Sunday, October 21, 2007

clips, clips, clips

Before getting married, I worked part-time as a demonstrator. What I did was lug 4 pots of brewed coffees, cups and condiments and set up my table at various grocery stores around Oahu and also at ABC's in Waikiki.

It was quite a rough job, having to lug everything around by myself, standing up for 3 or 4 hours at a time, no bathroom or food breaks. Everything had to fit in my two-seater, which usually only left seating for me. But it was a great job, I got to learn about how to brew coffee, how to taste it and how to sell it. Another thing that was great was all the people I met while giving out samples. Sure, there were those who just wanted something to wash down the cookie samples, and others who had some coffee with their cream and sugar, but there were others who truly loved coffee and loved to chat with me about it. There were even "regulars" who would come and bring me pieces of candy or take some of the cookie samples and give them to me. These people helped me kill time when sales and traffic were slow.

Then Starbucks came into Hawaii and gave all the local brands a run for their money. Back then, I was anti-Starbucks wouldn't drink or go into their stores. Now that I live in Japan, Starbucks is the only place I can enjoy a decent cup without distraction from the smell of tobacco or annoying smoke. But whenever I go home to Hawaii, I always pick up bags of Lion, they make good omiyage (souvenirs) for family and friends here in Japan.

The reason I'm writing this is to talk about the clip that comes with the bag of coffee. While I was with the company, the clips had raised designs and came in many different colors. I was disappointed to find that the clips have recently lost their raised designs, probably due to cost cuts. Can you see the difference?

With recycling and all that, I wanted to share some of the ways that I use them. The most obvious way I use them are for open bags of tea or chips.

I've also used them to make a hat holder--tie a string between two clips and use one clip to clip onto your hat and another clip to clip onto you. Your hat will stay with you even if the wind blows it off.

My most resourceful way happened quite accidentally when we first moved to Japan. Whenever you move into an apartment or house in Japan, they do not have curtains or curtain rails. Without curtains up, you can see everyone and everyone can see you. Not having curtains is also kind of a sign, if you don't see curtains up, most times it is because the apartment or home is vacant.

So, when we first moved to Japan, there were no curtains in our apartment. Luckily though, there was a curtain rail. Since I needed something to block people from seeing into our apartment and also from having the sun shine brightly in, I took all the clips off of the packages of coffee I had packed for us and attached a paper clip into each hole at the top of the clip. I then clipped the long beach towels I packed and voila! we had curtains to tide us over until we were able to buy some.

Does your coffee or tea come with a clip? What do you do with them? I would love to hear about the ways you use your clips.


Parisbreakfasts said...

What a terrific story Kat!
Please tell us more about your lurid past. How interesting..
I've discovered that Starbucks in Paris is considered chic. French people here love the non-fumeur atmosphere! When I visited Japan eons ago I couldn't believe all the different kinds of coffee (co-hee) you could order! They were the FIRST on the coffee variety bandwagon!!
Merci Kat :)

Anonymous said...

I've never even heard of coffee or tea that comes with a clip. Is it a Hawaii thing? Great idea though.

K and S said...

Thanks Carol! I hope to bring more stories to the table :)

Hmm, I wonder if you may be right, Amy. It may be a Hawaii thing.

Take care you two.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kat,

I hoard these clips like there's no tomorrow! Great post!

K and S said...

Thanks T! and thanks for stopping by.

Take care.

Unknown said...


Nice story. Give our coffee a try next time. Send a note with the online order and we'll give you a pile of clips for free!


K and S said...

Thanks Albert/Maria!

Take care and thanks for stopping by.

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Oh my gosh! I have a ton of those things...from when my hubby (before we were married) lived in Hawaii! I should use them for curtain clips...such a clever idea!

K and S said...

I hope you get to use them Caffienated Cowgirl!

Thanks for stopping by and take care!


Monique said...

I guess these clips are a Hawaiian thing, never saw them with the coffees here or in North America. A great thing though!

K and S said...

I'm kind figuring that out Monique, oh well, hopefully more companies come out with them :)

Take care.