It is with a heavy heart that I share the approaching end of our Oishi-m journey. We have two more ranges to come, which are shaping up to be our best ever, and then by early 2019 we'll close our doors. Autumn ‘19, arriving early February 2019, will be our last release.
To understand why we're making this decision, it helps to understand why we put so much love and energy into Oishi-m in the first place…
For most of us, raising kids is the most significant thing we will do in our lifetimes. From amongst the sleepless nights, the constant struggles, and the out-of-our-depth anxieties, we do our best to help nurture curious, confident and kind kids that might find a positive place in the world. As we navigate through these radical life stages, we hoped that Oishi-m might contribute in small but important ways. By empowering kids to be kids, in all their quirky and colourful splendour. By fostering original Australian design and creativity, that could grow with your kids and hold up to their rugged adventures. By shaping a flexible and supportive workplace that enable us as parents with young families to thrive with autonomy and pride. And by sharing some of the glorious and ridiculous moments when kids renew our optimism in the world we are helping shape for them.
From humble beginnings well over a decade ago, we've progressed this mission every single year. With the support of you, our incredible customers, we've spread that stoke in ever greater reach. If we just look at last year alone, we released more original products than any other year previous, we achieved our highest quality standards ever, had record breaking days, we became B-Corp certified, we sold to customers in more countries globally, we were recognised with the Geelong region’s highest business award, and we donated to more parents facing hard times than ever before.
And it still wasn't quite enough…
Running an independent brand comes with enormous demands. From the design investment in our original pieces, to the compelling and forever improving website, beautiful images, videos and vibrant communications that share those design stories with the world. From our delightfully patient customer support, to our magical Torquay retail store and the stable of world class brands we stock. There's the global logistics, warehousing and distribution, constant improvement in our internal systems, the rigorous quality control and even the ways we give back through donations to local schools and kindergartens, to Geelong Mums and our staff corporate volunteering activities.
All these investments take time, funds and energy. And despite getting super close, we haven't quite been able to make it work independently and profitably.
Leaving our mission when there's still so much to do is one of the hardest decisions we've ever made. Our staff are some of the most inspiring, hardworking and talented people I've ever had the privilege of learning from, for whom we'll do everything we can to help find new work.
Our suppliers have helped nurture our brand through its formative years, but will now need to find new Australian innovators keen to try something fresh and new. We have our beloved customers, who have been so generous in sharing their milestones and life’s adventures dressed in Oishi-m, who will hopefully find other ways to display these wonderful personalities.
While there will only be another two ranges for Oishi-m (Holiday ‘18 and Autumn ‘19), I'm confident there will be a lasting influence. Having seen so many inspiring people and stories circulate through our crew and passionate community, it feels like our mission to see parents and kids empowered through these formative years will continue in ways we could never have imagined. We hope you continue to feel great joy seeing your kids wearing Oishi-m for years to come, in garments that are long-lasting and will stand the test of time.
Thank you for your care, custom and kindness, and we hope we can continue to serve you well through these last months of Oishi-m. Thanks for the ride, it’s been amazing, we have learnt so much and we will be forever grateful for the experience.
with love, Miyo and the Oishi-m family.