Mizu-usagi: Simple Japanese Beauty

Mizu-usagi is a unique tote bag and accessories shop with a philosophy focussed on ‘simple Japanese beauty’. 

Whilst living in Tokyo, owner Louise developed an interest in Japanese Kimonos and Obis which are, nowadays, typically worn for special events and are handed down through generations as a tradition or put away in storage. 

Over time, Louise began buying them from markets and recycle shops, as her collection grew she began to think about ways to ‘breathe some life’ back into the fabrics in a modern and functional way. 

Finally, Louise settled on the idea of upcycling the fabrics into Tote bags in a clean and simple design, all from a table in her bedroom. To make sure she could get the most out of the idea, Louise did a short course at The London College of Fashion and, after returning to Tokyo, attended a small Atelier called ‘The Sewing Circle’, developing her hobby to a profession. 

When requests for her bags began to grow, Louise decided it was time to turn this incredible idea into a profitable business. Now she upcycles bags, zipper pouches, clutch bags, chain clutches, scares and, more recently, masks. All of her textiles are sourced in Japan but handmade in Norfolk and Louise works with the aim of having a zero-waste and sustainable business, a “Mottainai” as the Japanese say. 

Louise said, “I love what I do because I’m the boss and I control my success and failures. I also get to make beautiful things that bring joy into other people’s lives. Who wouldnt love that!”

Over lockdown, Louise, like many other businesses, had to take her business online, which she wants to develop and build her confidence in. 

For those wanting something new in their wardrobe for the summer, Louise has you covered as she’s preparing to launch her new collection on her Etsy shop in May. Not only that, she’s looking to launch a new soft furnishings range with the samples already being worked on. 

She said: “As a small business owner, any support from readers and the local community is always appreciated.  For example, buy local, like/share a post, tell your friends, go to local markets and events.” 

To support Louise’s small business, simply head to her online shop www.mizu-usagi.com or give Louise a ring on 077 2350 4743 and purchase yourself one of her amazing collections! To keep up-to-date with everything Mizu Usagi get up to, be sure to give them a like and follow on Instagram (@misu.usagi) and a like on Facebook (mizuusagiuk). 

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