After several years training through classes at a nearby community center and apprentice with local artists and master shoe makers, Keiko began hand-crafting one-of-a-kind pairs of shoes that reflected her love of active life in the city; walking, biking, & dancing, colors, texture and above all, craftsmanship. In 2006, she started teaching her own workshops at the Brooklyn Artists Gym (currently Brooklyn Art Space). Keiko soft-launched k* for Fall of 2009, a collection as a continuation of her vision: chic silhouettes that can be worn from day to night, and expert construction that guarantees great fit and comfort.
Keiko believes that the craft of shoe making brings people together and that bringing future of manufacturing in NYC is not an impossible dream. After manufacturing in China, she soon realized the impact that her small operation has, and has stuck to her instincts that she can be boosting economy, even just a little bit, by manufacturing and crafting on her home ground. She has teamed up with local shoemakers at the New York Cordwainers Collective and has brought back her footwear manufacturing back home at a smaller scale, housed in the Brooklyn Shoe Space, offering her k* designed shoes made to order.
Along with the eco-friendly, ethical, socially responsible trends we see often in food, she believes that the consumers will value craftsmanship and labor in the USA.