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