Posts Tagged ‘Kimono Shop’

Retail Theft Comes In Many Forms

Sunday, July 17th, 2022

Retail theft is a common problem across the United States. Shoplifters often think of it as a victimless crime. The truth is that retailers lose millions of dollars every year due to theft. It’s easy to understand why someone might steal a physical object, like a piece of jewelry or a pair of shoes. But it’s not always so clear why someone might steal something that can’t be seen.

This doesn’t mean that the motives aren’t just as complex and interesting. Retail theft comes in many different forms, with motivations that range from financial need to psychological compulsion. Understanding these motivations is key to preventing theft.  It can also help those who may have committed it in the past.

So what are some of the most common types of retail theft?  In a physical retail environment, it can range from stealing merchandise, changing price tags, passing bad checks, using a stolen credit card, or counterfeit money. Not only do you have to watch customers, but also employees. Employee theft is a major obstacle for store owners.

Internet and Web stores that only sell online have different kinds of problems. Financial security is a major consideration when accepting credit cards online. The use of stolen credit cards to purchase goods is prevalent. Online stores must take added precautions on web purchases. Some of the safeguards include only accepting valid billing addresses, security codes, and a host of other proprietary technological tools used behind the scenes.

Another theft that occurs in brick and mortar stores and web stores is Intellectual Property. This includes stealing product descriptions and plagiarizing store information. Thefts include informative articles, blogs, advertising, and commonly your copyrighted and trademarked photos and images. Internet thieves in need of photos for their website will steal yours. This is piracy. They use them for personal financial gain rather than going through the expense of creating their own.

Producing images of products and services doesn’t usually come cheap. Depending on the quality and depth of your image needs, you may hire a photographer, build and outfit your studio or rent someone else’s. You might hire models who can add make-up, hair, and clothing costs. They say copying your work or stealing images from your site is the sincerest form of flattery but it goes beyond that.

A good photo is worth many times its acquisition cost because images drive sales. If a customer sees a beautiful kimono in an image, it allows them to make a reasonable decision to purchase that product. Since kimonos and yukatas are so unique, photos can take into account many hours of creative thinking, and intellect. It also uses the time of others when using models, photographers, set designers, editors, and more.

We have caught dozens of “so-called” competitors stealing our images over the years. We usually resolve this by sending a Cease and Desist Notice. In most cases, the thieves complied and removed the pictures. Others ignored us until we had our attorneys write a demand letter. Two companies didn’t think it was a big deal until we filed suit in court and won. Neither of these two is in business any longer.

Overseas dealers regularly use our product descriptions, sizing information, and ideas on their websites.  We chalk this up to being one of the Internet’s Leading Providers of Authentic Japanese Kimonos and Yukatas. We have been online since 1994 and other businesses look up to us. They feel stealing from us may help their success too. It comes down to ethics and morals. If you steal others’ work, you don’t have ethics, therefore you will steal and cheat your customers as well.

We have various methods to check for copyright theft. These include the use of digital watermarks, scheduled web surfing, customer reports, and other dealers word of mouth. A recent theft incident arose on a website that deals in Kimonos, Japanese knickknacks, and tourist trade trinkets. This site dared to steal and use over two dozen images that belonged to us. The couple who own this business never asked for permission. They feel stealing others property in the darkness of their home is easier. Can you imagine how they might lie and cheat their  customers?

Ironically this theft was discovered by a staff member processing an order they submitted. Since they are so familiar with our website they thought to take advantage of a clearance sale we have for some kid’s kimonos and outfits. Priced below cost, they were savvy to recognize the deal. But they are so arrogant, they didn’t think that using their business name on the order might lead to someone surfing their site simply out of curiosity. We don’t discourage competitors from taking advantage of our sales, but we frown on thieves stealing our copyrighted images.

Management wrote them a cease and desist notice and they complied and removed the images. Not only did they steal images outright, but they also modified some to use for alternate products. The real irony was the reply letter one owner sent us. He tried to come off as the victim, alluding that we were overzealous in our demand. This owner relayed how knowledgeable he was on the laws of image theft and placed blame on some rogue employees that come and go.  He proceeded to explain how reputable he is and how many friends he has and works with within the industry.

