A bag of art

Jamaica Gleaner - - ARTS&EDUCATION - Christo­pher Serju Gleaner Writer

THE ARTISTRY I found to be com­pelling as I wit­nessed the sim­plic­ity of the de­sign process, Sachi Shi­tara chat­ting eas­ily while cre­at­ing my cus­tomised gift bag – in less than 10 min­utes!

Two sheets from the day’s Gleaner pub­li­ca­tion – my choice of the page high­light­ing the open­ing of the Pe­ter Tosh Mu­seum, some glue, two straw han­dles – fash­ioned into a work of art by the origami ex­pert, while I sipped latte in the Toy­ota Cof­fee House. I had gone to the Toy­ota Ja­maica Lim­ited show­room and ser­vice cen­tre at 93 Old Hope Road, St An­drew, al­legedly to do an in­ter­view for an ar­ti­cle about that fa­cil­ity.

Ev­ery­thing had gone well un­til branch man­ager Mick McGrane led the way up­stairs to the café, where Sachi’s hand­i­work caught my eye. The unique gift bag of­fer­ings, the Ja­panese na­tional ex­plained, is an ex­ten­sion of the cus­tomer ser­vice for clients who opt to spend time there while their ve­hi­cles are ser­viced or who pop in just for a steam­ing cup of java.

A pur­chase from the wide range of de­lec­ta­ble of­fer­ings is pack­aged in these one-of-a-kind gift bags fash­ioned from a sec­tion of the day’s broad­sheet Origami ex­pert Sachi Shi­tara, busi­ness devel­op­ment con­sul­tant with Toy­ota Ja­maica Lim­ited, proudly shows off her cre­ation of a shop­ping-gift bag made from two sheets of last Thurs­day’s Gleaner pub­li­ca­tion be­fore adding the han­dles. pub­li­ca­tion, but it’s much more than just a shop­ping bag, ac­cord­ing to Sachi.

“We have in Ja­pan a cus­tomer-ser­vice phi­los­o­phy called ‘Omote­nashi’, where you treat cus­tomers like a guest at home. So at Toy­ota Ja­maica, we have al­ways pro­vided cus­tomer ser­vice more than ex­pec­ta­tion for we are al­ways try­ing to find some­thing to make our cus­tomers go ‘wow’,” she told Arts & Ed­u­ca­tion. “Our cof­fee Sachi Shi­tara fo­cuses on the job at hand.

shop ven­ture is not about mak­ing money, but mak­ing our cus­tomers happy (and) treat­ing them like fam­ily and friends.”

Each day, Sachi checks The Gleaner pub­li­ca­tions for any Toy­ota Ja­maica ad­ver­tise­ments, which are her first choice for pro­duc­tion ma­te­rial. This done, she then searches for pages with colour­ful and up­lift­ing graph­ics, avoid­ing those that are lots of print.

The re­sponse from cus­tomers has been over­whelm­ing as they marvel at the prac­ti­cal life ex­ten­sion of the sheets, which would, in all like­li­hood, end up be­ing dis­carded if not for this artis­tic, re­cy­cling in­ter­ven­tion.

De­mand for the gift bags con­tin­ues to grow, but sourc­ing ad­e­quate raw ma­te­rial is not an is­sue as the com­pany sends on the pa­pers pur­chased from a nearby ven­dor after they are read to the café, where they con­tinue in a dif­fer­ent for­mat to serve in the in­for­ma­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, and en­ter­tain­ment of Gleaner read­ers long af­ter­wards.

The im­me­di­ate joy gen­er­ated by her sim­ple cre­ations is a con­stant source of plea­sure for Sachi.

“I didn’t know peo­ple loved it so much,” she said with a smile.

PHO­TOS BY CHRISTO­PHER SERJU

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