Support Sustainable Sashiko Community Cover

Support Sustainable Sashiko Community | with you

After the article (and Instagram post) with honest feeling, I received many kind words that I can be just who I am. So, I share another honest feeling that I would like to ask for the support. I once wrote the article about supporting our activities. This is a follow-up article (with more honesty) asking you to support sustainable Sashiko community, with you.

*It is not my strength (nor culture) to ask a favor straightforward, so I wrote the previous article as a way to share the supporting options we would appreciate if you choose. However, the more we spread our activities, the more kinds of people we encounter. I know they all mean well, but sometimes, it can be stressful for us to maintain the service we provide. To continue what we are proud of, your help would be so much appreciated. This is a favor for you to support Sustainable Sashiko community.

Two major supports we would ask you

  • Spread the words, especially reviews online.
  • Be part of our community on Youtube

To be honest, keeping a “business” with Sashiko (or a hand-crafting) is not easy at all. Without my determination (the passion in Sashiko after so long & many detours in my life) and support from my family & friends, I wouldn’t choose to even start his journey.

So, I (kind of) don’t consider what I do as “business” much (When I define business as the activity to maximize the return on capital). I feel “Upcycle Stitches & What I do” is more like my life-mission for me to support everyone in Sashiko field, including Keiko as the main subject to support.

In order for me to continue this journey, a bit of your time would be a great & massive help. “Support Sustainable Sashiko Community” is more like “Please help me out to maintain the community for Sashiko practitioners and make Sashiko more sustainable.” Again, your time to read this article, and leave the feedback in the future are very much appreicated.

Spread the words

We believe that we provide the best support and customer service for one human-being is capable of. When you had any kind of business or communication with us (probably with Atsushi if it is in English), please spread the words, especially when it is a Positive experience. Your positive review on our website and other selling channel will save us a lot of troubles.

I am a customer in a different occasion, so I understand the situation very well. We, as customers, tend to leave the feedback when we encounter something disappointing (which result in leaving the negative feedback). When we receive a good service, we kind of forget to leave the positive feedback. Therefore, I sincerely appreciate those who left the feedback on our website and Etsy, where I directly communicate with the customers. It isn’t natural to do so in these busy days.

Amazon is a bit tricky because the customers do not see me as a person who is sharing Sashiko (They think they do business with Amazon). The customers tend to not to leave the feedbacks when they received the good service and what they expected. They tend to leave the “negative” feedback to seek for the solution when they had some disappointment or misunderstanding. When an issue arises, we will do out best to resolve the issue, but there are certain things we cannot help, especially when the customer didn’t read the product description or “notes” to provide the better customer experience.

Because of this ratio of positive and negative feedback available in the market, it becomes challenging to keep the good Amazon store for the small hand-crafting business owner. I would like to keep the Amazon Store running because sometimes people prefer Amazon & its fast shipping (I ship as early as within the same day, but 2 days prime is not beatable). I would like to do everything I can to support the Sashiko life. So, this is my favor regarding the spreading words: Please leave the reviews (possibly the positive one) if you had purchased something on our Amazon Storefront. It will reduce my stress and help me to keep this journey with Amazon.

On top of that, please spread the words that we (Keiko & Atsushi) exists to share the passion in Sashiko. The most active media would be in Instagram and Youtube. Since we don’t have a budget for “advertisement”, your words means a lot to us.

A community on Youtube and Instagram

The second favor is to be more active on our socializing platform. I make myself available for questions and Sashiko stories on Wednesday at 9 pm Eastern Time on Youtube. When I receive a comment in English, I would answer that by switching the language.

I may have written something scary to reach out to me. The content of the article was about the Japanese manner in contacting me for the questions and request via email being “too casua”. Instead of the email as more like a private communication method, I have SNS platform for you to be more casual and friendly and share (ask me) your questions.

The same question I got upset, like asking “What do you think of Boro” would be perfectly fine on Youtube Live streaming because I am there anyway. Unless I can keep stitching, I am happy to answer your question (Please understand that the Live-streaming is not a tutorial or workshop opportunity, so I will not answer to the request for teaching something.)

Your participation to those Youtube & Instagram would be very much appreciated to support Sustainable Sashiko Community.

Other support we would appreciate

I convinced myself to share the “favors” very specific and directly above. However, there is another list of favor that I still have the fear to show myself completely. Although I am getting better in writing “honestly” even with negative feelings (fear, anger, and such), I still cannot let myself ask you strongly to follow what I want. It is probably a beautiful part of my Japanese mindset that I respect a choice by others. So again, here is a list of options that you could support us through.

*Please check the previous article for the detail.

  1. Purchase items from us
    • There are many choices to get the Sashiko items (thread, fabric, and tools) from. By choosing us, you are directly supporting our business activities. It means you are supporting the sustainablity in business activity.
  2. Be a patron via Patreon
    • Still trying to figure it out, but when we do not worry about our daily living expenses, we are sure that we can provide better service. Your support through “supporting the artist” platform would be very much appreciated.
  3. Provide us an opportunity
    • As of now, Upcycle Stitches has only Atsushi to provide the workshop and services. Toward the future, we may be able to expand… in that case, your support to provide the opportunity to talk about Sashiko & our activities in your place would be very much appreciated.
  4. Any other forms of support would be appreciated
    • In the previous article, I also mentioned about the donations and such. It is very much appreciated, but any forms of support would be great as well. We don’t have a budget to outsource any of our works, so your support in form of “Pro bono” would be sincerely appreciated. I will come up with a list of supports I would appreciated.

Support Sustainable Sashiko Community Needle
Support Sustainable Sashiko Community – We need this needle to keep our journey.

What “Support Sustainable Sashiko Community” means

There is a reason I used the word “sustainable” in this article. It isn’t because of catchy phrasing. I sincerely hope to support the “Sustainability” in Sashiko.

One of our pride in Sashiko is that we respect the other business in Sashiko industry. For thread, for fabric, for needles. We try to have business with long-established and similar-minded company.

Do you know how a traditional craft run out of its business?

Many people think the traditional business run out of business because of the financial situation, like a bankruptcy. The other may think that the business is no longer viable because of the lack of younger artisans.

However, in fact, the traditional craft run out of its business and “vanish” from the society when “suppliers” went out of business. For example of Sashiko, when the thread manufacture we have business with goes out of business, we won’t be able to continue our activities even if we would like to.

Some of the items may be pricy in comparison to the other supply or tools. There is a reason behind the pricing. We are carefully choosing the company to purchase from (mainly we ask the manufacture to make for us anyway.)

Therefore, it is so important to be attentive who you are purchasing the item from. I want you to be the part of the good action – Support Sustainable Sashiko Community – | instead of the opposite – Enjoying Sashiko but kind of destroying the Sashiko community.

Although everything is revivable,

Any culture and crafting can be revived when the strong passion arise. Sashiko is the same, too. I believe, at some point of Japanese history, many form of Sashiko was lost because the Japanese simply didn’t need it any longer back then.

However, it is much easier to maintain what we have now rather than reviving a culture from scratch. I have been experiencing how difficult it is to find “documents” about Sashiko because we once lost it.

Your help – Support Sustainable Sashiko Community – would be so much appreciated. Thank you for your time to read this article.

3 thoughts to “Support Sustainable Sashiko Community | with you”

  1. I wish to thank you for the wonderful supplies ordered from you recently. They are so perfect.

    I am on my first journey in Sashiko. So I very much enjoyed the tutorials and videos made by you. I am trying to get started well, so your assistance is invaluable. Please continue in your beautiful style. I try to remain calm and purposeful when stitching.

    Much good fortune to you and your future.

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