We say with friends like this, watch your backs or at a minimum watch the images on your website. Unfortunately, these situations will happen again. It is part of being in business.  Our issue besides stealing from us is the time consumption involved with calling the thieves out. We would rather spend our time providing our customers with quality service, value, and the fast shipping they receive, rather than banter back and forth with crooks.  You can shop online 24 hours a day in our online Kimono Shop. Our Shop is safe, secure and honest.

Piracy Image Thieves

Where to Buy a Kimono (Part 2)

Friday, June 17th, 2022

Welcome to Part 2 of our blog on what to look for when choosing a dealer to buy a Kimono. In the last column, we pointed out how some retailers advertise in an unscrupulous manner.  Some of the things they do include being vague about where the kimono is made. Another trick is calling it a Japanese Kimono when it was made in China.

Now let’s dive into some other fun facts. One complaint we hear about is the shipping times. Dealers in Asia, Etsy, eBay, and even Amazon frequently state quick or fast shipping. But according to customers we hear from, it is often anything but quick. We are told stories of waiting 4 weeks or longer and rarely is there an apology.  A benefit of working with a US-based dealer that imports directly is their ability to ship quickly. Chopa prides itself on shipping orders within one day of order receipt with many shipping the same day. Chopa uses FedEx, UPS, and USPS and most orders arrive within 2-3 days.

It is also important to know what kind of fabric is used. Just like where the kimono is made, an honest dealer will state the type of fabric, whether it is cotton, silk, or polyester. Most customers prefer cotton because it is easy to care for and is usually machine washable. We have located dealers offering that claim cotton, but when customers receive them they are rayon, polyester, or some other type of fabric. This is also when some customers discover their Japanese Kimono was made in China because the tag said so.

Is the pattern the same in person as it was on the web?  This is another trick we see by dealers overseas. They show one type of design, but ship an alternate pattern to the customer.  This may be deliberate. Perhaps they ran out and consider substituting without the customer’s approval acceptable? Maybe they don’t care because they know once they have your money, they are in control and it is difficult to get a refund. Shipping an item back to China, Japan, or somewhere else in Asia is not cheap. Shipping costs go up every year and people in the USA usually pay more to ship an item overseas than people overseas pay to ship to the USA.

Communication with an overseas dealer can be difficult. There are often language barriers, time zone differences, varying hours, etc. Time and time again, a common complaint we hear is that an overseas dealer simply never replied to any email. Calls were not returned or calls to the number on their site were dead and not even in operation.

In today’s world of electronic communication, many companies don’t operate live phones any longer. Chopa decided to forgo its live telephone call center in 2021. Staffing a call center is expensive and over the years, we saw a downward slope in the number of calls each month and year. At the same time, we saw a steady increase in emails and texts. Add in the number of solicitors and Robocalls we received, it made sense to shut down live phone service. It was a difficult decision because we enjoyed speaking with our customers, but the cost outweighed the benefit so we took the plunge.

Cutting off live telephone service makes answering and responding to emails and texts that much more important. Customers want and deserve a quick reply to a question, a suggestion, or inquiry on sizing, shipping times, or in-stock availability. We do our best to answer every inquiry as quickly as possible, even on weekends, holidays, and evenings.

Our text service allows staff to monitor messages at random times through their mobile devices. All of the employees at Chopa are owners. As an employee-owned and operated business, you can assure that everyone here has the same work ethic to take care of customers. Over 28 years of doing this, we feel we are pretty darn good at it and even though we have the experience, we learn every day.

Chopa has a passion for the beauty of Kimonos and Yukatas. Our appreciation and admiration for these robes are worth sharing and we want everyone to experience this great tradition.  Be safe out there. Shop with caution and reason. Realize if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Just like paying the least isn’t always a good idea, spending the most isn’t always the best method either. Find a dealer that prices robes fairly and provides many other value-added services along with it.  Shop our ONLINE STORE anytime, anywhere, we never close.

Lightweight cotton cherry blossom yukata for women

Pink Cherry Blossom Yukata

Where To Buy A Kimono (Part 1)

Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Buying a Japanese Kimono used to be difficult, often requiring a visit to Japan. As the popularity of these popular robes grew so did the buying choices of consumers. Today, there are many options when purchasing a kimono or yukata, but doing your research and educating yourself is essential. There are tell-tale signs when a dealer is being dishonest. You need to know where to look.

