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Meet Sandy Shishido
and her shop, Mi So Happi

Sandy Shishido

Company: Mi So Happi
www.misohappi.com and


Tell us about yourself, your business...

My mother sent me to my first sewing class at age 9 while growing up in Honolulu. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design from the University of Hawaii. Moving to Los Angeles led to more classes at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and a career in the garment industry. Designing my own line and starting my own company was a life time dream. The Mi So Happi line is available at many craft shows, trunk shows, home parties and on my web site: www.misohappi.com. Custom orders welcome.

How would you describe your art/craft?
Mi So Happi combines my Japanese culture with my love of up-cycling, hand dyeing, and tailoring. I integrate these elements to create a line of eclectic fashion and accessories. A simple design will be draped on a dress form and made into a soft paper pattern, followed by a quick sample and adjustments for fit, drape, and proportion. I enjoy unconventional draping techniques. Even with years of garment industry experience, I continue to study. Two years of tailoring courses from Los Angeles Trade Tech Collage has greatly added to my expertise for making coats and jackets with full linings.

What kinds of items do you sell? What is the price range?
My collection consists of tops, jackets, coats, and accessories, including bags, headbands, scarves, and eye shades, ranging $29 - $300.

How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been making clothes all my life, and launched Mi So Happi in 2004 after years working for garment manufacturers in Honolulu and Los Angeles.

Have you traveled to Japan?
I was born in Japan and lived in Tokyo. My family moved to Hawaii during my early school years, but I returned for visits a few times since college. One day I would love to go shopping at the Kyoto outdoor markets.

What is your favorite thing about working with kimono fabric?
I love reviving vintage kimono into new items while preserving its authenticity, like the padded hemline or the white stitching along the front of a tomesode. It’s fun and challenging to create new pieces from fabrics only 14” wide with stitch marks, spots, or even tears, which often can result in a new and fashionable item.

What is the most challenging thing about working with kimono fabric?
Many kimono are true works of art and can be so breathtakingly beautiful that I sometimes resist using them. They may hang on display in my studio for quite a while until I’ll finally use them.

See below for more of Sandy's creations: