Yuki Nagai Morris is the creator of Chibi. Her indie business is focused in handmade goods made from beautiful imported fabrics! I love her sense of style and color. Yuki was kind enough to let me interview her for indie craft gossip……..
Tell me about your business. Where does the name Chibi come from?
Chibi. is a handmade handbags and fashion accessories brand. The name Chibi. is from Created by Hand Indie Brand, Int’l.”. it also means “small” in Japanese and it’s my nickname. I didn’t really think it through, I thought I can change the name whenever I wanted, but after hearing a girl say “chibi. is here!” at a craft show, I realized I had to stick with the name.
How did you get interested in making bags?
I was searching for the perfect bag — that is unique, cute, holds all the junk I carry around, not too heavy, good for work and shopping, non-leather, and most importanly affordable. After many unhappy purchases I decided to design and create my own!
What inspires you when you are designing your products?
Shopping! And traveling. Our annual shopping trip to the fabric district in Tokyo is my favorite time for being inspired.
How do you balance your day job schedule and your work at chibi.?
I don’t do house chores. lol. My husband (co-founder of chibi.) helps me with chibi. fabric cutting, packing and shipping, and does house chores. I’m really grateful that I have a very loving family that helps chibi. grow. I’m also lucky to have a day job that doesn’t require much overtime. I do chibi. work during nights and weekends. It’s a busy life, but I’m used to it. I’ve been doing this since 2003, I don’t know how I would spend every night and weekend if I didn’t make things. I’d probably be so bored.
Any advice for other crafters who may want to start an indie craft business like yours?
Don’t give up too soon! Keep on going even when you have a bad day, month, or year. And be nice to your fellow crafters. They are not your competitors. They can really be a helpful network as well as great friends.
Where can we find your products for sale?
www.chibiland.com and local San Francisco craft events
Thanks Yuki for telling us about you and your business!