There are hundreds of dealers on the web today offering rainbows and unicorns. Unfortunately, many deliver headaches and disappointment. Chopa – Your Kimono Source has been an online retailer of Japanese robes since 1994. We were one of the first to do so and also one of the first to offer Plus-Sized, Short Kimono, known as Happi Coats, as well as Tall and Wide sizing. Some customers call us Kimono Pioneers.

Like shopping for anything on the Internet, finding a reputable dealer and buying something sight unseen can be daunting. When we began offering Japanese Kimono Yukata 29 years ago, our mission was to make it easy, and painless, and to take the guesswork out of kimono shopping. It was our goal to be upfront, honest and forthcoming with policies, pricing, and service.  We are proud to say, we still hold these convictions today.

We have conversations with customers every week asking us for help with a transaction they made with a dealer in Japan, China, Bali, and even on Amazon and Etsy. These customers thought they found a deal or believed their kimono was more authentic by purchasing it from an overseas dealer.  What many came to find out is that many unscrupulous retailers offer something other than advertised, inaccurate pricing, service, and shipping times.

A common complaint is that the kimono they bought wasn’t made in Japan, but rather in China.  The fabric was different, and the prints and colors were not what was advertised online. If the robe didn’t fit, which is a common complaint we hear, they get nowhere with the dealer attempting to return or exchange it. This is always disheartening to our staff as we want everyone to enjoy the art and beauty of the world of kimonos.

Unfortunately, since we are not part of this shady cast of characters that mislead and misguide unsuspecting customers, we cannot do much.  What we can do and are happy to help is offer advice and suggestions on how they might solve their problem. Where we can do the most good for people with questions is if they ask us questions before making a purchase. We have several simple things to look for and ask before handing over the credit card to finalize their purchase. Here are a few of those things we would look for and or ask the dealer directly.

Location. Where is the dealer located?

Are they actually in Japan? Many dealers mention Japan throughout their websites but are operating in China, Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, or other regions. Realize that just because they claim they are located in Japan, doesn’t always ring true. We have come across numerous websites that claim Japan as their headquarters, yet they are operating in China and are selling Chinese-made kimonos.

Origin. Where was the Kimono made?

This is one of the most common false or elusive elements of the dishonest dealer. They will state “Japanese” Kimono, “Japanese Style”, “Kyoto” Kimono, etc. It sounds legitimate that you would be expecting the kimono was made in Japan, but in fact, it is being shipped from China and was made in China. This ties back to the location. Where are they operating from?  It is highly unlikely you will find a dealer in China, selling Japanese-made kimonos.  We have searched hundreds of listings and have never located such.

Just because the listing title says Japanese Kimono, does not mean it was made in Japan. Any reputable dealer will list the origin in the “About” section that describes the robe. If you are unable to locate it quickly, we usually say, run, don’t walk to the exit. There is only one reason a retailer won’t disclose the origin upfront in plain English, clearly and distinctly. That is because they are not being honest. If they are being dishonest about the origin, what else are they going to lie about?  The list goes on and can become very lengthy.

We will continue this Blog and reveal additional puzzles to solve to know whether you are about to be tricked, duped, or outright lied to. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us and we will do our best to address your concerns. Buying a kimono is easy, buying from the right dealer is the key to happiness and a pleasant shopping experience.  This is what we thrive on. Shop our online Kimono Shop anytime, we are always open and it never closes.

 

Hanu Garden Kimono

Follow Us On Social Media.

Sunday, March 6th, 2022

Follow us. Pin Us. Tweet Us. Like Us. Read our latest Blog. In other words, keep in touch with us on social media.

Chopa.com has been a leading provider of authentic Japanese Kimono and yukata robes since 1994.  We pride ourselves on being a 100% Employee-owned company and providing excellent customer service.  We have a passion and nearly 29 years ago, we took that passion and turned it into one of the premiere kimono dealers on the web. Great selection, quality robes, and fast shipping from the USA.  Join us on Social media.

Chopa – Your Kimono Source maintains an opt-in customer email list and sends out periodical emails. It serves as a way to remind customers we are here and ready to serve up a brand new Japanese Kimono Yukata.  Besides the newsletter, we also use Social Media to stay in touch with existing or potential new customers.

Here are a few reasons it benefits you to ride along with us on this Japanese inspired social media journey:

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and products from Chopa. We love to publish announcements of new arrivals, new colors, prints, and patterns.  Social media is usually the first place we inform our customers. We also keep followers up to date with arrivals, delays, and ordering processes at our production facilities in Japan. This was very handy with the Covid Pandemic and continues today. Due to extended restrictions in certain areas, shipping is still very tricky to import into the USA.  Our partners also have difficulties or delays with printing fabrics. We posted a lot of updates pre-holiday about what to expect and when to order. This helped our customers immensely.

