About Hiyama Studios

The Oba Project Story

The story of the Oba Project was the story of a group of people who came together from disparate backgrounds, who ranged in age from 20 to 99, who crossed ethnic and generation lines, and who were enthusiastic about creating products which helped them to help others.

The Oba Project began as a conversation between three friends who wanted to raise money for local organizations by building a diverse community of people who shared a common goal. At the heart of the project were Carole Grisham, Pat Norikane Logerwell, and Elaine Wetterauer.

Committed to the idea of donating 100% of the profits of their efforts, all Oba Project members and artisans contributed their time in the production of designer accessories. Their hand-made product was the Oba Collection, unique and stylish designer bags accented with selected embellishments. Each bag was hand knitted, hand finished and a product of hours of work.

The Oba Project members selected two organizations to receive the profits from their 2010 to 2014 annual sales. It’s first grants were made to Nikkei Concerns in support of the garden project at Seattle Keiro skilled nursing facility. Nikkei Concerns is a leading provider of health and wellness services in the Pacific Northwest that embraces an increasingly diverse community while honoring its Japanese American heritage and history.

The Oba Project’s final grants were made to The Martinez Foundation in support of the addition of new Martinez Fellows. The Martinez Foundation helps students of color become the exceptional teachers and role models the Pacific Northwest community deserves.

Every project needs many hands to accomplish its goals. The Oba Project team artisans included:

  • Marcia Almassay
  • Betsey Belden
  • Sheri Carlson
  • Anne Charles
  • Jean Eisele
  • Penny Fredlund
  • Carole Grisham
  • Rose Harrell
  • Collette Herrin
  • Linda Hoshide
[column grid=”one-fourth”]
  • Amy Huber
  • Lane Johnson
  • Lonnie Keown
  • Katie Kelso
  • Pat Kono
  • Jane Koura
  • Carole Kubota
  • Darlene Kubota
  • Pam Leonard
  • Jack Leonard
[/column] [column grid=”one-fourth”]
  • Sandy Lew-Hailer
  • Patty Hiroo Mastrude
  • Carolyn Murakami
  • Tomi Nakashima
  • Pat Norikane Logerwell
  • Lillian Otani
  • Barbara Quinn
  • Aiko Shida
  • Jane Skrivan
  • Nick Solomon
[/column]
  • Kathleen Takahaski-Ruhl
  • Lori Takashi-Woffe
  • May Takahashi
  • Mo Takakoshi
  • Shoko Tanaka
  • Taeko Taniguchi
  • Elaine Wetterauer
  • Lynn Woll
  • Hannah Yamasaki
  • Sallie Yamada

Special Thanks

Special thanks also go to Barry Wong of Barry Wong Photography, Sandy Lew-Hailer of sandylew Clothing and Accessories, Jim Copacino, co-founder and creative director of Copacino+Fujikado, and Matt Diefenbach of Turnstyle for their generous gifts of resources and counsel to the Oba Project.