Friday, June 8, 2007

In Japanese, Kimonomomo literally means “something to wear” and “peach.” What a fitting name for Carol Ziogas’ company, which creates beautiful and luscious accessories made from gorgeous kimono silk fabric as soft and sweet as a ripe summer peach.

A Piece of Kimono
“I recycle vintage Japanese kimono and obi into new accessories any woman can wear and enjoy. Putting on a kimono is very complex. With Kimono Momo accessories, you don’t have to go through all that to look gorgeous.”

Balancing Work and Parenthood
“ I have two kids. The balance is really awkward sometimes, but other times the kids enjoy helping out. My daughter models kimono for me at shows and my son is actually interested in textiles.”

From Jeweler to Kimono Artist
“I spent nearly a decade as a jeweler doing art and craft shows on the west coast before my divorce. Sometime after that, someone stole all my tools and stock out of my car and I gave up on jewelry with no regrets. I went back to college, worked on a degree in Anthropology then dropped out to go back into business. I love working for myself. I’m a terrible employee, apparently.”

Meeting Challenges
“There’s always someone who says “When are you going to get a REAL job?,” but I don’t hear that much anymore. It took a while to convince my boyfriend that I could support myself with this business. He’s become one of my best cheerleaders over the past year or so.”

“[Another challenge is] keeping my kids from stopping me! They want to go shopping, have me cook dinner, take them to a friend’s house.... I tell them “These are mommy’s office hours. Bug off.

Landing A First Wholesale Account
“It was a local store where the owner made things herself as well as carrying a selection of designer clothes. She was very supportive and friendly. I was fortunate to find her.”

On Finding Accounts
“I ask around, drive around, walk around, read blogs about cities I’m interested in, that sort of thing. Sometimes we find each other by accident. My last account and I found each other when I came into his shop looking for directions. I had not thought of selling to him, but he liked my work and bought quite a nice selection from me the next day.”

Recommended Business Resources
The Switchboards has been a great resource. I [also] go to the library at least once a week and look around the business section. There’s a wealth of information there and it’s all free.”

Inspired by…
“The infinite variety of my medium. You would be surprised how many different types of silk there are, not to mention the dyes, etc.”

Personal and Professional Mentors
“A few professional textile business women I know and my mother. The pros taught me I could do this as a business, and my mother taught me to love the fabric for what it is.”

Word of Advice
“Take yourself seriously or else no one will.”

Carol Ziogas
Kimono Momo
(541) 815-1589

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