Hardworking Hawaii: Masako Bridal in business 43 years downsizes to survive pandemic

Advertisement

BEGIN ARTICLE PREVIEW:

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The lack of tourism for over half a year has been devastating for the local economy.

[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]

One of those businesses struggling, yet hoping to survive, is Masako Formals, a bridal and kimono store that’s been in business for 43 years.

Masako Formals opened in Ala Moana in 1977.

Kumiko Okimoto’s mother opened the business because it was her dream to move to Hawaii from Japan.

“She decided to come to Hawaii for a second life. She wanted to retire here,” said Okimoto, who has since taken over the family business.

Okimoto’s mother chose to start a wedding dress store in Honolulu because she noticed that more and more Japanese couples wanted a destination wedding in the islands.

The first location for Masako Formals was tiny.

“Very, very small,” Okimoto explained. “About less than 500 square feet.”

Over the years, the family business grew. Eventually, Masako Formals took over a large store front on Cooke Street.

The business became a popular wedding dress shop for Japanese couples.

“Usually, they dress up from the store, and they go wedding with the limo, but no more … So …

END ARTICLE PREVIEW

READ MORE FROM SOURCE ARTICLE