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Serial/Moving to Okinawa ③ Owner of "WOODVILLE HOUSE" Shinsaku Kimura's Case 2/4
post : 2014.05.07 16:00
Shinsaku Kimura, from Osaka, not only runs a shop called Woodville House on Route 58 in Ginowan City that deals in interior items and DIY supplies, but also has an interior decorating business.
It has been 14 years since Mr. Kimura moved to Okinawa, and we are bringing his story to you over 4 parts.
Next is what happened from the time he became independent to the opening of his current store.
How did you get work when you first set out independently?
Kimura: When I told the boss of the interior decorating company that I’d been working at up until then that I was going to go off on my own, he said he would turn some work up for me, and from that point I starting receiving work steadily as Kimura Interior Decorating.
That’s a really encouraging start!
Since then, have you been creating the unique style of interior work that you have now?
Kimura: First I did general residential interior work like hanging cloth wallpaper.
After about a year after I started working independently, I was asked through an acquaintance to do a whole store from the design to the interior.
From that I started doing store interiors.
At that store, I tried using plaster and stuff, and I gradually started using old materials and parts that had a slightly tasteful antique look and made the style that I use now.
I wanted to try that kind of stuff since the beginning, and it was like I finally got the chance to work in that form.
I also went to China with the owner, and we bought furniture to be used in the store.
(Opening this month is a biker fashion shop that Kimura did the interior work on. He intentionally painted the door unevenly to make it look like a European shop.)
Being left with to decide everything from purchasing to the design must be a fun and rewarding experience!
Did you make it using the original building?
Kimura: I did it after dismantling the old Japanese-style roomed home.
We weren’t used to dismantling then, so we made a mistake taking out the alarm system, the emergency bell rang, and it was havoc thinking fire trucks and the housing manager were going to come (laughs).
And an employee got seriously injured cutting his hand, so at first all hell broke loose…
There wasn’t anyone with dismantling experience?
Kimura: I’d done it in my head, but we didn’t have that kind of experience, and the employees were foreigners who couldn’t speak Japanese, so everything was trial and error.
But we saw it through somehow, and the store is in Naha now still going strong.
At the time, you didn’t have a business all ready to go like now, right?
When did it come to sell this kind of interior goods and parts?
Kimura: 3 or 4 years after that I started thinking I want to have a store for buying and selling furniture and putting out my own work, so while doing interior design as my main work, I made the store I have now.
At first I purchased military surplus furniture, but I had no idea how to, so I went to another store dealing with military furniture and asked about how to purchase things.
It was an impolite thing to do when I think about it now (laughs).
From the point of view of the person being asked, it’s like helping out your business rival (laughs).
Kimura: There’s a good person I call the military furniture master that taught me purchasing and about anything and everything.
I did that for about 2 years.
But there were a lot of people doing similar things, so I started to get tired of it and stopped.
So when I was 29 I went across California in the US purchasing antique furniture and sold it in my shop.
Isn’t it super expensive to have furniture shipped from overseas!?
Kimura: That’s right, I borrowed from a bank but was completely in the red and thought “I can’t make it like this!” and had no more to do with that (laughs).
But the dollar was still really strong then, and it’s gone down now, so I’m thinking I might go again.
Kimura tried what he wanted to do again and again without hesitation, giving shape to his career.
He may be skilled at having fun and improving in such situations, even when things don’t turn out very well.
Next time I’ll ask him about his future prospects.
Address: 1-10-6 Oyama, Ginowan City
Hours: 11AM – 8PM
Closed on: Tuesdays
Okinawa CLIP Photowriter Sandy