You can connect with us directly, ask questions, and provide feedback. If you have a question about something, email or text us for a prompt response, but if social media is your preferred communication, send us a note.

We invite customers to send in pictures of themselves wearing their favorite kimono or yukata.  If they approve, we include their social media handle and you can like and or follow them.  You can also ask questions and discover what other customers’ interests are.

You can see what others are saying about our kimono, yukata, and other products and services. Unless derogatory or offensive, we allow customer posts and comments. Chopa invites you to share our media pages with friends and family members that have the same interests. We can learn from each other.  We receive far more emails and texts than we do social media contacts, so help us spread the word and let people know we are here and to join us.

You can join in on online conversations and discussions about the Japanese Kimono, Chopa, and our industry. By engaging with us on social media, you create a two-way communication channel that allows you to stay informed while also giving feedback and voicing your opinion. It’s a win-win! Tell us about things you would like to see, new experiences you would be interested in.

Chopa also posts information on new products, flash sales, closeouts, discounts, and specials. If a fabric is discontinued and we are down to just a few kimono or yukata, we will mark them down to finish off the lot and enable our customers the opportunity to pick up a great deal.

Here is how to reach us on social media:

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/KimonoYukataStore

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kimonosource

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/your_kimono_source

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/YourKimonoSource

Blog – https://www.chopa.com/blog

Social media can be a powerful tool for customers to stay in touch. It allows you to connect with us on a more personal level without high pressure sales tactics or expectations.  If you’re not following Chopa – Your Kimono Source on social media, what are you waiting for?  Join us today and be part of our Kimono family.

Follow Chopa.com on social media

Top Selling Kimono for January 2022

Friday, February 18th, 2022

Chopa is one of the leading online shops offering fine Japanese Kimono and Yukata robes. We like to provide our customers a list each month of what is popular right now.  There are many options available when choosing a kimono shop. Since we have been operating since 1994, we are confident that we offer some of the best choices out there.

Our goal has always been to enlighten and educate customers about the beauty and symbolism of Japanese Kimonos.  Whether you admire the cultural significance, the bright, vivid colors, the symbolic patterns, or the luxury and comfort these robes provide, we take the guesswork out of online kimono shopping.  Our fast shipping is just one component that sets us apart from the crowd.  Chopa is your Kimono Source and as such, we ship most orders within one business day. Many orders ship the same day if your order is placed early in the day. Most orders are delivered within 2-3 business days, weather permitting.

Chopa ships your order safely and securely from a warehouse in the Northwest Panhandle of Florida.  We do the importing for you and carry over 100 styles, colors, and patterns that are in stock and ready to ship. Orders of $75 or more ship Free anywhere in the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska. You avoid duties, taxes, and import fees when shopping with us.

Every week, we hear from customers expressing how happy they are to have found us.  Many come from referrals and word of mouth. They share stories with us about their previous experiences. To put it bluntly, they are not pretty stories.  People ordered directly from a dealer in Japan and were told shipping is quick, usually 3-5 days.  Reality is a wait of up to 30 days in many cases. Customers are told they could return it. An issue lies with translation issues. The purchaser doesn’t speak or write Japanese and the vendor doesn’t communicate in English. To this, we say good luck and recommend taking an aspirin for their headaches.

Other resulting issues are duties and taxes.  Their package arrives and they have presented a bill for $10, $15, or even $25 more for duties, taxes, customs clearance, and import fees.  Shoppers were never told about this. But if they don’t pay the costs, the carrier keeps the package and the customer is out. Sometimes these packages are submitted to customs. They are sold for liquidated damages and other times sent back to the shipper, who doesn’t issue a refund.

Frequently we hear about requests for returns being denied by the dealer.  Customers are told, the wrong size doesn’t qualify or 3 days is too long. Worse yet, they simply ignore emails and telephone calls. If a customer is granted a return approval, they are shocked when they go to the post office. Here, they discover that shipping a 2-pound package can cost $60 by Priority Mail. This cost is born by the customer, not the Japanese dealer.  We feel dealers operate this way because they discovered most customers will keep the robe instead of investing additional money into their losing investment already. It is sad but true.

