Posts Tagged ‘Men’s Kimono’

Learn About Kimonos From A Pro (Part 2)

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Ron Irving is a Managing Partner of Chopa – Your Kimono Source. Established in 1994, Chopa continues to be a leading provider of authentic Japanese Kimonos and Yukata robes.  Ron recently sat down for a one-on-one interview with a live audience at a business trade show.  We are pleased to share some excerpts from this fascinating interview. This is part 2.

How do you know which kimono or yukata to wear?

I like to tell people it is a personal choice. With that, there are some caveats. The Japanese kimono was originally a formal garment most commonly made of silk. It was typically worn by women on important occasions, such as weddings and funerals. Yukata, on the other hand, are casual kimonos that are made of lighter materials, such as cotton, linen, or polyester. Yukata are typically worn in the summer months and at festivals. Because they are less formal than kimonos, yukata are more commonly seen in everyday life.

When choosing a kimono or yukata, it is important to consider the occasion. If you are attending a wedding or funeral, it is appropriate to wear a kimono. For more casual occasions, such as summer festivals, a yukata would be more appropriate. And if you’re not sure which one to wear, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and go with a kimono.

With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be sure to find the perfect kimono or yukata for any occasion. If you are wearing it at home or small gatherings with friends and family, either style works. In the western world, we tend to prefer comfort over all else.

What’s the difference between kimonos and yukatas?

Kimonos and yukatas are both Japanese garments that are worn on special occasions. However, there are some key differences between the two. Japanese kimonos are made from a variety of different materials, including silk, cotton, and linen. They are often brightly colored and feature intricate patterns.

Yukatas, on the other hand, are made from a single piece of fabric and are typically made of cotton. The fabric is also much lighter, making it more comfortable to wear in warm weather. In addition, kimonos are generally more formal than yukatas and are often worn to weddings and other special events. Yukatas, on the other hand, can be worn for a variety of different occasions, including festivals and fireworks displays.

What is your favorite Japanese kimono?

That isn’t a fair question. Japanese kimonos are some of the most beautiful and intricate garments in the world. I have always been fascinated by their design. If I had to select a favorite I would go with a yukata. Yukata are made of lightweight cotton, and they are typically worn in the summer. They are also often worn at Japanese festivals.

I love the way that yukata flows when you wear them, and I love the bright, vibrant colors that are typically used in their design. Kimono yukata are truly works of art, and I am proud to own one. I am normally warmer-blooded so the lighter-weight style works best for me. It is a personal choice. I always recommend that customers buy what they like and prefer. Don’t let someone else’s style or opinion influence you.

What do you think sets Japanese kimonos apart from other types of traditional clothing around the world?  

Japanese kimonos are renowned for their beauty and elegance, setting them apart from other types of traditional clothing around the world. Formal kimonos are made of high-quality silk, which is dyed using a variety of methods to create intricate patterns. The kimono is also cut in a way that flatters the figure, and it is usually worn with an obi or sash, that cinches the waist.

In addition, Japanese kimonos are often accessorized with beautiful jewelry and hair combs. Yukata are a type of Japanese kimono that are made of lighter fabric and are typically worn in the summer. Kimono yukata are a hybrid of the two, and they are made of medium-weight fabric that can be worn in either spring or autumn. No matter what the season, Japanese kimonos are always a fashion statement.

This is Part two in a series. Ron Irving has been an integral part of Chopa for many years. His understanding of the kimono has been so beneficial to our company and our customers.  Shop our online store 24 hours a day. Check back again soon for Part 3 of his interview.

yellow womens kimono

                    Beautiful Kimonos

Top Selling Kimonos in April 2022.

Sunday, May 8th, 2022

With Father’s Day approaching, students’ graduations, birthdays, and weddings abound, why not make your life easier and give a Japanese kimono or Yukata as a gift?

Chopa is Your Kimono Source and the perfect place to find an authentic Japanese kimono robe as a gift for any occasion. Our online selection has something for everyone, with dozens of colors, patterns, and sizes to choose from. Plus, we offer free shipping on orders of $75 or more to anywhere in the USA. This includes Alaska and Hawaii.

