• Magical Mindshifts

    Discovery your inner power, build a business and life you love. More

  • Sheer Determination

    Kay's NEW book chronicles her 40+ years building a socially responsible business. More

  • Keiko's Journey

    Kay's Memoir about growing up between two worlds and uncovering family secrets. More

  • Yumi's Life Lessons

    Newly revised and updated, Kay's first book of inspiration. More

Why This Sad News Now?

I know this saying so well … the wind’s direction can change at any time without notice … but why now?

I’m sure there are many moments when you feel that way too right? Life goes along as expected and all of a sudden out of nowhere, you get bad news.

I received a sad message from Ginger’s Pet Rescue that Ginger Luke (CEO of Ginger’s Pet Rescue) who rescued MoMo from the Korean Dog Meat market, had passed on. Ginger sent us regular emails throughout the summer asking how MoMo was doing. She was so proud when I told her that MoMo is a super sweet dog. She always ended her email messages by signing, Love from MoMo’s Grandmother. She told me that she considered herself a Grandmother to all the dogs she rescued and gave them a second chance at life.

I talk to MoMo every day about her Grandmother, Ginger and if it wasn’t for her, MoMo would not be here with me, living a good life in the United States. She gives me an earnest look as though she understands my feelings.

Ginger Luke

June 1, 1948 – September 22, 2021

“It’s all about timing. It’s all about a miracle. It’s all about getting a second chance at life.

Ginger was an advocate and savior of animals who needed a way out of their impoverished life. Ginger’s passing this September was a great loss, but her foundation, Ginger’s Pet Rescue continues to do outstanding work. She has saved over 18,000 dogs from around the world … dogs in kill shelters, puppy mills, meat farms, and dogs ready to be euthanized. 

“Ginger’s compassion and hard work have touched many lives and we are grateful. Momo, my dog, was one of the last dogs rescued from a Korean meat market under Ginger’s watch. I so appreciate this little gift that came into my life”.        –Kay Hirai-

Ginger’s work will be continued by Sian Davies. Sian is a longtime animal activist who founded Animal Rescue Korea to save dogs from the dog meat trade in South Korea. Sian started partnering with Ginger five years ago to save dogs. Two years ago, Sian came to Seattle to spend time with Ginger and sadly learned that her health was failing. Ginger asked Sian to continue her rescue. Sian has relocated permanently to Seattle and will continue Ginger’s Pet Rescue and her legacy. 

What’s Next?

MoMo, friends, and I have come up with a plan to help Ginger’s Pet Rescue continue its good work. We will reveal what’s in the works in a few days. Please keep your eyes open for our next email.

P.S. Do you have any ideas? Please let me know in the comment section.

This Moment Will Never Come Again

Going back to your childhood, what did you enjoy the most? Which events or incidents do you remember strongly? Do you remember the feeling of excitement and anticipation before each holiday of the year, counting down the days? Do holidays affect you in the same way today? If asked this question, most of us would answer, “Of course not. I’m not a child anymore. Adults are too busy and don’t have the time or energy to get excited over holidays”.

Here are some reasons why we should look forward to the coming holidays and see and feel about them as when we were children.

  • Holidays and their festivities will shift your mind away from your daily routines, responsibilities, and problems.
  • Holidays provides opportunities for you to do something childlike and fun.
  • You can experience memorable moments with family, friends, and pets. (Don’t forget to take photos!)
  • You can build or re-build relationships by sending cards or gifts that you made with your own hands. The receiver will love them and appreciate the gift of your love.

I love exposing MoMo to the things that make our fall season and its holiday, Halloween so special. I tell her, “It’s not scary, it’s fun so let’s enjoy every holiday throughout the year!”

MoMo loves all the bright-colored pumpkins. She’s never seen them before. I wonder what she is thinking?

She is such a sweet girl. She will do anything to please me. I have to always remember that she didn’t have normal puppy years. I want to help her to enjoy all the holidays and their festivities eventhough she is a young adult now.

I must admit I was terrified during my first Halloween season in the U.S. Ghosts, skulls, bats and haunted houses scared me to death. I overcame my hate for Halloween by transforming all the scary goblins into whimsical, cute, and happy hand-made decorations! It’s not too late to take my Halloween Trio class. It’s simple and fun and you can get instant access. Come and join me and we’ll have fun together! Register here!

Get Ready to Have Fun, Halloween is Coming!

Many of our salon’s clients have expressed how much they enjoy the hand-made Halloween decorations that are displayed in our salon.  I love decorating the salon to fit the seasons and holidays throughout the year. It’s a lot of work decorating our 2,400 sq. ft. of space but the reward we get is well worth it. We love seeing how the whimsical decorations of skulls, bats, and ghosts, swinging down from the salon’s mirrors bring joy and happiness to our clients, letting them take their minds off of whatever is bothering them.  

We made a bride and groom ghosts tree in our salon. It sure brings a lot of “wow”, “ah…”, and smiles to people’s faces when they see this tree.

Many people have been asking me to create a class on how to make these whimsical decorations and cards for people who are at the beginning of their creative journey. So I listened and developed an online art workshop where I teach students how to make Halloween skulls, ghosts, and whimsical bats using a simple step-by-step process.

Come and join me, I guarantee that you will have fun making your very own hand-made art treasures! You can share your hand-made ornaments and cards with others as gifts or decorate your own home to create a magical Halloween season. 

Can’t draw? Don’t worry, I made templates for all the goblins for you to download and print. It’s all in the classroom.