In summary, you can see how we make this an easy choice to shop with us. One of our mottos is “We take the guesswork out of Kimono shopping” and once a customer shops with us, they realize how true it is.  We welcome you to go to our online Kimono Shop and see for yourself. Whether it’s men’s or women’s kimono or yukata or perhaps an outfit for your little Samurai or Princess, we have a large selection to choose from.

It seems like 2022 just began and we have now already blown through January and are over halfway through February.

Without further delays, here is our list of Top Selling Kimono and Yukata for January 2022:

  1. Tree of Life Yukata
  2. Dragon and Bamboo Yukata
  3. Navy Kagome Yukata
  4. Dragon and Hawk Yukata
  5. Yukata – Dragon & Mt Fuji Navy 

Chopa.com currently has two orders in production with smaller shipments arriving in mid-March and April. Our largest Spring order is expected to arrive from Japan in late April. The logistics staff continues to monitor shipping and supply chain issues.  We have been and will continue to use Air Freight for our future shipments. This is necessary until the Ports along both sides of the country catch up and fix their lengthy delays. While air is more costly than a cargo ship, we would rather absorb the cost and obtain our product quicker and more efficiently. Thank you for visiting our site and reading our Blogs.  Now Get Your Kimono On!!

                     Dragon and Hawk Yukata

Honored as Best Online Retailer – Kimono

Thursday, February 10th, 2022

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chopa – Your Kimono Source, Receives 2022 Best of Panama City Beach Award Online Retailer for Kimono and Yukata

Panama City Beach Award Program Honors the Achievement

PANAMA CITY BEACH February 3, 2022 — Chopa – Your Kimono Source has been selected for the 2022 Best of Panama City Beach Award in the Online Retailer category by the Panama City Beach Award Program.

Each year, the Panama City Beach Award Program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These local companies enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and their community. These exceptional companies help make the Panama City Beach area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information are gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each year. The 2022 Panama City Beach Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Panama City Beach Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Panama City Beach Award Program

The Panama City Beach Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Panama City Beach area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Panama City Beach Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

Chopa – Your Kimono Source is an online retailer specializing in authentic Japanese Kimono, Yukata and Short Length Happi Coats. Established in 1994, Chopa, a 100% employee-owned Company offers great customer service, a large selection, quality robes and some of the most competitive pricing in the industry.  Chopa only offers Japanese Kimono robes, made by known family operated manufacturers that pay fair wages and offer excellent working environments. Other dealers on Etsy and Amazon often offer Chinese kimono sometimes using slave or forced labor to achieve low cost robes and larger profits.

If you are seeking a USA based company with 28 years experience that ships quickly anywhere in the USA, then Chopa is for you.  Visit their online Kimono Shop at www.chopa.com

                       Japanese Kimonos

The Japanese Kimono and Symbolism of Colors

Sunday, February 6th, 2022

In Japan, tradition is key. It’s a country that has been influenced by many cultures, including Western ones. The beautiful language of colors found throughout their culture has deep meaning and validation. Traditional colors still hold some significance today for those living in Japan and visiting alike, especially when it comes to art or dress designs. To this day, when it comes to kimono or yukata worn for special occasions like weddings or ceremonies, beliefs about certain colors and hues are taken very seriously.

There are specific hues which carry special meaning from this culture as they believe these particular shades will result in obtaining wishes and goals. For example, some believe there may not be just one color that will bring good fortune, but rather an entire spectrum from blue-green representing water ways, all the way through reds signifying fire.

Kimono colors can be interpreted in many ways. The most important color, according to Japanese culture is green which represents new beginnings and good fortune. The secondary colors are white for growth, blue for peace and red which symbolize love. These have ancient meanings along with other cultures around the world who share similar beliefs. Colors are considered being relevant for determining future events like marriage prospects among others things.

The colors red and white are prominent in Japan. Both represent happiness, joyfulness as well an occasion for celebration such like weddings or birthdays. Events that bring people together to celebrate life events with family members who love them unconditionally.

The color red is important in Japanese culture. It’s often used to represent passion and joy. The first thing people think about when they see the vivid shade are cherries since those fruits have an association with love-related stories. In general, the color red carries with it many different meanings, but generally speaking this it represents strength through passion generated through self-sacrifice.

White also has multiple meanings and associations. White signifies surrender or peace and stands for purity, truth and honesty. It symbolizes beginnings from nothing, like a blank page yet also represents death and mourning.

