Sa-Rah by Chiaki Boshi
Sa-Rah is a clothing brand designed and produced by the clothing maker Chiaki Boshi. Chiaki creates her Sa-Rah original clothing by designing what she would want to wear herself. She uses natural materials – mainly cotton and linen. It is sustainable and comfortable clothing, machine washable at home so that it can be worn in your everyday life.
Chiaki is a very energetic person. You feel her enthusiasm for life when you are with her. Chiaki shared her life story with us when we met her at her shop in Ozu, Ehime.
Chiaki sees clothing as similar to raising a child. The parents' interactions with the child continue throughout life as the child grows up. They don't stop interacting with the child immediately after it is born. Clothing is not just a question of being bought and then forgotten. Instead, our relationship with a garment grows and evolves throughout its life. Hence the idea of "raising" clothing, rather than just "making" or "selling" clothing.
Chiaki told us how she felt when she was asked by the lady for the repair. It did not bother her at all, but rather she appreciated that the lady wore the dress until it was worn out. Chiaki felt that she was welcoming the dress back to her hand. So she prepared patch to dye to match the color of the dress, then repaired the dress. Chiaki said that it is beautiful thing to raise clothing.Chiaki is passionate about the concept of "raising" clothing through people’s every day lives. She told us an episode about raising clothing. One day, a mother who loved Sa-Rah’s clothing came to her shop and asked Chiaki if she could repair a Sa-Rah’s dress that the mother bought long time ago. It was obvious that the lady had worn the dress for long time. The color of the dress was fading and it was damaged due to her baby backpack rubbing under the arms.
She wants to make everyday clothing. These are clothes you wear everyday, and that you enjoy the transformation of color and texture over time.
She said that making something is almost producing garbage. "That’s why I want to use natural materials, use cotton, linen, shell button etc, so that it is able to go back to earth."
Sa-Rah’s clothing is based on the idea of sustainable living, not only for the environment but also for people wearing a garment for long time.
Sa-Rah’s clothing was born as she raising her daughter and son. Chiaki started making clothing for her children’s everyday clothes. She said that she did not have the desire to become a designer, but that she simply loves clothing. In fact, Chiaki used to work in a local bank for many years. Her life was busy with everyday house work, raising children, and working at a bank.
As her children grew, she started making clothing for adults, and her original clothing brand Sa-Rah was born in 2001.Chiaki started participating in a local event where she sold Sa-Rah clothing. At one event, she noticing people coming back to her stall again. When she saw those repeat customers, she wanted to open her shop so that she could acquire a more durable relationship with her customers, giving long term care to them and to the garments they purchased. She thought that would be good for the customers.
Chiaki then asked her children what they thought about her idea. Her younger son, 13 years old at the time, said to her, "You can do it and you will be successful. You had better do it as you only live once."
Chiaki said that she asked her children about her idea, because she did not want to take action if her children were not happy or were insecure about her venture.
Chiaki said that raising children was the most important and highest priority in her life. Because raising children offers no second chance. There is only one chance to raise children and you cannot do it over again - unlike a job, for example.
Chiaki also said that she knew her children were able to give her honest and objective feedback, as she always talks openly about her daily life to them. They know her best.
With her children’s support, Chiaki decided to quit her job at the bank, and her Sa-Rah shop was opened in 2009. The shop is surrounded by beautiful nature, in the village of Ozu along the Hijikawa river. Her shop has a European antique quality to its interior.
She now has a sewing factory in Ozu where she has a professional sewing team who makes Sa-Rah’s clothing.
Her success comes from her attitude to always try her best and to enjoy whatever comes. She said that she enjoyed her job at the bank and that she enjoyed raising her children.I was curious about her ideas and asked her if she is influenced by any particular thoughts. I was expecting someone’s name but her answer was no. She is simply being honest to herself and living within. Living day to day with herself.
There is no secret to how she transformed her career into a clothing maker. Chiaki always loved clothing and wanted to make clothes for her children when they were very young. As her children grew up (both of them are now university students), she became a clothing maker. Things happened naturally.
Her clothing, Sa-Rah, is as natural as Chiaki is. Chiaki hopes that Sa-Rah clothing is worn in someone’s daily life and is raised by them.
We wear clothing everyday. Sa-Rah’s clothing is truly clothing for everyday life.
View the Sa-Rah collection