Art supplies? You can use whatever you have but if you want a list of supplies that I used to create the goblins, the video tutorial and the supply list are in the classroom under the second video, called Art Supplies.

Only $35.
Register here and you will get instant access to the classroom and course. Make your ornaments in the comfort of your own home on your own time. You will have access to the Halloween Trio course for 30 days from the date of your purchase.
Any questions? Send an email to Kay at kh@studio904.com

Here are all the goblins you will be making in this class!

Summer 2021, What a Summer!

I’m sure that you will agree with me when I say “What a Summer”! I know your summer has been just as busy as mine. I’m sure you are wondering if this is the new normal as we try to gain a foothold on what is yet to come. I’ve been talking to other business owners and we all seem to be in the same boat. We need to scale up our businesses quickly to catch up to the rising cost of business operations but where are the workers? In spite of the disturbing news about the Delta variance, Climate Control, and sufferings of the world, we must not get all of this get us down.

I’ve been staying focused on living in Ikigai philosophy… find my reason for getting up every morning, finding ways to enjoy every moment, and truly feeling so joyful about the things I do… training my new dog MoMo, daily watercolor practices, giving art classes, servicing our salon’s clients, and mentoring my SCORE clients who are passionate about starting their own businesses. Wow, am I really doing all these things? This is a lot but I’m able to do it all if I plan my schedule and stay organized. The most important thing is that I’m passionate about everything I do and I have fun!

All The Things I Enjoyed in the Summer of 2021


Even after 30 years of being in business, I still LOVE giving our Studio 904 customers new and updated haircuts and styles on their overgrown hair. I realized that the personal transformations we create for our clients make them so happy. I wish you can see them bouncing out of the salon with big smiles on their faces!


MoMo has brought pure joy to our household. We feel so fortunate that she came into our hands all the way from Korea! Another shouting thank you to Ginger’s Pet Rescue for finding MoMo and rescuing her from her dreary life in the Korean Dog Meat Market Camp.

MoMo graduated from her level II Dog Training in August.


MoMo is no longer afraid and intimidated by other dogs. Her social skills have improved and she loves to play with her new friends at the Luther Burbank Dog Park. I think it helped that we visited the park almost every evening this summer. There is one thing that she does that makes me so proud. She practices diplomacy at the park. How? When a smaller dog is being pounced by a large dog, she steps in, barks, and chases the big dog away.

She has shown so much progress in leash-walking that I actually enjoy our walks. She is learning how to play with toys and enjoys eating snacks out of my hand as a reward for good behavior. The thing she loves most is playing chase with tennis balls. She treats the ball like it’s the most precious thing she owns. It really makes me happy when I see her playing with the ball on her own… jumping, chasing, and snuggling. She is still very polite and mild-mannered around us, always being mindful not to push her boundaries. I want to thank you for coming along on MoMo’s Journey. She will continue to learn as long as she is with me.

MoMo has found her new love! She plays like this many times during the day!

Teaching in small incremental steps and watching my students grow!

I found out that my Ikigai is teaching and mentoring others. What I love is watching my students improve and seeing the transformation in their skills and confidence. The truth is, I think I am the one who gains from all this. I keep up on daily art practice of watercolors and making things by hand. I continue to take classes to grow my creative mind. My own skills have improved just as much as the people I teach and mentor. I’m confident that I can help people to add creativity to their lives even when they say “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”. My answer is, “Yes you do. You just don’t know yet because no one’s helped you to uncover your unique hidden gifts”.

Take a look at the work that was turned in by members of the Artful Giving Community. These are the results from the last workshop I gave, “The Art of Kamishibai, Japanese Story-Telling”. Aren’t they impressive?


I’d love to have you join us in the community. To find out more about the Artful Giving Community, click this link.

Please leave me a comment and tell me what brought you joy this summer. I know you have a story to share too. I love to hear your stories!

The Art of Kamishibai Japanese Storytelling

What, it’s already August?

Sorry for the late notice, but I’m inviting you to a just-in-time workshop before the end of our summer season.

I remember those hot summer days when I was growing up on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan. My neighborhood friends and I waited patiently for the Kamishibai Man to arrive on his bicycle, pulling his candy shop and a miniature kamishibai wooden stage. We all ran out of our houses clutching small amounts of coins in our hands as the wooden clicking noise echoed closer and closer to our street. We sat around his bicycle, positioning ourselves to get the best possible view of the wooden kamishibai stage. We showed Kamishibai man the coins in our hands and he smilingly gave us a handful of our favorite lemon drops, milk, and rice candies. We licked and sucked on our candies while watching his show … intrigued with the man’s storytelling as he pulled one bright-colored picture out of the wooden frame and another scene appeared.

Kamishibai is the magical art of Japanese storytelling. Kami means paper and Shibai mean play. Kamishibai is such a powerful communication medium that organizations worldwide have adapted to using it to clarify their vision and values. In addition, Doctors Without Borders adopted it as part of its AIDS campaign.


Join me in a fun, light-hearted Zoom workshop as I share with you a well-known Japanese story, Rabbit and the Moon. Then we will draw and paint a scene from the story, Momo-taro, a boy who was born out of a peach that was floating down the rive.

Don’t worry if you are a beginner. You will become a Kamishibai artist and a storyteller as you cut papers and paint a beautiful stage scene that asks the question, “What’s in the Peach?”

After you take this class and practice more, you’ll be able to make your own Kamishibai stories, paint beautiful greeting cards, or make a colorful display piece for your home.

Date: Saturday, August 7

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 AM (PT)

Only $35.

To find out more or register, you can go here.

Hope to see you at the Kamishibai worksop!