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$4,815
pledged of $7,000pledged of $7,000 goal
73
backers
6days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, August 31 2019 12:58 PM UTC +00:00.

$4,815
pledged of $7,000pledged of $7,000 goal
73
backers
6days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, August 31 2019 12:58 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Our story begins at a fabric store in 2013. This is where the owners met and discovered a mutual love of Japanese culture and fashion.

Fast forward to 2018—our first travel to Tokyo, Japan. 

We spent much of our time in Harajuku, frantically searching the shelves of every single Closet Child location because they had the brands that were difficult to get in the United States (and if you could find them online, expensive and time-consuming to ship through a shopping service). 

Once we got back to the US, we realized just how ridiculous it was that people have to travel across the world to see some of these brands in person. Buying this clothing in the US was just not sustainable for someone living outside of New York or California (where some brands have opened a few stores here and there). And many people who do have access to the fashion don't know how to begin to wear it, or want to try it but they are too shy.

Then we thought of something: because there's no trustworthy company in the Houston area to purchase some of these brands—and no store at all for others—why not make one?  We realized that we had a mutual dream: to start a store and be able to provide a safe place for J-fashion lovers and friends to buy and explore the hard-to-find fashion of Japan. 

Our Name

Kuroshiro Kawaii—it’s a name with multiple facets.

When we were deciding on a name, we wanted one that would reflect the duality of the fashions we offer while at the same time being recognizable and inviting to the typical American in the area.

The “kuro” in our name stands for punk, gothic, and visual fashion; while “shiro” stands for elegant, princely, and sweet lolita and ouji fashions. It also reflects another duality that is important to the attitude of our shop: good and evil, angel and devil, order and chaos. The words “kuro” and “shiro,” and their associated meaning in kanji, really pin down what we wanted for the look and feel of our shop and the brands we want to carry. 

“Kawaii” is a word commonly known and familiar to most Americans, and reflects a large portion of the styles we will carry: kawaii and Harajuku styles.

SEX POT ReVeNGe, SEX POT ReVeNGe, and Metamorphose temps de Fille
SEX POT ReVeNGe, SEX POT ReVeNGe, and Metamorphose temps de Fille

Our Goals

  • Provide a safe place for those into Japanese fashion to explore and buy both popular and hard-to-find brands
  • Provide a safe space for the LGBTQA+ community in Katy and Houston, TX
  • Assist those interested in the fashion with finding their niche where they feel the happiest and most confident in their bodies and in themselves
  • Bring Japanese brands to the United States, helping brands find a new audience, new demand, and bringing more income to them
  • Help US Indie brands find a physical home—over 97% of our market survey responders said that they would be more likely to purchase an indie product if they were able to see the quality in person
  • Carry gender- and size- inclusive products, and let our customers try on pieces in store

We want to help Japanese fashion grow in the United States, supporting Japanese and American brands. Because without finding a new market, many brands in Japan are dying. If we help them see the massive demand in the United States, many of these brands will be saved, and the fashion we all love can continue to grow and flourish.

Because we don't have the capital to open a physical store right off the bat, we are attending events and local markets to help us gain traction. So far, we have purchased everything using the owners' personal credit lines. 

Once we are able to afford our own space, we will carry Japanese brands and indie brands from around the United States. There will also be a photo studio and a self-care corner. 

Shirt reward by Ota-Q Apparel. Pin reward by Puvithel
Shirt reward by Ota-Q Apparel. Pin reward by Puvithel
Button reward, $15 level
Work in progress, wallpaper reward. drawn by Bree Love
Work in progress, wallpaper reward. drawn by Bree Love

Our Brands

For obvious reasons, we wanted to keep our plans quiet at first. We will have 11 Japanese fashion brands in our store, and European and indie brands as well. Below is a list of brands that we are already working with. These will be updated as we announce them, and each brand will be linked to their official store so you can see more of the products they carry.

SEX POT ReVeNGe, LIZ LISA/Q-pot., LIZ LISA (shoes and cardigan)
SEX POT ReVeNGe, LIZ LISA/Q-pot., LIZ LISA (shoes and cardigan)

Roadblocks

Like many small businesses, our biggest roadblock is funding. 

In short, one of our most popular brands, Metamorphose temps de Fille, will only allow us to sell in a physical location—that is, a brick-and-mortar store—and not online or at an event. Our relationship with our brands is our top priority for us, so, as most of our personal loan went to the first order of this brand, we are needing to make sure that we can get a brick and mortar store so we can sell this stock. Until then, we are locked into selling brands that give us the most return quickly, in hopes that we can recover the loan amount before the interest hits and our business goes down before it begins.