A Kimono Yukata make the perfect gift because it can be worn for all sorts of occasions. Whether special events like weddings and graduations to everyday activities like running errands or lounging around the house. With our huge selection of kimonos and yukatas, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your loved ones. Japanese kimonos are the perfect way to show your loved ones how much you care.

If you are uncertain about which kimonos or Yukata to buy, we invite you to read on and see what our customer’s favorite choices are.  Each month, we publish the Top five selling kimonos list.  This allows all of our customers the chance to see what is hot, what is popular, and what others think was the best that month. Remember, the best thing about kimono shopping is that it is an individual decision.  No one person can decide what you should wear. Often customers think about their own personal traits or the gift recipients and that helps them decide what theme would be most meaningful.

Here are the TOP 5 SELLING KIMONO and YUKATA for April 2022:

Yukata – Navy Tsuru – This beauty is actually being retired.  The producer of the fabric has decided it has done its job and it was time to move on. We disagree because it was a long-time favorite of ours and many customers, but it is what it is. It is also on clearance, so long-time customers took advantage of the discount. It is still available in two sizes until they are gone forever.

Blue Koi Yukata – This blue and white yukata has a unique design of Koi fish swimming in the water. The fish is highly respected in Japan and translates to affection and love. In Buddhism koi represent courage. A long term favorite of customers, it frequently makes the top ten list. This style is also a favorite of interior decorators who like to frame them under glass and display on a wall.  It really sets off a discussion when people come to visit. Nothing says Japan like a kimono.

Yukata – Eternal Chain – Symbolic in so many ways, this yukata has always been a core fixture in our online kimono shop. Chains that form a never-ending circle symbolize eternity. Eternal chains are symbolic of life, hope, and strength. The connectivity has no beginning or end and will go around in a circle forever. It may reflect your happiness with life, a situation in your career, a mantra you recite, something motivational, or our never-ending love for someone close to us, perhaps a spouse or significant other.

Yukata – Dragon and Bamboo – The story behind a kimono pattern often resonates with the buyer or the wearer in a special way. This cotton yukata is no different. The dragon and bamboo have been considered symbols of beauty and endurance throughout Japanese history into modern times. The dragon symbolizes water and is known for strength. Bamboo represents endurance and is believed to attract luck and prosperity. The navy blue and white color palette complements the water deity design of this robe

Yukata – Dragon and Hawk – If you want history and a lesson in life, this is the robe for you. This Japanese robe features two highly symbolic characters: the dragon and the hawk. The men’s yukata can be worn during celebrations, festivals, or lounging at home while cooling down from an afternoon of work in the sweltering heat! Yukata are versatile and can be used as a cover-up at the pool or after a bath or shower.

We invite you to shop our online store for dozens of patterns, colors, and sizes including plus-size and short-length robes. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect robe.

koi fish yukata from Japan

                              Blue Koi Yukata

Kimonos In Flight

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

It’s a long process.  Starting in the farm fields, cotton seeds are planted and soon sprout. The tender plants are well cared for, nourished, watered, and grown to mature plants. The cotton is harvested and processed and woven into a giant blank canvas. From the multi-stage dying process and careful printing of the fine virgin cotton fabrics, it is on to the buyer’s markets.  Our buyers are meticulously seeking out the best of the best. Fabrics must pass their vigorous inspections and only the best are purchased. The fabric bolts are delivered to the sewing rooms where production begins.

The talented seamstresses and tailors cut panels from the large bolts of materials. From there, the panels are sent to experienced artisans and sewing teams where careful attention is given to every stitch.  As the process continues, what once looked like stacks of fabric jigsaw puzzle pieces, a Japanese Kimono started to take shape in the traditional form we know.  Further inspections and finishing touches are checked not once or twice, but three or more times to make the final cut or approval. Once the quality assurance team gives their approval, the Kimonos and Yukatas are neatly pressed and folded, and individually packaged.

Once packaged, team members sort and stack the finished robes into boxes where they are labeled and processed for shipment. This process varies in detail depending on whether the shipment contains hundreds or thousands of Japanese robes. The method of how the goods are transported to the United States also plays into the equation. Chopa – Your Kimono Source has opted for air cargo for some time now especially because of the Covid Pandemic.

