We had planned for Hiromi to come in for a Saturday to take orders for her custom made hand bags, but when we saw the depth of her talents I knew she would be coming back again and again. We call the days she's with us Wabi Sabi Saturdays.
While planning our first Wabi Sabi Saturday, Hiromi showed me some sketches of purse design options. I was so blown away by the sketches I asked her if she went to school for art, she said yes, but for dance.
This tall, slender, quiet woman started out as a dancer in Japan doing tap, jazz and modern dance. The company that she worked for didn't have a large budget for costumes so Hiromi would make her own. She laughed when she told me that she wasn't a very good dancer, but the sewing part led her into a career of teacher and author of books on the subject of making these beautifully detailed bags. Some of the bags she showed us were made 10 years ago, but the simple styles are timeless and are still very much in fashion.
I know that her husband Tim is an American who speaks fluent Japanese. So that led to my next question, "How did you two meet?" Tim is a teacher and lived in Japan teaching English as a second language. Hiromi's friend was taking classes and she decided that she too would like to learn how to speak English, and the rest is history. She and Tim married and moved to the US in 2005, they have a 5 year old daughter Nina.
Yesterday was our first day in the shop with Hiromi, but there's still time to place orders in time for Mother's day for bags. If you don't have something to recycle from a loved one, she has lots of beautiful options available.
Our next Wabi Sabi Saturday is May 21st. Hiromi will be in the store from 10-3 teaching the art of Furoshiki. Its kind of like origami but with fabric. She folds squares of cloth into purses, and gift bags. The scarfs from vintage kimono's and fabrics.
The detail on this bag is from a vintage kimono sash. Hiromi cut out the design, appliqued it to the fabric and embroidered the flowers with seed beads. The picture doesn't begin to do her work justice.
If you would like to check out more of her work go here.