Susu Smythe and Nancy Clair are a mother-daughter team, Susu is a practicing lawyer and Nancy teams with her husband to run a family retail business. They both love vintage kimono (meaning traditional Japanese clothing). Susu contributes her sewing skills and large curated inventory of kimono and Nancy, her photography, social media and retail expertise.
Kiku embraces the concepts of mottainai by celebrating the beauty, art and craftsmanship found in vintage Japanese silk garments and refashioning them for modern wear. Mottainai is a Japanese term with different meanings depending on the context; it evokes awe and gratitude for the things that serve us, humility of being unworthy of gifts received and the sense of regret over a thing wasted. Refashioning vintage clothing is green fashion, slow fashion, and eco-friendly fashion which is sustainable and does not have the adverse social and environmental impact of conventional fashion practices.
Nancy's and Susu’s goals for Kiku are to build a small niche business with a dedicated team of talent and an appreciative core of customers. They will also use Kiku as a vehicle to give back to the community through charitable donations, teaming with local charities to host trunk shows. They want to share their love of vintage silk kimono and to see many people wearing these works of art.