The color green is a popular choice for clothes in Japan and it’s because the country loves plants, foliage and nature. The country celebrates greenery day because they love the land for its lush green vegetation. Whether it is trees or grass; this includes all things natural in life including green tea. In addition, it is holds significance for prosperity, wealth and luck or good fortune.

The color blue has many meanings in Japan. It is often associated with coolness, passivity and loyalty which are all seen as positive traits. Blue is also considered a color associated with luck.

No color is as auspicious for wealth and value than gold and silver. The color of wealth and power, gold has been a popular choice for centuries. These two elements are used to connotate great significance and prestige. It provides an elegant touch that can be found in many different patterns and works of art. Gold and silver are often used to create a rich symphony of color.

Black is a prized choice in Japan.  The blackness of the Kimono is often used to represent elegance or darkness. For example, it can be seen as a symbol for widowed women who have lost their spouse by death. The coloration also carries other connotations such classy garments reserved only for special occasions. The black color is often used in Japanese Kimono to represent power and elegance.

The black fabric of a kimono is often used to represent femininity and beauty in Japan. The color’s deep shade was originally created as an alternative for cherry blossom flowers, which were not available during winter months. Today, people wear them with pride even if there are no longer seasons where you can indulge your senses at their fullest extent.

Yellow is a popular color in Japan. It’s the Greece of colors, sunny and smiling. Japanese people have a special relationship with the color yellow. In Japan, this bright and cheerful tone can be seen in flowers as well as clothes for both children and adults alike. It is also associated with gardening. The color of sunshine and nature in Japan, yellow is associated with happiness.

Pink is a hue widely used in kimono for hundreds of years. It’s not just any old color, but rather it symbolizes femininity and elegance which are two things associated with women in Japanese culture. Pink is the color of romance and femininity. It’s also a symbol of healing to comfort women.

Of course there are more colors available and you can find a kimono or yukata in about any shade you desire.  Consider the Kimono palette the rainbow. Each color is special and the mixing or blending and pairing of colors provide additional significance in the Kimono culture. Wear your kimono proudly and if seeking a kimono gift, consider what traits the individual has and try pairing those with corresponding colors.  While it isn’t necessary to follow this guide, it deepens the meaning and cultural significance. Get Your Kimono On!! You can search over 100 different styles, colors and patterns of authentic Japanese Kimono and Yukata for men, women and kids at Your Kimono Source, www.chopa.com

 

Color palette of kimonos

Kimono Colors

The Joy of the Kimono and Yukata

Sunday, January 9th, 2022

Have you ever worn a kimono or yukata? If not, then you are missing out on one of life’s special experiences. Wearing these traditional Japanese garments is an enjoyable and unique experience that everyone should have the chance to enjoy. There’s nothing quite like the feel of a kimono or yukata against your skin, and wearing one will make you feel like a Japanese Princess or Samurai Warrior!

The best part is that you don’t have to go to Japan to live this dream. In fact, you don’t even have to find a store in Japan to buy one. In 1994, Chopa – Your Kimono Source became one of the web’s first online stores to make these beautiful robes available to everyone and easy to obtain.  Chopa saw the need for a one stop shopping experience and took the guesswork out of buying a kimono online.

Our online kimono shop is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Browse our large selection of authentic Japanese kimono, Yukata and short length kimono called the Happi Coat. Whether you are seeking a robe for men, women or kids, we have many styles and sizes to choose from. You can find yukatas and kimonos in a variety of colors and patterns. Chopa is based in the USA and ships from the Panhandle of Florida. Orders are processed quickly and most orders ship within one business day with many shipping the same day.

Yukata and kimono can be worn as loungewear, coverups at the beach, pool or spa and for parties and special ceremonies.  The yukata is often worn to outdoor festivals, especially in the summer. They’re comfortable and stylish, making them perfect for many occasions. Yukata and kimonos are perfect for lazy days around the house or while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee on the patio.

While Kimono are normally produced with a heavier fabric, a yukata is made of lighter weight cotton to keep you cool and comfortable. We offer kimono and yukata in both 100% cotton and a few styles in silk. Both are perfect to wear year-round for style and comfort.  Cotton robes are easy to care for and soft on the skin. Most styles we offer are machine-washable and tumble dried on low. For best results, we advise using cold water wash cycles and a short dry cycle or drip dry. This extends the lifespan of your robe.

