Imagine a scenario: Your gift for a housewarming party is a bottle of wine, and you want to spruce it up for the occasion. But stick-on bows aren’t cutting it and those wine bags just seem…pointless. Teruko Nesbitt and her Montgomery shop Hanamiya Beautiful Japan provide an elegant solution: Furoshiki. The term describes a cloth that is used to transport a multitude of day-to-day goods such as clothes, food, money, and personal items. It has more recently evolved as a convenient giftwrap—though the Japanese traditionally unwrap the item and then reclaim their furoshiki (which is often emblazoned with a family crest) for another day, while Nesbitt’s American customers typically include the cloth as part of the gift. Furoshiki is impressively adaptable, and can (depending on the size) become a handy carrying case for just about any object—even a watermelon. “In the summer in Japan, when you visit your friend, it is very popular to take a watermelon,” Nesbitt explains. Rest assured, she will teach you the special method for wrapping such an item; customers who purchase a wrapping cloth get a free tutorial, and Hanamiya hosts weekend classes for a fee.
You’ll also find an array of high-end imported porcelain, cute Japanese office supplies and stationery, and even hair accessories at Hanamiya, all of which you can wrap up in Nesbitt’s collection of colorful cloths. And very best of all, furoshiki has been eco-friendly for centuries.
7795 Cooper Rd., Montgomery, (513) 891-8738, hanamiyashop.com
Originally published in the May 2013 issue.