different populations needed care and attention this year, and how resilient women came together to provide just that. While we often associate resilience with a big feat or accomplishment, sometimes resilience means just trying again. Trying again the next day, and the next. Our hope for you is that even if you stagger into the end of your day, you can slip into your black kimono robe, light a candle, and feel a brief sense of peace that gives you the strength to keep going. We know these small moments of resilience add up to great strength. And our hope for you, lovely, is that the resilience you showed last year blooms into an unshakable strength this year.
We have watched in awe as you’ve stood by our company, our small team of ten, and most importantly, each other. And we know, more than ever, that when we stand together, we will always pull through. This year, if there’s one word that’s sticking with us, it’s: gratitude.
Gratitude for you, for the opportunities to learn and grow, for our health, and for the love that surrounds us. Even in the midst of challenges, we’ve learned that we have so very much to be thankful for.
So, thank you, lovely. We’re sending you and your loved ones our deepest wishes for a beautiful new year, full of a renewed sense of purpose, connection, and a reason for hope.
X, Renee & Tiffany