Today we’d like to introduce you to Rita Ghanime.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Rita. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I will try to keep it as concise as I can because this is indeed a long story full of meaning. I never intended on starting a Kimono business.
It was five years ago, and I was actually healing from a relationship break up. A girlfriend of mine, Laura Winteer, who is an amazing photographer, had done a shoot for me (I had kids line prior called Jules- a unisex eight pieces mix n’ match collection of ombre dip-dyed ‘made in la’ basics that included lots of drop crotch pants/shorts)… and in exchange, I was to recreate a Kimono for her that she loved. I made us each matching ones- in a beautiful gauzy viscose (natural fabric) with little Japanese tea houses all over it. It was so elegant- I called it ‘Parisian Geisha.’
Kundalini Yoga – Magic Manifestations- Kimono Business
So… I was new into my Kundalini yoga practice at the time- going to Indigo Lab about five days a week. This practice is pure magic; going deep within through a series of movements and mantras changed my world. I was practicing a mantra called ‘So Purkh’ which only women can chant for me to bring them to their highest potential. Praying for another was what helped my heart heal. That was my desire.
There were powerful manifestations that are said to occur at the end of this 40-day practice- a man in the image of God to appear before me, and my intention was to be seen as a Goddess for my inner-radiance and grace. I chanted in my new Kimono, it became part of my ritual. On my 40 day mark, I was at Further Future (a festival that the Robot Heart crew- a beloved Burning Man camp) created in the Nevada desert that was a symposium of progressive technology talks, live music, and wellness events.
I opened my eyes after my morning meditation- which was flooded by a Bob Mosses track that was playing. A beautiful Viking-looking-Jesus in a kilt walked up to me and asked to meditate next to me. We exchanged a few words and sat in silence as the sun rose higher. The heat was overwhelming, so we finally got up and began walking towards a sheltered area. A photographer rushed up to us and told me I was a Goddess, and he wanted to photograph me with this Warrior.
After our little photoshoot and spending the morning walking and talking- my Viking told me he had a gift for me… He had bought it during his travels through the US and was waiting for the right woman to give it to. He wanted to give it to me. It was a gold pendant of a Goddess… (he actually gave it to me a few days later in LA because he wanted to buy a gold chain for me to wear it on!). My heart was healed, my mind was blown, and I could not wait to tell my Indigo Family Tribe about these manifestations that I could only attribute to the mantra.
Soon thereafter, I posted an image on Facebook of me wearing the Kimono and instantly received requests for one. I thought to myself, ok, I can make this… but this is going to be different. I wanted to infuse the Kimono with prayer and intention, just like I had made the one for myself. I called the first woman who had asked me to make this for her. We discussed the size and design details… and then I asked her to open her heart up to me and tell me where she was in her life and what she wanted to release and what she wanted to manifest.
We spoke on the phone for an hour as I wrote down notes. While I sewed and chanted for her, I found myself stopping to write messages that were coming through to me for her. I mailed her the Kimono with a card that contained those messages. And this was the beginning of my Kimono business ‘Made w/Love’ with ‘intention sewn into every stitch’…
This felt purposeful to me- to connect and love one another through prayer. I had finally found my thing… Nearly five years later- the foundation of my business is custom Kimonos made with love and intention. My window to the world is social media- Instagram mainly. I don’t do advertising, I keep it organic and authentic. My tribe and community of yogis and music lovers and fashion lovers- and burning man loves- have all been my support throughout my Kimono-Revolution-Evolution. I do pop up, and trunk shows about four times a year and have a woman that helps me sew (I cut each piece still and infuse loving intention into them) for my sale events.
I sell at Church Boutique (Melrose) and take appointments in my home studio or Le Petit Ermitage to meet with clients personally. I love that I have met people all over the world from my work- and they become my Kimono Kings and Queens. They are drawn to my work for the aesthetic beauty of what I create but then are surprised by the spiritual and intentional aspects of my Kimono making process. I feel so grateful to be able to have a creative outlet that I can design what makes my heart sing, and its appeal to others, and then I am honored to pray for them as I sew intention into it. Life feels so richly abundant with the souls that I have connected to.
My background was always in fashion. A Canadian girl from Montreal (ok, born in Calgary and grew up in a small town I live outside of Montreal called Sutton) I studied fashion marketing and merchandising then went on to do marketing and pr in-house at fashion retail brands and at 25 opened up a boutique-pr company in Montreal that led to me prospecting American Apparel here in LA. They offered me an in-house position, and I felt I was ready for a change, and a month later I was living in LA. My work with them was short-lived but noteworthy.
And at the end of my visa for living legally in the US- I met my son’s father. He was in the music business, and I began to style his artists (about 2000 of them!) over the course of years. My styling led to creating and designing outfits and uniforms for some of the hottest Hollywood nightspots with Michael Sutton (GOA, Guys, and Dolls)… and then a dress that my ultimate muse Alessandra Ambrosio wore (my at-the-time husband met her and told her about me). More styling with musicians and DJs and other artists fed me creatively.
I then created my most sacred work of art- my son Julien. After he was born, I soon after developed a kid’s unisex line Jules (as mentioned above briefly) that was certainly inspired by Berlin Dj’s in drop-crotch pants and fashion-forward designers doing cotton basics. But looking after production and handling sales and marketing quickly overwhelmed me, and I hit a wall. I took a break from fashion and found myself being ushered from my Burning Man family into a Kundalini family… and then my fashion creativity took new shape as my life had new meaning.
I now am working on some exciting collaborations that will be out late this Spring… I can’t disclose yet, but I can give you a hint: it will illuminate meaning even further through words and art.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It actually has not been a difficult road at all, because I built my business with the intention that this was not a traditional business. I wanted everything to flow organically and be a reflection of my intention. Every client feels like a gift, a friend, a connection from the heart. And as my Kimono Queens and Kings come to me, more gratitude pours out from my heart.
But sure I have had obstacles. Specifically that I would sew for a month and a half straight to prepare Kimonos for trunk shows…. this certainly had to change. It only took me three years to finally decide to hire an amazing seamstress to help me with this.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Kimonos Made with Love and Intention… I make custom Kimonos that are fashionable and non-traditional in style for men and women all over the world. They are infused with love and intention and are an extension of my own spiritual practice and purpose in life to connect with each client on a deep personal level.
Each client and I either meet in person, speak on the phone or exchange emails that bring their intentions at the forefront of what I pray for them. I attract people through my style, and I heal with my love.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Nothing. Not a damn thing. Seriously. Every mistake has brought me where I am. The butterfly effect is real.
- My Kimonos range from $375 (organic rayons) to $2000 for lavish fabrics and designs with details
- Website: www.ritaghanime.com
- Phone: 310.630.7037
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @rgkimono
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rgkimono/?ref=bookmarks
Christine Choi, Christian Lamb, Elyaou Bialobos, Armen Poghosyan, Julia Klotz