Town: Maui, Hawaii
1. Why did you name your work Just Living Aloha?
I consider it a miracle to be able to live on this gorgeous island of Maui, where nature and spirituality are abundant. I don’t want to live aimlessly, so I named my work with the hope that my appreciation for the miracle can be conveyed as messages through my creations.
2. What is the main concept/theme of your work?
Nowadays, it is quite easy to obtain various products, but the same convenience makes it easy for us to throw them away. In Japan’s old tradition, having appreciation for things around us was the custom of the people. When I came to Maui, I felt that the same appreciation for things around us was naturally in Hawaii’s culture, so I wanted to express that aspect of Hawaii life. One day, my mother-in-law sent us a package from Japan. In it, I found a square coaster-like thing that was made with yellow and red acrylic yarn. Later, I learned that they were called eco sponges. Acrylic yarns have fine fibers and absorb water well, so they wash dishes well even without detergent. Because you do not have to use detergent, it is gentle on our skin and on our earth, and it also lasts for a long time. I thought, “bingo!” This resonates with my philosophy, so I started making them myself, but simply making square or round shapes wasn’t fun enough, so I started making shapes that symbolize Hawaii, such as the hibiscus, pineapple, and fish. I put my thanks and joy into each sponge I make.
3. What would you hope for kira kira life customers when they wear your clothes?
Thank you for meeting and getting to know my products through kira kira life. I made each one with my heart and with inspiration I received from Maui. If they bring up your spirit, I will be very delighted.
4. What is your favorite quote?
I’ve experienced many things in my life. I think I will continue to have experiences beyond my imagination. In the midst of all, I treasure two words: Honesty and Courage.
5. What do you do when you're feeling low?
I crochet, crochet, and crochet!