This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.517.
***E-mail and description writing staff meeting:
Photo taking (and shipping)group meeting:
Today, we like to write about a usual day of Ichiroya.We work from Monday to Friday, the regular work hour is 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Everyone comes a little before 9:00 A.M. --- some come by train (Ichiroya locates close to Tondabayashi station of Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line), some come by motorcycle, bike, car and also on foot.
There are three groups-photo taking group, shipping group, and mail & description group. At 9:00, photo group and shipping group start to put away the kimono, obi and other items which are on our website. Mail & description group check e-mails. Gradually the items on the floor are put away on the shelves. Then we start morning meeting. Ichiro tells how many photos were taken the day before and how much was the sale and so on. Then he tells about fabrics ---for example, how to tell the difference between silk and other materials, what are the key to tell the age of kimono and so on. Sometimes we do `QUIZ'. There was a kimono which was really hard to tell whether it was silk or rayon. We took the bet- it was summer and a half of the staff won the bet and got Haagen-Datz ice cream, and the ones who lost got cheap ice candy. It was a lot of fun. We touch fabrics, use scopes to see the fiber, and do the burn test. Still it is sometimes very hard to tell what fabric is used, though.
Then each group do the short meeting afterwards-for the review and proposition.
Then, around 10:00 A.M. photo staff go to the room on the second floor for photo taking. We have two rooms on the second foor, one is for photo taking and the other is a stock room. On the third floor, we have four rooms -- three of them are stock rooms and the main room is filled with desks and shipping counter.
Mail staff hand the order form of settled transaction to the shipping staff and they start packing. Mail staff answer e-mails from last night. Japanese customers sometimes call us to order, so we answer the phone also. Customs regulations, shipping system, credit card confirmation--there are many things we need to check and time seems to go fast. Writing staff- some staff write description in Japanese, some write in both English and Japanese, and mail staff also write description when they have time between answering e-mails.
At 1:00, we have lunch time. Every Friday, a guy from Kyoto visits- he is from Shikkaiya. Shikkaiya does EVERYTHING related to kimono. Cleaning, mending, tailoring, stain removing and so on. They have all the technician registered with them and send kimono to the right person. Kimono making is done by division of labor, traditionally, so Shikkaya used to be around and handled everything, but with the reduction of kimono wearing people, they say their occupation is really on the line.
After lunch, we make parcels ready to be shipped out -by checking to make sure the needed invoice are attached, the wrapping is safe, the address on the postal slip is correct and so on. We include the greeting card, complete the packing. Around 3:00 P.M. the courier for domestic shipping (SAGAWA Express)come to pick up parcels. Around 3:30, Japan Post come to pick up parcels for international shipping.
From 3:30 to 4:00 P.M. we take a short break.
At 5:00 P.M. we say `Otsukare sama' (see you tomorrow) each other and staff go home.
Ichiro usually comes to this office around 5:00 in the morning for new listing of the day.
He goes to kimono dealers' auction approx 10 days a month. He wants to make a choire team of Ichiroya, but his dream has not yet come true. Staff sometimes get together and do some sports too. We used to have a small birthday party each month with staff. Only one male staff, Kohei(Ozaki) is a singer, he writes songs. He plays a guitar and sings birthday song for staff. We are asking him to make a song for Ichiroya.
Old/vintage kimono come in boxes and separating them, checking the condition, see the age, take photos, write description and then the item is listed finally.
Because of the increase of nuclear families, some kimono (or obi or fabrics) has to sleep without being seen by anyone in drawers. When photos are taken, some staff say, they cannot stop taking a lot of photos of certain items. Their charms make them feel like taking more and more photos to convey their charms.
We hope to write about some episode at Ichiroya in future newsletter. So you can see the back stage of website shop!
Thank you very much for visiting our website. Thank you for reading this newsletter too.
When you feel the shopping en( fate)with certain kimono, we will be very happy to do business with you and send them!