kodomo's story

did you know me pre-kodomo? then you’ve likely asked me one of the following questions about my decision to launch this new adventure:

“children’s clothing?”

“retail?”

“you?”

cleary the story needs to be told. so here is the winding path that led to kodomo’s founding. know first and foremost that it was not a lonely road, but rather a journey that includes an incredible community of artists and creators supporting and contributing the whole way.

my career began in the most corporate way possible: in a cubicle at a big-four accounting firm in tokyo, japan. tokyo was a world away from my quiet hometown of alberta, canada. it was exciting to be there, and inspirational. i will always remember the genuine respect the japanese have for others – will forever admire their devotion to mastering a skill – and will always appreciate their ability to find beauty in simplicity. tokyo was a unique place to enter adulthood.

three cities later, eight years of corporate work behind me, i was burnt out. i had accumulated a wealth of business skills and was ready for a change. i turned to yoga, which at that point had been a significant part of my life for several years. it offered the self-reflection and stress-recovery i was craving. i deepened my studies and practice and began to teach classes in boston. again, eight years passed. in this time my family grew as well: i met my husband, we married, and two adorably rambunctious boys were added to our mix.  

that second wave of years taught me what that first wave could not – something i had seen in tokyo, in the japanese, but had not been able to embody amidst the frenzy of my corporate day-to-day. eight years of teaching yoga and motherhood made me mindful. the word feels clichéd as I write it – “be present” and “mindful” have become such buzz words and catch-all phrases – but believe that it is truly a profound one for me. to be mindful is to observe your actions, and the impacts of your choices. on the simplest level: how do I feel after I eat junk food versus a healthy home-cooked meal? on a more questioning level: what’s my loss if i go to another event, in the place of spending quality time at home with my family? and deeper yet: what impact am i having on the world, as i make my daily consumption choices? do I really need to consume as much? where is the clothing i buy coming from? how was it made? who made it? finally ultimately, the underlying wonder: how do I answer these questions? maybe i only do the right thing some of the time. but if we don’t think of right action, how do we get better? how do we become more skillful in our actions?

the idea of kodomo arose from these questions and this need to live a more mindful existence. at this point i had been shopping for a family of four for some time. i had long been frustrated by the limited children’s clothing options available in boston. now I was fueled by the answers to my questions of consumption. i knew that fast fashion – so frequently embodied by the mistreatment of workers, the harsh chemicals used in production, and a clear disregard for our planet – was the antithesis of what I wanted in our nuclear world. do we succumb to buying one more so the 3rd pair is free? to grabbing a stack of t-shirts because they’re inexpensive? again, answers in an underlying wonder: can we go back to the days when clothing was slow manufactured, and our children’s things were special, each to be held onto and cherished and then passed along?

i revitalized my business acumen, bought “retail for dummies” and dug deep into my college memory bank to begin to craft a business plan and spent a couple years bringing it all to fruition.  in time, i would also like to share life-changing news i have been presented with very recently, and the challenges i hope to overcome.

i leave you now with highlights about kodomo, the business at the root of all of this. kodomo is a thoughtful children’s boutique, carrying brands that are focused not only on style but on ethical business practices. the store is located in the historic south end neighborhood of boston. we have just two months left until its opening. please follow along – we are thrilled to have you joining us on our journey.

xx, jasmine

 

 

jasmine punzalan

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