With the ease of shopping online from Chopa, you don’t have to wait many weeks or months for a delivery from the far east. You won’t be surprised by a customs and duties bill and returns are simple. As mentioned before, we take the guesswork out of buying a kimono or yukata.

As a large buyer of Japanese kimono and yukata, Chopa is able to secure very favorable pricing which allows them to sell these fine robes at competitive and economical prices. Chopa also uses financial arbitrage and market strategies to hedge against rising or falling values of the Japanese Yen. This helps to assure reasonable pricing no matter what is taking place in the volatile currency markets. Our kimono is often less than half of what trendy retail stores offer them for. Since they are reasonably priced, many customers opt to purchase several to match their different moods and outfits.

Kimonos and yukatas make great gifts for friends and family members. We have many corporate customers who purchase dozens as corporate gifts and rewards for employees or to thank a customer when presented as a gift.  These robes make wonderful gift ideas throughout the year. Whether Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Graduation, birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, Kimono and Yukata make gifts that people will enjoy and appreciate. Shop online now at www.chopa.com.

kimono-robes

                            Japanese Kimono

Why Are Kimono So Popular?

Sunday, November 28th, 2021

The Japanese culture has a long history of wearing kimono. The word “kimono” is actually a translation for “thing to wear”.  Kimono are beautiful pieces of clothing originally worn by men in Japan. Following World War II they became more popular among women. Kimono  originated as a form of armor to protect warriors from arrows, but are now seen as ceremonial garments for special occasions. There are many different styles of kimono characterized by their sleeve length, colors or other details such as hemlines. The most recognizable feature of the kimono is its wide sleeves. Kimono are typically made of cotton or silk with intricate patterns and distinctive colors.

Kimonos and Work Clothes

The kimono is sometimes referred to as the oldest work clothes. The kimono has been used as a work garment for centuries in countries around Asia. They allow workers to stay clean without getting dirty. It protects against dirt and sweat by keeping them on its surface, which can be easily shaken off or washed at the end of the day.  What’s more, since kimonos were typically worn with pants underneath, they provide an extra layer of warmth during cooler seasons.

The Most Well-Known Kimono

The most well-known type of kimono is called the “Yukata”. Yukatas are casual versions which were traditionally used after bathing and before dressing in more formal clothes for celebrations at night. They provide a cover-up during the day while still being light enough to be worn indoors or outside when it’s cool.  Today there is still great interest in this garment both within Japan and abroad.

Kimonos are popular because they look great and can be worn in a variety of settings. They are known for their elegance, traditional design, comfort, versatility and easiness to slip on. Wearers can put on a kimono without any help from another person. This is very convenient for the wearer. If you want to dress like a samurai or geisha without having to pay the expensive price tag of designer brands, then kimonos are perfect for you.

These Japanese robes are available in different colors and styles, so they can match any occasion. Some people wear them as an accessory to their outfit. Others wear them for more formal occasions like weddings, tea ceremonies, parties and festivals. They go easily with other items in your wardrobe. There are many different styles to choose from, each with their own meaning. A colorful kimono is often for celebrations or ceremonial purposes. More muted colors are typically worn during the day by women who work outside the home.  A popular color found on kimonos is red which signifies happiness and good luck. The way one dresses themselves reflects their personality so it is important for people to know how they are seen by others.

Choosing a Kimono

When selecting a kimono, the first step is to consider the fabric you want your kimono made out of. Make this decision before you pick a color or pattern. Then, choose whether you’d prefer a short kimono or one that goes down past your knees for a more formal look. You’ll also need to decide if you want long or short sleeves. A kimono is traditionally worn closed with a sash, obi or belt. But did you know that they can be worn in a variety of ways? Contemporary fashion has created the style of wearing kimono or yukata open and loose or flowing. This  makes them perfect for hot summer days when you want something light and cool to wear.

Kimonos can actually be worn as tops with pants or shorts. Another popular trend is to wear it over short shorts or leggings. They can also be used in place of a blouse layered under sweaters and jackets for Fall and Winter. It’s easy to dress up kimono tops with accessories like necklaces, statement earrings, scarves, belts and hats. Many retailers call their oversized sweaters or sheer gowns, kimonos. Those in the “know” realize it is simply marketing. Nothing makes a kimono statement better than an authentic Japanese Kimono.

