Support Umeko Motoyoshi and Umeshiso’s Future

Tl:dr version: Umeshiso needs your help to fund new projects and give me (Umeko) some much-needed time off!

I’m Umeko Motoyoshi, founder of Umeshiso, home of the rainbow cupping spoon. I’m asking you for help to support the future of Umeshiso and my personal well-being today.

About Me and Rainbow Spoons!

I’ve worked in coffee for the last 15 years. I’m nonbinary, mixed race, disabled, neurodivergent, and a proud gaysian. Over the last three years, I built Umeshiso from a small project I used to heal myself to a successful business dedicated to helping others in coffee feel welcome and make the future a little brighter (and a little gayer).

I started Umeshiso in 2019 because I was traumatized by working in abusive environments. I needed to create a safe environment where I could thrive and be myself.

At first, I made rainbow-colored cupping spoons for free for my friends. Traditionally, cupping spoons are regular silver soup spoons, but Umeshiso spoons are an intentional visual reminder that everyone is welcome to the table. I’d bring these spoons to coffee tastings to remind myself that I belonged, and it turned out that others resonated with the intention and drive behind the spoons.

Soon my project became Umeshiso Coffee Supply, LLC and I quit my day job. Three years later, we are a team of three. We make all types of spoons in fun and exciting colors and we recently launched gay chopsticks. Next we'll round out our silverware essentials with forks and knives.

You can learn more about Umeshiso here.

People Like Us!

We’ve been featured in Forbes, New York Magazine, Sprudge, Barista Magazine, and Standart (among others). We have partnered with some of the most prestigious brands and organizations throughout the coffee industry, such as Onyx Coffee Lab, Miir, and Glitter Cat Barista.

Our products have been used by the 2022 United States Barista Champion and TikTok star Morgan Eckroth, social media coffee influencer Lance Hedrick, and YouTube creator and 2007 World Barista Champion James Hoffmann.

We make products and initiatives that make marginalized people feel welcome and help improve the future of coffee. In the last three years, we’ve launched:

We also feature a rotating selection of art, writing, and other work from BIPOC coffee professionals.

We’re always working on new things to make people feel like they have a place in coffee and deserve to take up space, but we also focus on making things that are functional and useful for all. For example, Bon Appetit declared our Little Dipper The Best Spoon last year. “There’s nothing I’d rather use while cooking, tasting, eating—or anything else you can do with a spoon,” writes Chris Morocco, who can be seen around the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen with an Umeshiso spoon in his apron. Our chopsticks have found their way into the Test Kitchen too!

Umeshiso’s Future and Beyond!

We grew to a two-person team last year and added a third person to the team this year. As we grow, our priority remains the emotional safety of our work environment and the positive experiences of our customers.

As a business, we believe community is everything. We give back as much as possible and prioritize people above profit. We support ten nonprofit organizations monthly and give back through fundraising and product donations. We also offer all of our products on a sliding scale, which allows low-wage workers to access the tools they need.

We want to continue to grow, give back, and put out fun and beautiful products for you. We want to continue honing our best practices as a workplace that radically welcomes and accommodates immigrant and neurodiverse team members. We love our business, our customers, and our community—we truly love what we do.

That’s where you can help.

For three years, I’ve worked non stop running Umeshiso. I’m proud of how far we’ve come, but I’m also extremely burnt out, physically sick, and mentally struggling.

I do all of Umeshiso’s sales and marketing, so our revenue depends on me. Because of this, I have not been able to take time off since I had a health emergency last year, and I urgently need to take time for myself. And this comes right when we need to fundraise to launch our line of forks and knives!

So I am fundraising! This fundraiser will:

Fund new products and packaging: as mentioned above, we’ll be launching a line of colorful forks and knives, and need initial capital to purchase and procure stock
Allow me to take much-needed time off: the only time I’ve taken off has been for urgent medical care—I don’t want to get to a place like that again
Pay Umeshiso’s employees for the month: my amazing staff will continue running Umeshiso while I’m away, so this fund will support their salaries.

Over the last three years, we’ve grown without any bank loans or investors. But now, we are ready to move to the next stage and ask for your help. We’re confident that doing business the way we do—putting employees and community first, giving to others, honoring our needs and taking rest—can work, and we need your help to do it.

For three years we have demonstrated that Umeshiso is a thoughtful and kind business with an honest and hardworking team. Umeshiso can glow up, grow, and thrive with your support! And if you can’t support financially, please share with others!

We look forward to more years of filling your drawers with homosexual silverware!
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Umeko M
Kansas City, MO

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