Oh hi! Konichiwa! Howdy! Hello there!
We’re Kelly & Maggie- best friends,
and the owners and creators of SUKI SHIMA.
You may be thinking- “what the heck is a sukishima??” To which we say …fair point!
For starters: it’s pronounced like “sue-key she-mah”. (We figured some of you might be fumbling with that.) Kelly is Japanese on her late mother’s side, Shima being the latter’s maiden name. When debating what to call their first born, Kelly’s parents almost went with Suki Shima to honor that heritage. As an adult (using that term loosely here) the name always resonated with Kelly, like the alter ego of a life and a girl that could have been.
For as long as she can remember, Kelly harbored a dream of having a store. Selling things that made her happy and she wanted to buy herself, in a space she designed to her own aesthetic, seemed like an exciting but improbable path.
Several years ago, after some major life changes —namely a divorce, quitting her job, and camping cross country for 2 months— she returned to her hometown, ready for a new start. Unsure of her next steps, she took some advice from a family friend and tried mapping out a day in her ideal life. Through answering prompts about what it would look like —how would the day start?, what things would you do?, who would be there?, etc.— the vision of a store again appeared to her.
In these early stages of imagining and conceptualizing her dream shop —even when it was merely scribbled ideas in a notebook and an accompanying secret Pinterest board— one of the most crystal clear details for Kelly was the name: SUKI SHIMA.
But this time it wasn’t JUST about selling goods and pretty things. Kelly realized she had so many friends and family who were also talented artists and entrepreneurs. She pictured incorporating them into her shop, her network expanding over a variety of products and offerings. That potential was limitless and inspiring. The idea of her shop always felt so personal; it made sense to Kelly that she envisioned it including those close to her.
This made it all the more inevitable that Kelly’s dream would be shared with best friend, Maggie, whom she discovered also had a secret dream of running her own brick & mortar.
Diehard besties since high school who affectionately called their duo “LOSERS”, they had collaborated creatively many times over the years. From behind the scenes roles in community theater productions, to coordinating all the artistic details for Maggie’s wedding, to planning epic group vacations; their partnership was always one where their creativity and working minds both complemented and balanced one another.
Kelly told Maggie all about her concept for the shop, its mission and its vibe. Then it clicked! The two realized they should work toward finding a way to bring the idea to life the best way they saw how: TOGETHER! This project could be their most laborious but fulfilling idea yet.
ENTER QUARAN-TIMES AND THE DUMPSTER FIRE THAT WAS 2020. Kelly found herself temporarily furloughed and eventually laid off from a long time job within an established career in production/project management. Worn down by the thankless grind and long creatively unfulfilled, the time and space to explore “what’s my next step??” once again presented itself. Across town, Maggie, who historically balanced multiple jobs, a toddler and a lifelong dedication to music and theatre, suddenly found herself with too much free time, and a need for new creative outlets. During multiple socially distanced morning walks, the two would once again, now with more purpose and drive than ever, ruminate how to bring SUKI SHIMA out of their mind’s eye and into the world.
Maggie is addicted to trying new things, working her craft and learning everything she can about, well, everything. When Covid locked her down, Maggie fully explored her long-time interest in herbal blends for teas, smoking and meditation, and is now a local go-to for non-medical “prescription” blends. This newly deepened skill led to a similar passion for crystals as profound tools for spiritual and physical healing. So, when her husband brought home a candle-making kit to try, the puzzle finally pieced together and Maggie’s Mxyzptlmixes, known as MX, was born. Intention candles are the tent pole for the MX line, but is only a taste of what is to come.
And with the creation of those candles, came the in for the launch of SUKI SHIMA they had been looking for. They debuted their shop on Etsy in April 2021 with their first collection of MX candles and their premier "Fresh Out of The Coven" partner: Amanda Scherier and her novel How To Say I Love You.
Seeing the shop expand and their ideas for it multiply by the day, they quickly moved onto their own website and the gift shop they had in the minds all along began. With plans for things like more in house products, shop merch, more Coven partner products, a podcast, and countless other ideas on the horizon, we can't wait to see where SUKI SHIMA goes. Please keep coming back for new product launches, collaborations, and offerings!
If life in the time of COVID has taught us anything, it’s that life is short, unpredictable, and precious, so it’s best to live it as fully and happily as one possibly can. We hope SUKI SHIMA will become your new happy place. A go to destination to be inspired, to treat yourself to something beautiful, thoughtful, and fun.
It is for us.
Kelly & Maggie