Oki kai Designs is a family operated small clothing business owned by Harlequin Okikai. Harlequin designs, patterns, sews, and ships every order herself. We make small batch ethically handmade boutique clothing. Focusing on sustainability and quality.
"In 2007 I acquired a small studio space in a little consignment boutique in Eugene OR through a friend who introduced me to LauraLee Laroux owner of RevivAll Clothing. My dad had just taught me how to use a sewing machine and I had just discovered the electronic music scene in Eugene. I decided I didn’t want to wear what everyone else was wearing. I wanted to look different. I had a vision of a specific silhouette that I wanted to create, so I started designing dance wear.
I had a need for comfortable and stylish dance clothes that flowed but contoured, that were comfortable to dance in and made me feel confident doing so. I wanted flow pants, so thats where I started. Designing, pattern making and refining. I started creating one or two off/one of a kind items for myself that I didn’t expect to sell to anyone but was able to put them on consignment in the boutique my studio occupied. I cant tell you how many times I revised that pants pattern, but my friends were so loyal and supportive of my designs.
Thats when I decided to begin Oki kai Designs.
As my art gained interest, my vision for Oki kai designs became clear. I wanted to create wearable art. I knew that I didn’t want to mass produce what I was making. I knew that putting care and attention into every seam creates an integral garment that will last for years and that quality is something I strive for day in and out. When I started designing and sewing clothing I could only afford to buy 1-2 yards of fabric at a time and only bought what pretty fabrics I was drawn to in the store. My first outfit was a renaissance fair costume my dad helped me sew when I was 13."
Over the years as the vision for Oki kai Designs has become clearer its easier to manage every aspect. Harlequin wears many hats as an entrepreneur and single mom. Currently operating out of a 10’x15’ studio we have made efficient use of the work space.
Now 15 years later Oki kai Designs is still a mostly one woman operation with web support from mom. Creating small batch runs of original designed clothing using a variety of materials from eco-friendly bamboo to recycled/post-consumer Spandex. We are now able to buy wholesale quantities of fabric at a time which has been the most exciting big step.