“Create in Me” is a company that makes clothing for kids, home accessories and stationery featuring multi-cultural characters that aim to “make your spirit smile”. Create in Me has been inspiring giggles and fond memories since 1986 when artist and creator Julie Fujii decided to leave the corporate world and start her own company which is presently family-owned and operated by Julie and her children.
Many of the Create in Me characters embrace and are proud to support the Japanese American culture, along with their friends who represent a variety of other cultures. The message is always to be loving, respectful and learn from each other to make the world a happier place. The company’s mission is to support and convey creativity and its vision is to use its values to impact the world in a positive way.
Create in Me CEO Julie Fujii always knew that she wanted to be an artist. When she was 27 years old Julie was working as a computer system manager in Beverly Hills. With the support of her loving husband, she decided to pursue her childhood dream to become an artist. Create in Me started as a small table at a local arts and crafts event and has since evolved into an international business featuring creative multi-cultural characters that delight kids and adults alike. According to Julie, the best compliment she can receive is, “Your drawings make me smile.”
For 24 years, Julie, her husband and their children have lived a wonderful life of creating not only art, but also family memories. As the business grew, Create in Me created cultural workshops for organizations like The Japanese American National Museum, The Japanese American Community and Cultural Center, Long Beach Children’s Museum of Art, and The Temecula Matsuri Festival. “It was a blessing to be able to use her art as a tool to educate people about the rich Japanese American culture,” Julie stated.
Then suddenly, in 2010, the family and business came to a screeching halt when Julie’s husband passed away. Grief, loss and discouragement filled their hearts and while they took time to heal, the business remained on the backburner. Now the company is back on track with new items for sale on their website. Recently, Julie Fujii spoke to the Examiner about her experiences working with Create in Me and her hopes for the organization’s future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Julie Fujii (J.F.): At the age of four, I was addicted to my crayons. Carnation Pink, Aquamarine, Violet Blue….My mouth would salivate with happiness just looking at the wonderous colors.
M.M.: When was Create in Me started and why was that specific name chosen?
J.F.: We started our business in 1986. I chose the name, “Create in Me” because in each of us, there is a wonderous desire to create. It is the expression of one’s soul. There is a sense of joy and accomplishment when we create whether it be a drawing, a dinner meal, or a vegetable garden. In addition, “Create in Me” comes from the book of Psalms which says, “Create in me a clean heart” which is something that I personally desire so that I can share a stronger love for others.
M.M.: What kinds of products does Create in Me offer? Are certain pieces especially popular?
J.F.: We offer gift products (t-shirts, jewelry, kitchen towels, educational and paper products) all with my designs. Our ninjas and personalized drawings of family are especially popular.
M.M.: At present, how many products do you have on the market?
J.F.: I’m not sure, there is such a variety.
M.M.: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of working with Create in Me?
J.F.: Creating, of course, but also I love creating products which celebrate cherished relationships whether it be parent/child, siblings, friendships, and more.
M.M.: Where do you hope Create in Me will be in ten years?
J.F.: I hope that we will be able to use more of our profits to help those in need.
M.M.: What advice would you give to someone who is striving to enter the design industry?
J.F.: My advice is to always be teachable, flexible and thankful.
M.M.: Are there any upcoming events that you would like to mention?
J.F.: For Peanuts’ 65th anniversary, my husband, Stan Sakai, and I were asked to draw our own comic strip in an anthology book honoring Mr. Schulz. Therefore, we will be guest speakers at the Charles Schulz Museum in April of 2016.
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To learn more about Create in Me visit the official website and Facebook. They can also be followed on Twitter and Instagram via @createinmeshop To learn more about the Peanuts tribute, see here.