CONCEPT MOVIE

BEYOND THE REEF,
ESPECIALLY HANDMADE FOR YOU

ESPECIALLY HANDMADE FOR YOU

高齢者の編み物技術の継承と、社会参加を目指して

To pass on the elderly's knitting skills with the aim of their social participation

“きっかけは一人暮らしの義母”
大好きなパパも亡くなり二人の息子も独立。専業主婦だった義母は、寂しさを埋めるかのように大好きな編み物に没頭して行きました。「やる事がない」それは「自分が必要とされてない」と感じる、人間として最も寂しい出来事の一つでもあります。私ができる事はなんだろう…と考えているうちに、お義母さんの大好きな編み物で何か出来ないだろうか?と、ふと思った事がBeyond the reefの誕生のきっかけでした。
手描きのイメージ画と毛糸を姑に渡した数日後、想像以上にステキなクラッチバッグが編み上がり、
それが記念すべきサンプル第1号となりました。
その日から私が思いつく限りの毛糸を買ってきてデザインを描き、お義母さんが編む。
そんな日々が続きました。
“What made me think was my mother-in-law living alone.”
After her dear husband passed away and her two sons left the nest, my mother-in-law, a typical housewife, started to absorb herself in knitting, one of her most favorite things, as if to make up for her loneliness. Even though she had more than enough time, she had nothing to do… “No one needs me” – it could be one of the most cruel, unbearable realizations for a person to face. I started to think about what I could do for her, and came up with an idea; I could do something using the power of knitting, my mother-in-law's favorite thing to do. That's how Beyond the reef was born.

“Do you think you could knit me a bag like this…?” I asked my mother-in-law. A few days after handing her a hand-drawn sketch and some yarn, what I received from her was a far better hand-knitted clutch bag than I expected. The bag became our memorable first sample product. Since that day, I developed designs and my mother-in-law knitted the items with as much yarn as I could get my hands on. The days passed.
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“ブランドを立ち上げよう!”
サンプルがいくつか出来上がり、同僚に見せに行くと「可愛い!」「使える!」と。
その言葉に背中を押されブランド化を決意しました。
即、グラフィックデザイナーの義妹に頼み、ブランド名を決め、オンラインサイトを立ち上げ、販路を確保。
決断からわずか3ヶ月でBeyond the reefを立ち上げました。
「デザイン&統括は私、編むのは義母、Webデザインは義妹」と、 それぞれが違った才能を持ち、それぞれの特技を合わせて、ブランドが形になって行く様子は、今思い出しても、本当に奇跡のような日々でした。
“Let's set up our own brand!”
When I showed some samples to the stylists I knew, they said to me “That's so cute!” “It's really practical!” This feedback continued and I finally decided to create my own brand. That same day I phoned my sister-in-law, who worked as a graphic designer. We not only came up with a name for our brand but also set up an online website and procured the distribution channels. Beyond the reef was established three months after our decision. I took charge of designing and management, my mother-in-law did the knitting, and the website design was done by my sister-in-law. Each one of us has a different talent and we combined these skills as one. Looking back, those days truly seemed like a miracle, witnessing something starting from scratch and becoming a brand.
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“編み手さんを探そう”
一生懸命かつ楽しそうにバッグを編んでいる義母を見ていて、同じような状況の高齢者は実はたくさんいらっしゃるのではないか。もしそうであれば、一緒にバッグを編んでもらって楽しく社会参加してもらえれば、少しでも生きがい作りのお手伝いが出来るのではないか・・・と思うようになりました。
そこから編み手のおばあちゃん探しを始め、やがてNPO法人「五つのパン」が運営するコミュニティカフェ「いのちの木」の編み物サークルのおばあちゃん達に出会いました。
「いのちの木」は、「高齢者の技術や知恵を次の世代に繋げて行く」をコンセプトに掲げたコミュニティカフェです。
こうした素敵な出会いに恵まれて、Beyond the reefは少しずつ形になって行きました。
“Let's look for knitters.”
I saw my mother-in-law knitting diligently and happily, I realized that there might be the other elderly women who would probably in the same situation too. If only I could help by giving them a chance to work as a knitter and join society again, their life would become more meaningful. Then, I started looking for some elderly knitters, and luckily I happened to find them at Inochino Ki (Tree for life), a knitting circle run by the NPO Itsutsuno Pan (Five bread). Inochino Ki is a community café with the concept of “passing on the skills and knowledge of the elderly to the next generation”. Thanks to such a marvelous meeting, Beyond the reef started taking shape.
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“おばあちゃま達と一緒にバッグ製作 ”
いよいよ、おばあちゃま達との商品作りへの挑戦が始まりました。
編んでは解き、また編んで、そして解く・・・・。
いつの間にかおばあちゃま達は、お茶飲み仲間ではなく、共に仕事を請け負う仲間として、互いに教えあい、励ましあい、時には衝突し、そして尊敬し合い、絆を深め、趣味の延長ではなく、お客様から買って頂く商品を編む、プロの編み手さんになって行きました。
そしていつの間にか、若いお母さん世代も編み手に参加するようになりました。

