How do you pick out your clothes when you shop? You probably go for comfort; color, shape and size first. Whether if the clothes fit or how they coordinate with other clothes or how they inspire might be your next considerations.
Have you read a best selling book called “The Ten-Item Wardrobe” by a French author? Most people probably have an idea of French as fashionable. According to the book, the French usually don’t own many outfits. They tend to keep a few items of great quality instead of several cheap clothes. They seem good at mixing and matching so they don’t need to focus on quantity.
Do you find when you open your closet that you can’t find the clothes you want to wear even though you have lots of choices? If so, then this shop is right for you.
FUJISAN FACTORY STORE is located in Naha City, near the old “Sakurazaka Gekijo” theater. This store features only made-to-order clothes.
Tomoko Higa, who works with representatives Kyoko, Kimiko, Satomi and Mika, owns the shop. They will custom make anything for you any way you like it down to the material, collar shape, buttons, length or any small details.
“You may make requests from the beauty salon. We take requests from customers just like that. Please feel free to make any requests regarding your outfit,” Tomoko said.
I hear the sounds of snip-snipping cloth and the staccato sounds of sewing machines in the studio. Brilliant handcrafting unfolded before to a steady rhythm as I took in the scene through my camera lens.
All the ladies are local. They decided to start the business to feed their passion “We wanted to do something for our favorite place Okinawa,” Tomoko said. One out of five of them graduated a dressmaking school and one had no experiences in dressmaking until starting with this business. They want customers to wear their clothes for a long time. “We don’t want them thrown away once a trend has passed. We try to provide long lasting things… Your favorite clothes,” Tomoko said.
Hemp and cotton are the materials mostly used in their original shirts, as those materials are very absorbent. “In order to be comfortably in a hot and humid climate, we use those materials especially in summer,” Tomoko said.
Do you have any discolored clothes you liked for a long time? They can remake the exact one for you (you need to bring your own fabric). This service is very popular. Even if you bring them a different kind of material, you will be able to see your favorite clothes in different light.
They are ready for any kind of modification. They items you want will be here. One made-to-order shirt costs from 10,000 yen with orders generally taking between 45 days and two months to complete. The price varies depending on the design and the materials used. Mail order service is available.
Fixing buttons or collars can be done without charge. Adjusting sizes is a paid service, but may also be done for free. Of course you can wear your outfits for a long time as longs as you maintain them well.
In the shop, not only original shirts or dresses, but also patchwork, hats or Sanguwaa (Okinawan traditional charms against evil) are for sale. All FUJISAN FACTORY STORE’s original items are handmade. Sanguwaa made with animal skin and Japanese paper is popular as a souvenir.
Hair clips or brooches made by Rie Kagawa using bingata (Okinawan dyeing method) artist are very popular with tourists. They are also nice bags or hats.
“Making things takes time and required lots of works,” said Tomoko. “It’s like a climbing a mountain. You will be impressed with the great view from the top. The sense of accomplishment from making things is almost that same feeling. It is very exciting and hard to describe.” That’s why they named the shop “Fujisan (Mt. Fuji).”
“We always consider customer’s feelings. We make things with love as we try to do our best for customers,” Tomoko said. They look serious concentrating on their work. A new outfit created by them will be your all time favorite.
It may be time to think of how to wear your favorite clothes for years to come.
FUJISAN FACTORY STORE
Address: 3-2-33 Makishi, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 10:00 -18:00 (lunch break 12:00 -13:00)
Closed: Sunday, holidays and some Saturdays