How I Got Here: Armanda Smit

Armanda Smit Profile PhotoWhen I was younger and had to choose a university, all I knew was that I had to learn ‘something international.’ So, I went to an Institute for International Studies, learned about doing business across different cultures, and lived in France and Cuba. Afterwards, I worked in several international companies and became a Sustainability Consultant.

A few years after meeting my husband, I became pregnant with our first child, and we moved to Manila for his job. It took me some time to get used to being a full-time parent in a tropical country. Then, we moved to Bangkok, where I joined a mothers group as a volunteer for the charities commission.  We moved once more, this time to Tokyo. After giving birth to our second child, I found the opportunity to start a business of my own: my goal was to start a local branch of NOOX Designs, which designs child-safe fabric souvenirs for ‘tiny grown-ups.’

After conducting my own feasibility research, I joined FEW and the FEW Women’s Start-Up Club. The resources and women from these groups helped me find inspiration, motivation, support and practical information to launch my business. I then started ordering my own stock and creating sales channels.

I really enjoy having my own business. Although of course it can be hard to start from the ground up, I also find it challenging and satisfying. It’s such a pleasure to realize that I have accomplished something great that I initially had no clue about!

Unfortunately, my family and I will be moving from Tokyo at the end of this month. I cannot take NOOX Tokyo with me, but I would LOVE it if someone else in Tokyo would take over and enjoy the role as I have. If you would like to run your own business and have the freedom to manage your own products and time along with the support of a group of ladies across Asia, please check and contact me for more information!

You can learn more about NOOX and contact Armanda at: .


Recap: Mentoring Moments – Finding Love in Japan

The third and final Mentoring Moments event for the year was held, Sunday, July 8th at the Kiwi Kitchen in Hiroo.   Despite the sweltering heat, eight ladies came to ask questions to three FEW members about finding love in Japan and the subsequent situations that stem from cross-cultural dating and married life. Married ladies […]

Published on 21st August 2018

Strategic Partner Spotlight: Warm Hearts Coffee Club

The Warm Hearts Coffee Club is a community of coffee lovers based in Japan. Since April of this year we deliver freshly-roasted coffee to households & offices all over Japan & provide a connection between the coffee growers, the coffee’s country of origin and our community members. We do this by supporting organic & fair […]

Published on 8th August 2018

Appointment of 2018-2019 FEW Japan Board of Directors

Following approval by the current Board of Directors and majority vote of the regular membership, FEW Japan is delighted to announce the appointment of 15 new and returning members to the FEW Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 FEW year, effective September 1, 2018.  These outstanding individuals bring to FEW unique experience, expertise and capabilities as […]

Published on 1st August 2018

Recap: June FEW Women’s Start-Up Club – Branding with Archetypes  

During the last WSC of this season Marci Kobayashi took us on a journey to “Find your Archetype for your branding”. The overall goal is to “Transform your brand and your overall online presence into a genuine reflection of who you are personally, and professionally, from the inside out, not outside in.” Branding by Archetypes […]

Published on 28th July 2018

July Community Service Feature: Japan Association for Refugees (JAR)

Numerous crises around the globe have forced men, women, and children to seek safety and asylum as refugees in foreign lands. Refugees are individuals who have been forced to leave their home country due to political or religious persecution, violence, war, or natural disaster. According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the United States, Saudi […]

Published on 26th July 2018