Keiko Kay Hirai
Entrepreneur, author, speaker, artist and a passionate philanthropist … dedicated to inspiring others and making the world a better place.
Happy days were scarce while growing up in Japan during the bleak days following the end of World War II. My fondest memories, were making colorful hand-made items using paper, yarn and scraps of Japanese fabrics. I sold them to the neighborhood kids in exchange for play money. I still remember the expressions of joy on their faces as they carefully picked out their choices from the handmade tags, cloth bean bags and origami folded candy wrappers while visiting my make-believe store.
My creative talents were recognized and I was chosen as a student to represent my school in the recurring city-wide art contests. My art classes and the daily practice in sketching and watercolor painting helped me to develop a keen passion for traditional and modern Japanese art. During my spare time, I laid on the tatami mat with my beloved dog, Shiro and doodled pages of manga-styled girl’s faces adorned with large sparkling eyes. Then I embellished the girl drawings with make believe stories.
At the age of 11, when my mother brought me to America, I began the arduous task of learning English and acclimating to the American school system. It was often difficult and humiliating, but when things got a little bit too hard for me to take, I always brought out my watercolor set and painted. Art was the one thing that uplifted my spirit, no matter how bad things were.
Since my complicated beginning in a new country, I have managed to become the successful owner of an award-winning hair salon, author of three popular books, and a compassionate philanthropist.
My business, Studio 904 Hair Design, in Mercer Island, Washington, has become well-known for its Kaizen philosophy of employee training, customer care and giving back to the community. The salon is recognized for the seasonal decorations of creative, hand-made art objects that welcome our clients with delight. My art has been sold to raise funds for the many philanthropic causes my salon sponsors where proceeds are donated to under-served populations in our community, namely women, children and animals.
Artful Giving Shop was created to bring some of those magical moments that I have experienced. With a variety of creations that incorporate uplifting colors, a playful whimsy, and a unique story, I hope you find the perfect something that will bring you the same joy that I experienced while creating it.
Enjoy the magical moments and make everyday a happy day!
Become a member of my giving program to advocate for abused farm and domestic animals who are in desperate need of our help. 10% of all sales will be donated to Pasado's Safe Haven. www.pasadosafehaven.org