Following is an excerpt from my new book, which will be published this fall. The book focuses on the life-changing journey that I took while building my Studio 904 Salon. I hope you enjoy this small peek inside.
Lending a Helping Hand
Here’s how it all began…
One day in 1982, Richard, a good client of the salon, had an unusual request for me. He was the director of the Northwest Cerebral Palsy Center in Seattle and an active volunteer in the community. As he looked at his finished haircut, pristine as usual, he said to me, “Kay, I was wondering if you could do me a big favor.”
“Sure,” I said, “Go ahead.”
“I was wondering if someone from Studio 904 would be willing to come to the center and give haircuts to the young men who reside there.”
“Don’t they have someone who already cuts their hair?” I asked.
“Well, we do have a few stylists who come and give haircuts, but you should see what they do to our residents. They just carelessly buzz up their hair, making them look more disabled than they already are. These are young men and they care about how they look. I have been trying to think of a way to give them a great-looking haircut just like the one I got today,” said Richard, as he smoothed his hands over his freshly groomed hair.
“Let me see what I can do,” I told him. Read more
Seattle, Washington – Circa 1955
As posted in the North American Post publication on June 9, 2016. Vol. 71, Issue 25
My Journey to Yours by Keiko Kay Hirai
I stood in front of the Seattle Buddhist Church, all dressed up in my new pink sweater and full skirt with pink and grey checks. My black, patent-leather Capezio flats felt a little tight, but I didn’t care. My biggest hope was that I would fit in with the rest of the girls. Read more
I received so many positive comments about this article (published in the North American Post a few weeks ago) that I want to share it with you. Do You Have a Mentor?, part II. If you don’t have a good Mentor like Joe, I suggest you get busy and start looking for one. I can guarantee that you will get a new outlook on life! Read more
If you don’t have a mentor right now, you might think about searching for one. Why? Because chances are, if you find someone who is a good fit for your personality and lifestyle, you will be able to live your life with more confidence and the reassurance that you are headed in the right direction toward fulfilling your life goals.
What is my definition of a suitable mentor?
A mentor is generally someone who:
- Has a higher understanding or knowledge than you do either in life experiences, in a certain area of expertise, or both
- Shares your values and expectations
- You admire
- You feel comfortable with to share your inner-most feelings
If you find someone who fits this description and this person is willing to spend the time with you either as a friend or as an advisor, consider yourself very lucky.
Why do we need mentors in our lives? As all of us go through the process of “living life,” many obstacles and challenges undoubtedly come our way. These distractions make it almost impossible for us to clearly make our way and remain on course toward achieving our dreams. As a result, the BIG PICTURE is often lost in the process. As you know, it is easy to get an opinion from someone, but it is difficult to decipher the good advice from the bad advice when it is offered to you. Read more
For eight years, I’ve been joyfully stamping, drawing, painting and making pretty things and I want to share my excitement with you.
When people see the things I’ve made, they often say, “I wish I could make things like this, but I don’t have a creative bone in my body!”
My answer to them is, “Yes, you do have creative bones in your body and yes, you can do it!” Read more
Max and his friends at the Dogs Works Ranch.
This article was published in the North American Post on March 10, 2016. If you haven’t seen it, please enjoy reading it here.
During the time I was growing up in Japan, I had a dog named Shiro. She was given to me by an American soldier who was returning to his homeland. I had a difficult time training Shiro because I knew absolutely nothing about the responsibilities of owning a pet. After a lot of trial and error and hours of commitment, however, she eventually became a trusted companion whom I enjoyed spending time with. We had the most loving relationship that anyone could have ever asked for.
After Shiro passed away, I longed for another dog who could bring me as much joy. My prayers were soon answered and in stepped Yumi. She was just as special to me as Shiro, but in a different way. Yumi provided me with so much wisdom in dealing with everyday life that I was prompted to author a book about my key learnings. After several years of cherished companionship, I lost Yumi. Again, I felt like there could never be another dog to replace her and what she meant to me. Read more
When people ask, “What is your book about?” or “Is your book any good?” I get tongue tied. How can I explain the depth and emotion of my own story in just a sentence or two? How can I explain the sorrows and tragedies that my Mother suffered? Read more