Shipping on container ships became very expensive and major delays are now the norm. We pride ourselves on offering a full selection as best as we can and air cargo eliminates many delays.  Air transport isn’t cheap, but sometimes a company absorbs additional costs to serve their customers and this is something we strive to do.

While air travel is relatively quick, goods must still go through customs, and taxes and duties must be paid. Once they arrive at a major hub in the USA, our carriers work on delivering the shipment to our warehouse as quickly as possible.  This normally encompasses a few shorter flights from a few states away and then finally “the last mile delivery” as it is known in the shipping world is made.  Freight trucks roll up to our doors and the unloading begins.

This process includes opening boxes, and scanning and entering data into our inventory database. The reports are forwarded to our web team where they go into the back end of our website and add the new sizes, colors, and other pertinent information.  Little by little over the next 3-5 days, the website is updated and dozens and dozens of sizes, styles, and colors are instantly back in stock.

We are often amazed at how quickly orders begin coming in that selected new items we just added. We have a complimentary electronic notification list if a customer wants to be notified of an out-of-stock item coming back in stock. But many customers regularly check our website and are ready to hit the BUY button when it is posted.

With social media, we announce when a new shipment is arriving. Most customers get alerted of this fact through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. If you don’t follow us on social media, we recommend you do.  Besides announcements of new shipments, we also alert subscribers to special sales, closeouts, price reductions, and overstock deals. We also share simple news items about something of interest to our Kimono Loving Family of customers.

We try to keep it fresh and never beat anyone up with multiple posts per hour like some stores do.  We want it to be relevant and interesting. As a 100% employee-owned business, we want to treat our customers the same we like to be treated. We understand what a turn-off it is to be bombarded by solicitations and advertisements. This is simply something we do not participate in.

With that said our work is cut out for us.  Planes left Japan over the weekend and trucks already delivered the first shipment of many this morning.  We expect more truckloads throughout the week.  Our warehouse was in full operational mode this past weekend prepping for the deliveries. Our priority is to always process customer orders as soon as possible, so this doesn’t hinder getting orders out.  It is an art and science but since we have been doing this for 28 years, we think we know a thing or two and make it as painless as possible. Now Go Get Your Kimono On…SHOP NOW!! 

 

Kimonos In Flight

Frequently Asked Questions

Saturday, March 19th, 2022

Chopa – Your Kimono Source is a leading online provider of authentic Japanese Kimono and yukata since 1994.  We receive many inquiries and questions each day and thought it would be informative to share some of these on our Blog.  If you want to learn more about Kimono, yukata, and Happi Coats, see our FAQ section on our website.

WHY SHOP WITH US?

There are many reasons to shop with Chopa because we are your Kimono Source. First is our reputation. Entering our 29th year in business, we are a leading online retailer of authentic Japanese Kimono and Yukata. Our customers provide us with many referrals and repeat business.  That alone speaks for itself. Some love our large selection with over 100 styles, prints, and sizes available. Others appreciate our fast shipping, while some love Free Shipping anywhere in the USA on orders of $75.00 or more. Combining any of these services along with our home office being based in the USA, it’s easy to see why customers shop with us.

HOW DO I PLACE AN ORDER?

Shopping with us is easy, safe, and secure.  Just visit our online kimono store anytime, anywhere. Our Kimono Shop never closes and you can browse, shop, and purchase kimono and yukata 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SHIP A KIMONO?

Most orders ship within one business day and many ship the same day. We pride ourselves on fast shipping and work diligently to expedite orders. We are located in the Northwest Panhandle of Florida and ship six days per week. We are a professional, full-time business that understands the need for a quick turnaround of your order. Some companies only ship a few days per week. Others are located in other countries like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, or China. From the feedback we receive from customers, many of these foreign-based companies lie about quick shipping and fail to deliver promptly.

Common complaints we hear from customers buying a kimono from an Asian-based company are lack of service, the long shipping times, and the inability to receive a response or reply from those businesses.  This is something we deplore in any business and always respond to our customers quickly, timely, and responsibly. Another complaint we hear about buying from an overseas company is the difficulty of returning an item.  Most customers say it is impossible.

DO I HAVE TO REGISTER OR SET UP AN ACCOUNT ON YOUR SITE?

