We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimi Wakamoto and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kimi, what do you want your legacy to be?
At the heart of absolutely everything I do, I believe in leading with kindness, expressing gratitude every step of the way and doing everything with my whole heart. If my heart isn’t in it, it’s just not for me.

I want to be remembered as someone that has always included everyone and made them feel at home and comfortable — no matter the situation. Someone that genuinely cares for others and believes that everyone’s dreams mean something. Someone that wholeheartedly believes that there is room for everyone to thrive and grow. I like to see the good in everyone and everything and I hope that shines through every interaction, every piece I create and throughout everything that I do.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started my business as a hobby as a creative outlet from my 9-5 job. For a while, I was asking people if I could create for them for free, in order to get more practice. One day, someone told me that they wanted to pay for my services. At first I was in shock that someone would want to pay for what I was creating but I made the decision to turn my hobby into a full blown business and I haven’t looked back since. The Kimi Collective started as a place for me to keep myself accountable in my new hobby but it has grown into a full service calligraphy + design studio. We specialize in event stationery, day-of pieces, and one-of-a-kind gifts to remember throughout every season of life. We do a few things over here:

  1. Work closely with you to design invitations + day of details to invite you to the next chapter of your love story. Our hope is to create lasting + memorable pieces that celebrate every essence of your love story.
  2. We help curate pieces that highlight and capture all the other love stories of your life. Make a lasting impression for every journey of your life.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Living in Los Angeles, there are always a plethora of places to visit in the surrounding cities, always new places to check out. Apart from all of the normal tourists spots that people normally take people from out of town, I usually try to look for new places to eat that my guests are in the mood for. I like to constantly be on the lookout for new places and even have a note on my phone that I update when I come across someplace cool.

With that being said, some of my staples for my itinerary would include a day of eating in my hometown, Torrance. First we’d go to Painter’s Tape for breakfast. Lunch would be going to an eatery by the beach — and would always include cocktails. Then for dinner, we’d go to my family’s favorite — Furaibo in Gardena.

Another day would include exploring DTLA — going to the Arts District for a brewery, walking around and exploring Little Tokyo and eating lunch in that area, eating dinner at KazuNori, then walking and checking out some of the many bars that are around DTLA.

I went to college at UCI so visiting Orange County for a few days would also be included on my list. There are so many different things to do out in OC — Disneyland, the beach, brunch places galore, outdoor activities, and so so much more!

The last few days would include tailoring it to my guest — like I said before, there are SO many new places to visit, to eat at, to hang out that are constantly popping up that we’d make up the last few days checking out new places together. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have so many friends and family that have been the most supportive throughout this entire journey and I cannot thank them enough for always believing and supporting me throughout my entire calligraphy journey. Words cannot express how grateful I am to have had the amazing support system that I have.

There is one person that actually started with me on my calligraphy journey and that person is my best friend, Sofi. She’s the one who pushed me to pursue calligraphy as a hobby and and as we continued to practice more / sign up for classes together and eventually helped me make the decision to turn my hobby into a business.

Website: thekimicollective.com

Instagram: @thekimicollective

Facebook: facebook.com/thekimicollective

Image Credits
Apartment 3 Photography Carissa Woo Photography Yuka Lu Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.