November 19, 2017
There’s so much to love about the children line KIBORO. For starters, it’s the absolute cutest brand on the planet. But what’s even more appealing is the fact that KIBORO creates environmentally conscious products, while also constantly improving sustainability in fashion. Deconstructing existing textiles and materials, KIBORO births new and beautiful heirloom clothing for little ones.
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?
We made up the word KIBORO by blending two words: “Kimono,” the traditional Japanese garment, which we base our signature style on, and “Boro,” which describes the traditional Japanese patchwork technique of using small scraps of fabric to patch up holes in old clothing.
What sparked your interest in this particular craft?
It happened very organically. I had just become a mother, and I started thinking about how I could be a part of the solution for our next generation, and the way they interact with the environment and resources. After thinking about it for over 6 months, I decided to create baby garments out of recycled denim. It is fundamental to understand that we can help our planet by reusing and recycling. As a mother I feel obligated to make sustainable choices that build a better environment for my daughter.
What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
Primarily, I think that we create thoughtful pieces. We are part of a circular economy, giving a second chance to garments that would otherwise end up in the landfill and add to the pollution of our planet. Using denim as our main fabric, we are sure they will age well, and last many years, and hopefully generations. And last, but not least, these are practical pieces, as parents can attest to. The easy tie and snaps allow for easy in and out for newborns to toddlers, making parents’ lives just that much easier.
List some of the most important lessons you’ve learned while running your business:
-Make lists to get things done, otherwise it’s too easy to get overwhelmed and lost.
-Set rigid boundaries for the time that you dedicate to your business. For example, my days to work on Kiboro are when my daughter is at pre-school. I don’t let anything that’s not work related to get in my calendar those days. Even during slow times there are things to do. I really respect the time that my business deserves.
What has been your proudest moment since you’ve started?
Last year we were invited to present our collection in the Pitti trade show in Florence, Italy. It was an honor to have been chosen as an emerging player in the world of children’s fashion, making headway for our creativity and product innovation.
How does the city or cultural environment you live in influence your work?
I think that if it weren’t for me having a baby in NY, I never would have created KIBORO. New York is such an exciting city, always inspiring and always challenging you. In my case, it was a bit of a culture shock seeing how much people buy for their newborns. In my country, we get hand-me-downs from your siblings or cousins. So I thought this would be an updated way to interpret the “hand-me-down.”
Do you have any favorite pieces? What makes them special to you?
It’s so difficult to choose a favorite piece, as each piece is one of a kind and each have their own story to tell. I have a special connection to each piece. However, we just finished our capsule collection in collaboration with the NY based brand, UPSTATE that is incredibly cute! I am so excited to show at future Renegade Craft Fairs.
What are some inspirations for your work?
What really inspires me is my family. KIBORO is a family business. My grandmother, who was a very talented seamstress, created the very first patterns of our original KIBORO. She taught us things that could only be learned through experience. My mother, as the head of production, has been revived and loving her new position. It’s been amazing to see her as a huge part of this company. My husband and I work tirelessly together on designing, sourcing, and just creating everything we have from scratch. Every single detail has been put together by the two of us. And of course my daughter, Kapua. She is the face and heart of this brand. She inspired us to create this company in the first place. I love seeing 4 generations working together on such a passionate project.