No.  We never force our customers to store information on our website.  There is an option to establish an account and some customers choose to do so, but it is not mandatory. It is offered simply as a convenience for our customers.  The majority of customers who opt-in for an account are frequent buyers of our fine robes.  They often gift them to their business customers, shop for theater groups or hospitality companies.  We have several customer groups that rent homes, condos, and beach retreats, and provide their vacation renters with complimentary kimonos, Yukata, and Happi Coats. The bottom line is that you can purchase robes as a guest or establish an online account. The choice is yours.

WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?

Chopa accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and PayPal. If you use PayPal, you can also use American Express. We use state-of-the-art technology including SSL, Secure Socket Layer platforms. All information is encrypted and payment information is never stored on our servers or computers. We also accept mail orders via checks or money orders.  We do not accept cash and never advise customers to send credit card information through email or mail.

HOW MUCH IS SHIPPING?

Orders of $75.00 or more ship Free anywhere in the USA including Alaska and Hawaii. Orders less than $75.00 are charged a nominal fee of $6.95 for one robe. We also ship internationally and the cost is listed in the shopping cart at checkout. The amount varies depending on the country and weight of the package.

DO YOU CHARGE SALES TAX ON PURCHASES?

Yes, we collect sales tax on orders shipped within the state of Florida.  We do not collect taxes in other states. While sales tax isn’t collected in other states, this doesn’t mean that you may not owe sales tax. Many municipalities require purchasers to self-report and pay their own.  You can check with your state to determine if this is required.

WHY DON’T YOU CHARGE CUSTOMS, DUTIES, TAXES, and IMPORT FEES ON ORDERS LIKE OTHER COMPANIES DO?

This question is common and the reason is that we have taken care of all import fees for you if you reside in the USA.  If you purchase a kimono or yukata from a business in Japan or another foreign country, you are subject to these costs. The package is an import and you are responsible for customs taxes, import duties, import fees, and other accessorial charges imposed by the government and the carrier for handling the cost of collecting.  Chopa is a direct importer and we pay all of these costs when we receive an order from one of our partners in Japan. This is another reason, customers like to shop with us. You won’t receive a surprise bill with your order. Our reputation stands on its own and we take the guesswork out of online kimono shopping. Shop with confidence when you shop with us.

Chopa makes online kimono shopping easy!

Kimono Shopping | www.chopa.com

Buying a Kimono From an Employee Owned Business.

Sunday, January 30th, 2022

An employee-owned business is a company in which the employees own a significant or entire portion of the business. This type of ownership is becoming more and more popular, as employees see the benefits of owning a piece of their workplace and career. Here are some key reasons why you should shop for Kimonos and Yukatas from an employee-owned business,

An employee-owned business is operated and controlled by its employees. Employees take ownership through stock, stock options, profit sharing and other methods. Some of the many benefits of employee-owned businesses include higher productivity and job satisfaction, lower employee turnover, and better sustainability. Employee ownership gives employees a stake in the success of their own company and future.

Employee-owned businesses are different from traditional businesses in a few ways. First, profits are shared among all employees, not just executives and upper management. Second, everyone has a voice in decisions made about the business. Third, employees can earn a livable wage and benefits. In most traditional businesses many staff only receive minimum wage. With many consumers opting to purchase Fair Trade products which ensure foreign workers receive fair and livable wages, an employee owned business represents the same thought process in the USA.

When a company is employee-owned, all staff have a personal stake in making sure it succeeds. This means that they’re more likely to take care of their customers, offer high-quality products and fair pricing.  Owners have incentive to provide value to their customers, since their livelihood depends on it. Employee ownership not only helps the company and its employees, but it also helps communities as a whole. Employee-owned businesses are more likely to stay in the community, hire locally, and support other local businesses.

Employee-owned businesses not only give back to their employees, but they also care about their customers and the environment. Everyone wants to succeed and this success trickles down to others in each community. The profits stay in the community. And that means more money for schools, parks, and other local resources. So if you’re looking to support the local community process or shop local, consider buying from an employee-owned business. You’ll be helping to keep a community strong and thriving. Thriving communities are more family oriented, respected, engaged, grateful and in turn this helps keep crime low.  It’s a win-win-win formula.

