HomeTrendingWoman Finds Unusual Dress At The Store, Calls Her Mother Straight Afterward

Woman Finds Unusual Dress At The Store, Calls Her Mother Straight Afterward

Many consider browsing thrift stores to be a hobby that comes with rewards. What’s better than finding something special at a bargain price? Among the clothing and ornaments, individuals come across unique treasures, but you have to wonder about where these special finds have come from.

One woman would come across an unusual item of her own and uncover the history behind it. What she would learn was something that would leave her mouth gaping.

Shannon Hiramoto was a native of Kauai and enjoyed her time visiting charity shops. She was constantly hunting for a specific type of dress, vintage muumuus. Shannon loved that the dresses were loose-fitting while still flattering and said, “I’m always on the hunt for vintage muumuus. It’s become my hobby.”

She was in a Salvation Army in Lihue when she came across a rack of muumuus, and she couldn’t help the rush of excitement that flooded her system. She felt like a kid as she pulled each of them off the rack to examine them, and that’s when she spotted something interesting.

She had been looking through the most extensive selection and picked a dress she felt drawn to. She couldn’t explain how but she felt something familiar about it. Where had she seen it before? The length was unusual, and she held it up to the light to see if she could find anything else peculiar. Her eyes focused on the V-neck collar that was adorned with pretty frills.

The dress was pink with flowers scattered about. Shannon thought it was gorgeous, but there was more to the dress she had no idea about.

When examining the collar, she found a Liberty House tag with something that caught her eye. There was a single word written on the tag that had been written in faded permanent marker.

She didn’t want anyone else to get their hands on what she had found. She quickly took the dress to the check-out counter with money at the ready. This was something she could not leave behind.

Shannon was overcome with the feeling that she had found something special. She considered what she had seen on the tag as some divine message, but she wondered if she was reading too much into it.

But she couldn’t deny that what she had felt was profound. This was important, but she needed to think back to the past to remember why.

She willed her brain to form an image in her mind. Within a few seconds, she saw a lady dressed in vibrant pink. She wore a knowing smile, and her eyes were bright with a lust for life.

She lived a long and happy life before passing on at 108 years old. However, Shannon felt that she had a message for her and that the dress was something that would change her life.

Shannon couldn’t help feeling what she thought was the truth, but she needed a way to prove it. But she wondered if she had it in her to get the answers she was looking for.

She told herself that she needed sufficient evidence, but she needed more. There was a family secret that she needed to dive into, which would lead to a lot more than she had asked for.

Shannon was startled by how that one word had shaken up so much within her. Her mind was racing as she hurried home to speak to her mother and was relieved to find her waiting.

Shannon needed to know what her mother thought about what she had found and prayed that she could help her find the answers she needed. She handed the dress to her mother but was surprised to see her face go paper white.

Mrs. Hiramoto was shaken by the word written on the label. She was disbelieving as she looked between her daughter and the dress. There was no hiding the flood of emotions that wracked through her body.

Shannon grew concerned when her mother’s hands started to tremble. She hadn’t realized how much of an impact the word would have on her mother. The word had been a name, and she realized now that there was a lot more to it than she had thought.

The previous owner had written a name inside the garment – “Kamei.” Shannon watched her mother’s face change once the realization dawned on her, and she couldn’t help the nervous shivers she felt.

She knew of many Hawaiian names, but not many people had that name that had been written. She had never met anyone with that name, let alone heard of one.

Shannon’s told her mother how she had stumbled upon the dress, and she listened, dumbstruck. Shannon let her recover before carefully inspecting the dress again. Then, Mrs. Hiramoto began to nod slowly — conceding that Shannon’s hunch could be correct about the dress’ previous owner.

Shannon’s mother paused to think for a second before disappearing into the next room. When she reappeared, she had a stack of photo albums in her arms. The pair began to examine each photo, and Shannon’s heart leaped with every turn of the page.

Shannon knew the chances of finding what she was looking for were slim to none, but she had to start somewhere. But when they eventually came to the end of the albums, they still hadn’t found the answer.

Defeated, and with no more photographs, Shannon felt deflated. She was no closer to solving this mystery than when she’d started. She came to grips with the fact that she may never know the truth now. But unbeknown to Shannon, her mother hadn’t given up.

Shannon had searched through the old photo albums for an entire day, but they had found nothing. She had all but given up hope. 

She knew that her wild notion had been far-fetched, but she couldn’t help but feel disappointed when her search yielded nothing. Then, she saw a message from her mother that made her heart soar.

A few days after Shannon had talked with her mother, she got the text. Her mother had sent her the photograph that she had always known about but had forgotten.

“And it’s this, and it’s her. It’s a full-body shot, and I was just so excited! My mom said it was the last photo in the last album she looked at.” Now, Shannon knew for sure. The muumuu had actually belonged to her beloved great-grandmother.

