Haha no yume fashions Malaysian-made kimonos for your little ones
Posted on June 22 2016
Featured in the Malay Mail Online
By Lydia Koh
Published: June 19, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Parents enjoy dressing up their little ones and nothing is more adorable than outfitting them in Haha no yume’s kimono outfits. You will be surprised to discover that the brand is not Japanese but proudly started by Malaysian Majorie Cheng.
Originally from a banking background, Cheng quit her job six months after giving birth to her daughter, Ann. She started Haha no yume because she wanted to spend more time with her daughter who is now one and a half years old.
Majorie Cheng started Haha no yume because she wanted to spend more time with her daughter Ann. “I chose a Japanese name because it is a brand of Japanese-inspired clothing. Haha no yume means mother’s dream in Japanese. I like the way the Japanese do things, their attention to details even including packaging. They put a lot of thought into everything,” said Cheng, 37.
She likes taking photos of her daughter and naturally, her daughter Ann became her first model. As she wanted to carve a niche for her brand, she picked a kimono design since it’s rather unique especially when it’s fashioned into baby rompers.
The rompers can be bought for babies aged between 0 to 18 months. They also feature easy to use snaps that make diaper changes a breeze. You can also find kimono yukata tops and dresses for boys and girls from two to four years old.
The kimonos are made with Japanese fabric that has motifs which tell a story
For a different look, pair your Takashi kimono top with jeans and T-shirt
The kimono yukata tops can be worn on their own, paired with a tutu or just worn like a jacket to complement an outfit. Prices start from RM160 for the various designs. Occasionally, there are sales on their website and you can pick up a piece at a discount.
“I can’t sew but I can draw and colour. I had a thing for colours even at a young age. I usually design the outfits using pen and paper and I send the rough sketch to a factory that is owned by my friend. They would produce the clothes. There are only 60 pieces per design as the fabric is very limited,” said Cheng.
Dress up your child with the Keiko kimono dress with motifs of honey bees (left). Explore the fields in the Aiko baby romper with golden sundrops and raindrop motifs (right)
Cheng travels to Japan to source for fabric sometimes but now she liaises with her supplier in Osaka via email and they will courier the samples to her. For each design, she will get one to two rolls of fabric. To date, she has 30 over designs under the Haha no yume brand.
Each kimono features fabric that carries different meanings. For example, the Takashi print represents esteem and honour. The design features Mon (紋), Japanese emblems that are used to decorate and identify an individual or family. Cheng is fond of colours and design so she would pick designs that are aesthetically pleasing to her.
This year, Cheng launched two collections. The Spring collection was all about kawaii (cute in Japanese) animals and whimsical floral prints, while the Summer collection depicted the warm summer rain and beautiful colours of the clear night sky.
In addition, you can also shop for newborn baby gift sets that make beautiful presents for mothers-to-be. The baby kimono rompers is paired with an assortment of gifts like a plush toy, pair of mittens or Bebebundo shoes. It is beautifully packed in soft tissue in a white box with satin ribbon.
Look incredibly adorable in the Takashi kimono yukata top that means esteem and honour (left). Perfect for a tea playdate, the lightweight Akiko kimono dress features French lace princess sleeves (right)
The Daichi kimono top comes with 2 tie strings to keep it intact for active little boys (left). The fabric motif for the Kenshin baby kimono romper shows the beautiful constellation on a clear sky (right)
With each purchase from Haha no yume, you will also be doing your bit for charity. Cheng also gives a small percentage of the profits to charity organisations like Shelter Home and Dignity for Children to help underprivileged children.
Initially, Cheng planned to just sell her apparel online but she realised that most people weren’t familiar with her brand. Some brand awareness was also needed to push her e-commerce sales. “A month later, I realised that online shopping is not so common in Malaysia. People still preferred to buy in brick and mortar shops. Also, they do not know the brand yet so they prefer to buy foreign brands or brands that they are familiar with. I started selling my products at places like TriBeCa in Bangsar Village on a consignment basis,” said Cheng.
Fortunately for her, online sales started picking up. Malaysians made up most of the customer base but now it’s 50/50. She gets both local and international customers. Social media also plays an important part in marketing her brand. Interest went up for the kimono baby rompers when popular chubby baby twins Leia and Lauren from Singapore sported Haha no yume’s apparel. The Instagram stars are an online hit with their matching outfits styled by their mother. In their first trip to Japan to view sakura, the adorable babies sported two looks using Haha no yume’s kimono baby rompers.
This little treasure is all dressed up in a Takara baby kimono romper
Cheng has plans to grow the brand beyond our local shores and she’s in the midst of recruiting overseas resellers. “My future plan for the brand is to grow outside of Malaysia. North America is a big market for children’s wear. In Malaysia, parents prefer to buy foreign brands even though it is the same quality as locally made products. But if my brand becomes known internationally, it will change their perception towards the brand,” said Cheng. She’s also reaching out to the Taiwan market with her partnership with Pinkoi, the Asian version of Etsy.