Chopa – Your Kimono Source became a full employee-owned business in 2005. For the past 17 years we have grown stronger, provided more value to customers, excelled in service, selection, shipping and customer satisfaction. Our owners meet regularly to discuss events, customer service, comments and we plan together in a way that only a family can. As a 100% employee-owned firm, we have never been happier and don’t believe we would ever look back. Everyone, especially our customers benefit from this arrangement. We consider our customers family as well.

If you’re looking for a way to support local communities, get quality products and added value at the same time, consider buying from an employee-owned business!  Chopa is proud to be employee owned.  We thrive because of it.  Join us and shop our online store for the kimono you need and more importantly, the kimono you deserve.  Now Get Your Kimono On!

                       Beautiful Kimonos

The Colors and Symbolism of the Japanese Kimono

Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

Kimono is a word that has been in use since at least the 12th century. Kimono translates as the “thing to wear.”  This ancient garment originated as an article of dress for Japanese women and girls. Soon it became popular all over Japan and Asia. This was due to its beauty, which was symbolized by long flowing skirts associated with femininity during this era when society really wasn’t progressing too much past old traditions.

Kimonos are much more than just beautiful clothing; they represent an era of elegance and culture. They have been worn by emperors, courtesans and geishas. All those who desired to make their mark on history through fashion for over 1000 years. The kimono’s rich history can be seen through every aspect from how people wear them today.

Dating back over ten decades to the present day, it continues on as one of Japan’s most iconic garments. Not only does this cloth provide comfort for its wearers, but also brings about pleasure through wear or simply seeing others in their beautiful outfits.  Some people can be mistaken on how valuable these items these items really are in culture and history.

Kimonos are a form of traditional Japanese clothing that can be worn at any time. The patterns and motifs have symbolic meanings related to the seasons. For instance, bamboo branches for winter or plum and cherry blossoms representing springtime in Japan. Plant imagery is often used for springtime celebrations in Japan because plants often grow quickly after being planted. The colors and patterns represent different seasons.

Kimonos are not just a symbol of Japanese culture, but also have deep personal meaning. The colors worn reflect their personality and attitude towards life in addition to what it means for them on an individual level. In modern society, people can easily attach meaning onto any object or person based off surface-level information alone. They often miss getting the story being told, much less why this particular piece matters so much more than others. Wearing kimonos with specific patterns tells a tale every time. When someone sees how beautifully designed each pattern actually is, they better understand the careful consideration put into making sure no detail went overlooked during construction and design.

The colors of kimonos have deep meanings. The most prominent being blue, which signifies sky and ocean in Japanese culture. Blue also means loyalty. Red is used to ward off evil spirits from coming near you or entering your home through some other means. For example, if someone walks past while looking depressed. Pink symbolizes youthfulness. It also holds the idea that older ladies will become young again when they die. This is because their spirit remains inside this material world for all eternity until it finds its true place. This hopefully happens sooner rather than later, according to Buddhist beliefs about life after death.

Today, the kimono is worn more than ever. They’re commonly seen at social gatherings like meeting with friends or attending graduation parties. Students will often dress up their graduate uniforms with an elegant Kimono to make them feel more adult-like while enjoying this ancient tradition. Kimono can also be used for more formal occasions such as a marriage and at a tea ceremony where it’s expected that you wear your finest attire.

No matter what the occasion or what your mood, it is fairly easy to locate a kimono or yukata robe that will match your needs and desires. Customers of Chopa – Your Kimono Source often purchase several. Some wear them while lounging at home, some wear them to special events, parties and festivals. Chopa offers over 100 different styles, colors and patterns in many sizes for men, women and kids. Their online Kimono Shop is open 24 hours a day for your shopping convenience. Shipping is always quick as most orders ship within one business day. Visit their shop today at www.chopa.com.

kimono yukata shop

Kimono History

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

Shopping for a Kimono?

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

As an online retailer of Kimono and Yukata robes since 1994, we understand the challenges of online shopping.  While we strive to have a easy to use, easy to find, and easy to shop website, we know nothing in life is perfect and this is why we make changes whenever possible to provide our customers with a better shopping experience.

