On the hunt for a unique baby shower gift? Head to Momo, a lifestyle shop in Japantown owned and operated since 2007 by Hawaiian Lei Ann Shiramizu and her Minnesota-bred husband Tom Kleifgen. The eclectic curation of the store is a reflection of their respective Asian, Hawaiian, Midwestern and local influences.
“The interest is in the mix,” says Shiramizu. “By blending things you come up with a whole other entity that is exotic and familiar at the same time.”
The store showcases the only Spam museum in Seattle — a tribute to the crossroads of their cultures. Spam is produced in Minnesota, and Hawaiians consume more Spam than anywhere else in the country. “We are united in Spam,” says Shiramizu. Spam earrings, Band-Aids, shoes and other assorted Spam paraphernalia overflow from the cubbyholes of a postal cabinet on the wall.
For the baby in your life, Momo carries a one-of-a-kind baby kimono, a wrap top with side ties made by Seattle designer Pennie Sangerman. “Pennie just makes what she wants; we don’t ever tell her what to do,” said Shiramizu. “Sometimes we get super-cute Kawaii fabrics with Japanese baby toys or Maneki Neko on it, and then somebody will buy it and we’ll never see it again.” The baby kimono sells for $38 and is available in sizes 6 months to 36 months.
Momo also sells wooden Kokeshi dolls and Midwestern-made Uncle Goose blocks printed with Chinese Kanji, Japanese Hiragana, Korean and French words and letters. For grownups, the shop has a selection of specialty imported goods, including totes in saturated hues from Cream Company Kyoto, vintage Japanese jackets (Michiyuki), dresses with pockets, Sumofish tees and Emi Ink Japanese washi stationary from Honolulu. “We have something for everyone in the family,” said Shiramizu.
Momo, 600 S. Jackson St., Seattle