“But it also had handwritten Kamei on it, and it blew my mind because that’s my great-grandmother’s name. Her last name.” Born in Kekaha back in 1904, Shannon’s great-grandmother’s name was Florence Shizuko Kamei.

She could hardly believe it! The unbelievable coincidence of finding her dress all after all these years was absolutely mind-blowing. But the wise woman still had a message to deliver.

Shannon recalled how well-known her great-grandmother was among the locals on the island, explaining that she’d even been a celebrity of sorts. 

“One of her legacies is that when she passed, she was the oldest person in Hawaii at age 108! When she died, they announced it on the radio and news!” But what was the woman’s secret to a long, happy life? The answer is simple…

“Green tea and hobbies,” Shannon remembers with a laugh. But Shannon’s mother remembers more. She remembers her wearing long flowing dresses, and if she wasn’t already laughing, there was always a smile at the corners of her lips.

Great-grandmother Kamei was a happy woman, and she loved to sing and play her ukulele in the church choir. Her great passion for family, food, and fun lives on in Shannon.

Shannon’s great-grandmother was an inspiration throughout her life, so much so that she even named her daughter after her.

The name means “quiet child” in Japanese, but neither great-grandmother Kamei nor Shannon’s daughter had quiet personalities!

During the last few days, Shannon scrutinized her early memories for this particular pink dress. She was sure that she could even recall seeing her great-grandmother wearing it. But she admits that memories can be deceiving. “It seemed familiar, but in this memory way,” she explains.

But even now, she still isn’t absolutely sure if it was a true memory or if she had just wanted it to be one so badly.

In that earth-shattering photo, Shannon’s great-grandmother poses in that very same muumuu that Shannon had discovered. The photo was taken in the historic county of Hanapepe, in front of her church, The United Church of Christ.

“What’s really special about it is she’s there,” Shannon said. “Her ashes, her remains are in the back of the church there, so it was like visiting her again.”

Shannon reveals: “She passed five years ago, so I have no idea where it had been between that point and now.” But what does Shannon think about finding the beloved muumuu after all this time?

She says: “It’s magic!”

Shannon believes that she found the dress for a very important reason that is far more meaningful than just a happy coincidence.

She believes in her heart that it was a special message from her precious great-grandmother. “I think it’s just her way of telling me I’m on the right track,” she explains.

“I’ve come full circle and feel like she is smiling down on me or at least giggling,” Shannon confided in an interview with the local news station. She plans to keep the muumuu in her family as a precious heirloom. And when her daughter is big enough to wear it, she will tell her its amazing story.

The absolute serendipity of Shannon finding such an important family treasure in a thrift store is priceless, and what happened next almost proves that her beloved great-grandmother still plays a part in her family’s daily lives. 

Shannon’s amazing story about the miraculous muumuu made international headlines, making her and her clothing store, Machinemachine famous and giving her business a big boost. 

It was almost as though her great-grandmother still had a hand in ensuring her great-granddaughter’s success. After all, Shannon may never have developed a deep passion for fashion and muumuus if it weren’t for her.

Shannon’s grandmother, Mildred Hiramoto, learned to sew from her mother, Kamei. She then passed her knowledge down to Shannon and taught her how to sew at the age of 14. 

On Shannon’s business website, she says that sewing is a way for her to stay close to her grandmother. Every time Shannon threads a needle, she feels both women’s love.

“My grandmother passed in 2011, and I miss her every day —sewing is one way to keep her spirit close. I started my company/experiment called Machinemachine in 2007 and am continually excited about meeting customers and making things every day!” Shannon wrote on her website. 

In 2016, Shannon moved her shop to a new space and started working with her father, Charlie. But they are not just creating muumuus.

Shannon is extremely environmentally-conscious and uses vintage, upcycled, and donated fabrics to make her fashion creations, and her father prints them by hand – which makes them even more unique and special. 

As a testament to the clothes’ comfort, customers often write, “I live in this dress!” in their reviews. But Shannon’s not just keeping her grandmother, and great-grandmother’s spirits close – she’s also keeping her culture alive.

After Shannon’s incredible story of serendipity went viral on social media, people all over the world became curious about muumuus and their significance in Hawaiian culture. 

Shannon and the matriarchs in her family don’t just love muumuus for their style, colors, and comfort, the connection to these particular garments goes much, much deeper than that.  

The muumuu is actually a powerful symbol of freedom from oppression in Hawaiian culture. The story of muumuus begins in the 1820s – when Christian Protestant missionaries arrived on the island. 

At the time, native South Pacific women wore scanty clothes to stay cool in the heat. However, the missionaries had a big problem with that. 

The missionaries wanted to cover up as much of the Hawaiian women’s skin as possible. They introduced a two-piece ensemble that consisted of a “holoku” – a floor-length undergarment dress with a high collar – and an outer dress called a “mu’um’u.” 

Of course, these clothes were unbearably warm in the tropical South Pacific heat, so the women eventually adopted the outer “mu’um’u” dress without the underdress, and it evolved into what it is today. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.


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