Our top priority has always been customer safety and Chopa has never taken this lightly. We spend a large sum of money each year on security software, encryption, offsite services and more to keep customer information safe and secure at all times. We never rent, sell or loan customer information either. If you receive an email from us, it is a courtesy email based on a purchase you made on our website. In these periodic emails, we may alert you to a sale, special discount, or new product introduction. We always include an “unsubscribe” button in these emails and if you click the button, rest assured you are immediately removed from the database and you won’t hear from us again.

One service we introduced a few years ago was our Email Notification Shopping Service. Chopa offers over 100 different patterns and styles of Kimono, Yukata robes and short length Happi Coats, and while we try to maintain a full inventory at all times, it isn’t always possible. For instance we may have 20 Dragon Kimonos in stock at the moment and based on sales, additional inventory may currently be in production. Then along comes an order for 16 of these kimonos, leaving us with 4. If we normally sell 5 a week, you can see out easy it is to run out unexpectedly. Large orders are fairly common as business customers purchase yukata or kimonos as gifts for their sales team or their customers and for employee recognition.

Chopa has also been a Kimono source for theatrical productions, movie studios, model photoshoots, costume companies, restaurants, television shows and weddings. Many brides and grooms have been outfitted in our yukata or kimono, and many bridesmaids and groomsmen have also found our attire to be a special part of that memorable event. We see a large increase in summertime orders for weddings. Early summer also brings a surge in kimono sales for graduation gifts. Besides traditional holidays, birthdays and anniversaries that are common throughout the year, Halloween brings in a quick flurry as customers choose a kimono or yukata for their party costumes. Kimonos simply make great gifts for so many occasions.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Days round out a common theme for choosing kimono robes for gifts. Short-length Happi Coats are very popular for Valentine’s Day as well as the warm summer season as people want a shorter length robe for lounging at home or at the pool or beach. Seeing someone in one of our Happi Coats at the beach always brings a smile to our face.

We have provided some reasons why we may be out of stock in a particular size or style at any one time. If this happens to you, simply drop us an email or text and ask when a certain size or style will be back in stock. We can instantly check our inventory database and let you know an approximate time frame when new stock will be available. We can place you on our email notification list. When the item arrives, we send out one email letting you know that the kimono you want is available. There is no cost for this service and no obligation to follow through with a purchase. This email alert is a courtesy notice only. We do not add you to our email database and only send you one notice. There is no sales pitch, no hassle and absolutely no sales pressure. Consider it a quick note from a friend saying “Hey there, the Pink Cherry Blossom yukata in size medium is now in stock and available.”  That’s it, plain and simple.

So the next time you are surfing our online Kimono Store at www.chopa.com and don’t see a size available in a pattern you like, or don’t see a specific kimono today that you saw a week earlier, go to the top of the web page you are on and hit the “Contact Us” button on the tool bar menu. Send us a text or complete the contact form and submit. We will check our database, reply with a time frame and ask if you want to be added to our free alert system. This takes the guesswork out and allows you time to enjoy life rather than checking back every few days. As always, we invite feedback, suggestions, compliments and even complaints. Thanks for reading and happy kimono shopping.

Customer shopping for kimonos online from www.chopa.com

        Kimono Shopping Made Easy. 

Photo courtesy of Damir Spanic

Is Scrooge Visiting for Christmas?

Friday, July 2nd, 2021

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which brought worldwide closures, shut-downs, lock-downs and layers of additional government regulations, many retail operators are bracing themselves for what could become big shortages of merchandise for the Christmas Holiday shopping season.

Target, Walmart, Amazon.com and other retailers reported to Reuters News that they were attempting to place holiday orders for goods as early as possible this year. Besides backlogs in the manufacturing sector, shippers are facing major hurdles trying to keep up with soaring demand for container space on ships transporting goods over the oceans.

Across the globe, shipping ports are backed up, shipping containers are scarce and ships are experiencing delays entering ports and unloading goods. The Port of Los Angeles is experiencing record high volumes of container processing. Adding to these delays, China recently shut down or minimized operations at three major shipping ports due to a rise in Covid cases. In the U.S., once containers are unloaded there is a fight for the limited number of chassis available. Chassis are used to mobilize the large steel boxes for truckers to haul to their destination. Beyond these problems, truckers are in shorter supply as more veterans quit or retire and the younger generation has less interest entering the trucking business as a career, thus diminishing the number of truckers overall.