The kimono has been around for centuries and is still a staple in Japan. They can be seen on the streets or worn as formal attire. The kimono is a garment that can be worn in many different ways. It’s no surprise that the history of this versatile piece of clothing is varied. Chopa – Your Kimono Source, offers many styles of kimonos to fit all occasions and budgets. We’re sure we’ll have something great for your needs. Browse our large selection today at www.chopa.com.

Kimono fashion combines a kimono as an outer item over pants.

Kimono Fashion

 

It’s a story we hear over and over……

Friday, May 14th, 2021
kimono gift

The gift of a kimono.

We received a very nice message the other day from a customer that wanted to thank us for “the beautiful selection of Kimono and Yukata robes “we offer and to share an experience they had with an overseas dealer.  This client purchased a kimono from a “marketplace” in Japan  as a birthday gift for her husband.  Their website claimed they were located in Japan and extensively scoured dozens of cities for the best kimono available.  They claimed they had private connections with shops that produced the finest robes and even alluded that they had some form of a limited government license making them an exclusive provider.

She placed her order online and was looking forward to receiving her robe in 5-7 days as they advertised. She paid $20 for a shipping  upgrade to have the package insured and be trackable.  She became concerned as three weeks passed and no sign of her kimono and no information on the tracking number she received.  She emailed the company several times but didn’t receive a response.  When she checked her card statement online, she was surprised to find that she was charged in Japanese yen instead of dollars.  The amount billed was nearly $20 more than what she thought she was being charged and she was assessed foreign transaction and currency conversion fees by her credit card issuer which added even more to her final purchase price.

Another ten days and completely dismayed at this point, she was surprised when a package arrived.  She eagerly opened it but was upset when she saw the robe, because it was a different pattern than what she ordered.  While it wasn’t the print she ordered, she thought she would keep it because the birthday was getting closer.  When she felt the material, it didn’t feel like cotton, but a bit slippery.  She looked at the tag to see what material it was, but the tag wasn’t printed in English. Unable to decipher the language she was able to identify one word, China. She new she was duped and became even more frustrated.

She emailed the company again asking to return the kimono and relay some of her frustration.  She received a reply 5 days later. In their response, the company claimed the robes were made in China but produced for Japanese export.  This explanation didn’t sit well and she knew she had been taken advantage of.  They said she could return it but the cost was her responsibility, even though they sent the wrong kimono and it wasn’t as advertised.  Begrudgingly, she went to the post office to send it back, but was shocked when the postal clerk told her with shipping, insurance and tracking the cost was over $60.00. Rather than risking this much money and fearing they may not refund her anyway, she decided against it. She didn’t have any trust in this company.

Ironically, a teacher in her child’s school was fluent in Chinese and she asked her to translate the tag. She determined the fabric was viscose, which is a synthetic type of rayon fabric made from wood pulp and processed with chemicals.  The tag was completely in Chinese, there was no mention of Japanese exporting and it even included the address of the factory showing it was made in China. The story the dealer provided her was completely false.

She had just about given up the idea of giving her husband a kimono when she performed an online search and found Chopa. After checking our reviews and seeing we were based in the USA, she sent us an email with a few questions about our robes, the shipping times, our return policy and was impressed with our response time of less than 15 minutes. She decided to give us a try and we gained a new customer.

She felt compelled to send us a summary of her experience with the overseas dealer versus her shopping experience with us. In her words, “it was night and day.”  She placed her order, it shipped the same day and arrived two days later. She was even more pleased that it was what she ordered, the size was right, true to our word and it had tags that stated “Made in Japan.”  In essence, we allowed her to regain her trust in online shopping and she couldn’t be happier.  Her husband received his gift in time for his birthday and she says “he wears it everyday and absolutely loves it.”

We are sorry for anyone that goes through an experience like she did, but hope more people realize the benefits of buying local in your own country from a reputable retailer.  Chopa opened its online store in 1994 and we have been serving customers for over 27 years. It is gratifying to hear from clients that appreciate what we do and what we offer.  There is a rule of thumb in business that for every compliment you receive, there are a dozen more just like them, but go untold. We understand people get busy, intend to write, but forget and we are okay with that.  We base our success on the number of customers we have helped, including many repeat customers and the very low number of returns we receive. Of the few returns we do get, most of those are simple exchanges for a different size. We appreciate customer feedback.  If you have a story to share, send us an email, we would love to hear from you.