Shokunin is a Japanese word which really struck a chord with us when starting this business.
A rough translation is someone striving to be the master of their profession; a craftsman; an artisan; iteratively trying to improve on ones skills every day.
But it has a deeper meaning where Shokunin make something for the joy of making it and do it carefully, beautifully and to the utmost best of their ability. There is also a social obligation to work his or her best for the general welfare of the people.
We first came across the phrase from the brilliant Jiro Dreams of Sushi film, telling the story of Jino Ono who has been making sushi for over 50 years. He has devoted himself to the craft, always trying to find ways to make the sushi better, making an effort and repeating the same thing every day. Becoming a master Shokunin.
This resonates with us. Starting something is hard. But once you’ve made that first big step, if you keep continuing with little steps eventually you’ll go a long way.
Our brand didn’t get designed overnight. We looked at hundreds of fonts, we worked with different design agencies, finally settling on a logo we designed ourselves, but only after numerous iterations of different size, spacing and kerning. We then made numerous mock-ups of our packaging, testing different papers, formats and colours.
Our garments have been through several iterations. We tested so many threads, even looking at some under the microscope to measure the right tension and softness as we know how important it is for our swimsuits to feel as seamless as possible. Even the width between stitches has been improved upon. We also had a feeder custom made for our specific measurements.
Not giving up. Accepting that it won’t be perfect, but just keep trying and it will get better. Bit by bit. This approach makes us happier. And we think that when you feel happier, those around you start to feel happier, too. We all win.