All of these situations are putting intense pressure on the price of goods. The rate to ship a 40′ container from Shanghai to Los Angeles was recently quoted at $9500.00.  One year ago, the same rate would have been under $3000.00. The cost of container rentals has seen large increases as have chassis rentals, trucking and shipping costs. Some US importers report their containers getting bumped from ships because other parties offer a higher bid for the ship space days or even hours before the ship sails. Additional surcharges imposed by shipping operators are also adding fuel to the demand fire.

Whether it’s toys, computers, electronics or clothing, many retailers and suppliers are warning customers to shop early this year. Others are quick to point out that they don’t expect much in discounting either. When there is a shortage of goods along with high demand, there isn’t a compelling reason to do offer sales. This year, retailers are facing lower margins to begin with. Many are absorbing as much of these cost increases as possible to remain consistent and competitive, but at some point they must wave the white flag and surrender. If they don’t make a profit, they don’t have a business.

One retail operator who ships packages regularly through her online business expressed disappointment with parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx. She stated that these carriers raise their prices each and every year, but also add additional surcharges in some situations during the holiday season. She explained how FedEx adds a $26.00 surcharge on top of existing rates for packages over 50 lbs. She sells over a dozen outdoor items on her website that weigh around 60 pounds and says she is absorbing the additional cost, but isn’t sure she can do so much longer.  Her product costs have already risen 10-18% on average because manufacturers are experiencing raw material and labor cost increases. Add that to rising import and shipping rates, growing packaging costs, her own higher labor costs and domestic carrier shipping costs, she adds “we only have so much profit to work from and all of these outside issues are eating away at the pie. There is barely any left at the end of the day.” Inflation has certainly been in the news over the past few months and while the Federal Reserve is dismissing it as transitory, many others, especially ones running businesses are losing confidence and believe higher prices are here to stay.

Many businesses are also struggling to find labor. Advertisements for help are at near all-time highs, but roughly 16 million people are still at home accepting some form of government assistance left over from stimulus bills and subsidies. Whatever the reason, and people do have reasons for not wanting or not being able to work, the situation doesn’t seem to be ending in the near future.

Chopa Zen Home has been working diligently with our providers in Japan to continue offering fine kimono and yukata to our customers throughout the Pandemic and we will work hard to do so in the future. Japan is still facing capacity issues with lock downs and partial closures. We have rearranged and restructured our production schedules to better align with their manufacturing abilities. If a select fabric or print isn’t available, we back order it and move on to what is deliverable. We have also faced large shipping cost increases and so far, have absorbed these.  In fact, we recently reduced our standard ground shipping cost to just $6.95 and continue to offer Free Shipping on orders of $75.00 or more within the USA. Rather than getting bottlenecked at shipping ports and having orders delayed for weeks or months, we have mainly turned to Air Freight to obtain our shipments directly. It is much more expensive than Ocean rates, but allows us to maintain a broader and more diverse inventory on a regular basis.

While we don’t anticipate shortages of kimono and yukata per se, we would encourage customers to shop earlier. While receiving smaller monthly shipments throughout the year, we rely on large quantity shipments in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Our annual Fall shipment normally arrives in time for the Christmas shopping season and allows us to offer a great selection of styles, patterns and sizing. But we are well aware of the many obstacles facing retailers this year and sometimes events occur beyond our control. We normally publish an extended return window well before the Holiday gift buying season which allows you to shop early and still be able to return or exchange a robe after Christmas. As always, we welcome feedback, ideas, comments and the like. Use our online contact form to send us a message, post below on this Blog or visit us on Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

holiday shopping

Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.

January Best Selling Kimono and Yukata.

Friday, February 5th, 2021

Top 5 Sellers for January, 2021.

1) Dragon and Bamboo Yukata
2) Great Wave Yukata (Purple)
3) Navy Longevity Yukata
4) Tree of Life Yukata
5) Navy Dragon Yukata

Top five selling robes.

Top Five Best Sellers for January.