We are currently looking for investors apart from this kickstarter to help us get a physical space.

Metamorphose temps de Fille
Metamorphose temps de Fille

Timeline

  • Soft opening: June 15, 2019
  • eCommerce launch: June 22, 2019
  • Kickstarter: August 2019
  • Brick-and-mortar grand opening: TBA

As a 100% transgender-owned business, Kuroshiro Kawaii wants to emphasize safety, family, and community while bringing a little bit of Japan into the US. If we are able to make a stretch goal, we will give you a bit more detail about how we plan to decorate our shop, our planned shop location, and more.

Contact Info and Indie Links

Email: shop@kskawaii.com

Puvithel - https://www.etsy.com/shop/Puvithel

Ota-Q - https://www.ota-q.store/

Twootie Tarte - https://twootietarte.com/

Risks and challenges

Challenge 1: Not enough events to sustain shop before getting a physical location
> Shortly after our first event, we created an online store where we are able to sell our product without a hosting event. This will enable us to have some income in between our events.

Challenge 2: We can't pay back our personal loans
> If all else fails, we plan to sell our stock at discounted prices, or transfer our personal debt to our business (ie take out a business loan). Everyone loves discounted brand, so we know we would be able to get our money back.

Challenge 3: Because of the cost of brand clothing, there won't be a high enough stock turnover to keep our income steady
> We plan to carry both high-tier brands with a higher price point and more casual brands at a low price point. While our higher-priced items might have a more limited audience, our casual clothing will be something that people who aren't even into Japanese fashion might be interested in. We expect these causal brands to be a large pull for people into our store, and a large part of our profits.

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Support

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    Thank you!

    Get your name plastered on our website in a supporter thank you page!

    Page will be live from September 1, 2019 to Jan 1, 2020.

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    Kuro/Shiro Wallpapers

    A set of digital wallpapers with the store mascots—Kuro and Shiro. Identical twins, they are dedicated to Japanese fashion and looking and feeling their best!

    There will be desktop, mobile, and tablet versions of each design.

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    Kuroshiro Kawaii Supporter Buttons

    Kuroshiro Kawaii supporter button, with our logo. Display your love and support!

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    Fly me away KSK!

    Store-branded enamel pin designed by the one and only Puvithel. This beautiful design shows our aesthetic with the iconic Puvithel look.

    This item is exclusive to only Kickstarter backers. Be sure to grab this limited collaborative item while you can!

    This tier comes with all of the rewards of the previous tiers.

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    Exclusive Cleanliness!

    Includes a special store-branded, scented soap from Twootie Tarte. A cold press bar of black-and-white goodness with our store logo pressed into it. This (scent) is just what you need to bring you that heavily bliss.

    This will be an exclusive Kuroshiro Kawaii product and scent—and you can be the first to have it!

    This tier comes with all of the rewards of the previous tiers.

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    Kuro/Shiro Ota-Q!

    Exclusive Ota-Q designed shirt limited to Kickstarter backers.

    We gave this idea to one of our good friends, Ota-Q and told them to go wild! We wanted our mascots Kuro and Shiro, just in that amazing and fun style that Ota-Q Apparel is known for.

    Must choose S, M, L, XL, XXL

    This tier comes with all of the rewards of the previous tiers.

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    Owner Q&A Meet and Tea

    For this exclusive tea, sit down at an intimate table with the owners, where you can ask us anything! Have a question about the fashion? Starting your own business? Our personal lives? You choose. We're open.

    For out-of-state or out-of-country backers, we can do a separate video conference with both of the owners and our own cups of tea. We don't want anyone to be excluded!

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    Photoshoot/Styling with the Owners

    Private photoshoot and styling session with up to 20 high-resolution photos! One of our most personal way for us to show our thanks. Clothing and accessories are supplied by the shop, so you just show up with your favorite petti and shoes and let us do the rest!

    Travel costs to Houston/Katy Texas are not included in this tier. Must be in Houston/Katy Texas to have photoshoot taken unless coordinated at upcoming event which we are attending.

    This tier comes with all the rewards of our previous tier.

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    Diamond Sponsorship Plaque

    WOW! SUGOI DESU NE!

    This is the highest level of support—get a glass plaque sent to you so you can display your hard-earned support.

    This level also comes with all the rewards beneath it.

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