Maiko Kuzunishi

Owner, Decoylab

Maiko is a mompreneur, balancing the role of mom and the role of owning her business named Decoylab, a design studio focusing on creating ecofriendly whimsical clocks, home décor and accessories since 2007. All products are designed and hand crafted by Maiko with the help of her husband in the studio located inside the Bauer building main floor in the Crossroads district.

Decoylab products are available internationally through various online retails, the Land of Nod and wholesale distributions in Japan and Hong Kong. Their products have been featured in Country Living, Elle, Lucky, Midwest Living, Parents, Real Simple magazines and more.

Maiko came to Kansas City in 1994 to major in design at the Kansas City Art Institute after her commercial art teacher at Plano Senior High School in Texas lit her artistic fire. She has a vast network in the KC region and around the world. She has provided her design expertise and services to fellow KC creatives such as Hayley BasheerPeregrine Honig, Anthony Magliano, Peggy Noland, Michael Ong and many other KC small businesses and artists.

What is it about KC that inspires creativity in you?
Population in Kansas City is much smaller than Los Angels and New York, so you have less distraction and can really put yourself into your creative endeavor. People are genuinely nicer here in Kansas City and that we all help each other in this tight knit creative community.

What is your favorite spot in Kansas City?
The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum is really beautiful – and the Union Station. I’m drawn to old historical buildings. They have great presence.

Where's your favorite place outside of Kansas City?
The Internet. Because I do online retail, my customers are from different countries and diverse cultures. I may be talking to customers in Kuwait and Norway in one day.    

What's your most treasured possession? 
My heart. I own that. You always have to apply yourself, open your heart to be successful in whatever it is that you’re doing. There are times you just want to give up, but every time it comes back to “I care. I want to love what I’m making.”

Who's your favorite fictional hero?
Kung Fu Panda - I like him because he’s the un-seeming hero. It isn’t just his efforts alone, but the communal efforts that invoke his true nature and he attains self-mastery.

Who do you most admire in real-life?
I admire people who strive to get out of their comfort zone. It doesn’t matter how big or small the challenge is, but when you intentionally get outside of your comfort zone and take a risk, it results in growth and expansion. That’s always inspiring to see.

When and where are you happiest? 
In bed, talking to my daughter, asking about her day at school or playing with her stuffed animals. Great way for us to connect, relax and fall asleep. 

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