・まだ子供が小さいので、空き時間に編み物を編んで社会と繋がっていたい
・子育てが一段落したので、もう一度大好きな編み物に挑戦したい
・親御さんの介護があるので、在宅で仕事がしたい

そんな様々な立場の女性が、それぞれの理由を持ってBeyond the reefに参加して下さるようになりました。
ママさん達がおばあちゃま達に編み物を習い、それを若い人たちが注文する。
そんな世代を超えた交流がなされる事は本当に嬉しいし、このバッグを介して色々な人が繋がればいいなと心から思っています。
“Making bags with the elderly people of a grandmotherly age.”
Our new challenge – making products with the elderly knitters – started at last. Knitting and unraveling over and over again, we became peer workers, not just friends chatting over some tea anymore, but undertook jobs mutually. We all teach and cheer each other up, and even argue at times, but never forget to show respect to each other. That's how we tightened our bond. It was no longer just a fun venture, and they gradually became professional knitters who produced items that were just what our customers wanted to purchase. Before we knew it, young mothers had also started to join us.

・My child is still little, and I want to interact with society by knitting when I have time to spare.
・Since I'm done raising my children, I want to participate in society again with my favorite activity.
・I'd prefer work from home since I need to care for my parents.

With their own purposes, women in different circumstances joined Beyond the reef. Mothers learn how to knit from the skilled elderly knitters and young people order the products. It is fun to see their interaction across the generations, and I truly hope our bags can work as a link to connect many people.
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“そして今現在 ”
気がつくと立ち上げから2年が経ち、Beyond the reefも少しずつ皆様に知って頂くようになりました。
最初はお義母さん一人おばあちゃま3人で始めた編み手さんも、今は30名を超えるまでになり、中布縫い付けの縫い手さんも10名程のチームになりました。
Beyond the reefのバッグは、編み物はもちろん、中布縫い付け、仕上げ、梱包に至るまで、すべて手作業です。
一目の違いでも、1㎝の違いでも、編み直しになります。ですので、とてもお時間が掛かります。
とても効率が悪く生産性も低いですが、私たちはこのやり方を変えるつもりはありません。
大量生産をするつもりもありません。なぜなら私たちは単にバッグを売っているのではなく、
このバッグに込められたストーリーをお客様にお届けしているからです。

「素晴らしいモノづくり技術を次の世代に継承したい」
「好きなこと、得意なことで、無理なく楽しく社会に参加してほしい」

こんな想いを持って歩んで参りましたが、私たちはまだまだスタート地点に立ったばかりです。
これからも努力と精進を怠らず、お客様、作り手さん双方が小さな幸せを共有できるブランドでありたいと願っています。

株式会社ビヨンドザリーフ  
“And at present.”
Two years have already passed since Beyond the reef was founded. Thankfully, our company has been gradually gaining popularity. At first, our knitters were only my mother-in-law, and other three elderly people when we started but they have grown to more than thirty now, and our sewers who stitch together the linings of the bags are now a team of around 10 people.

Everything – knitting, sewing the linings, completing, and packing – is processed by hand at Beyond the reef. A single wrong stitch or centimeter has to be corrected and it takes a lot of time. It is inefficient and unproductive, but we are not going to change the way we do it. We aren't going to mass-produce our items. We don't just sell our bags but tell a story to our customers, woven into the bag.

“We want to pass on our excellent craftsmanship to the next generation”.
“We want you to participate in society with your favorite thing or specialty in a comfortable environment”.

Having being making progress for the last two years with all these wishes, we're still standing where we started. With effort and devotion, we sincerely hope that Beyond the reef will become a brand which interacts where our customers and makers can share happiness mutually.
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