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: .


Upcoming Fall 2018 Community Service Events

With the changing of the leaves comes many opportunities to support various NGOs and their efforts. Take a look at the events below and reach out to the organizations through the contact information provided if you’re interested in lending a helping hand! The Big Draw Festival 2018 The world’s largest cross-cultural drawing festival, led by […]

Published on 15th October 2018

Recap: WSC — Creating Your Story & Brand with the Help of Masterminding Groups

“A brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon For the 2018-2019 season, Women’s Startup Club focuses on helping you create YOUR story and brand, kicking off the season with Masterminding—Supporting Your Success. Thirty women from diverse career backgrounds, a wide variety of […]

Published on 7th October 2018

October 2018 Sponsor Offers & Member News

Check out the latest offers and opportunities from our Sponsors and other FEW Community Events here! Our Sponsors are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. Visit our Sponsors page to learn more about all of FEW’s Sponsors, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services benefiting […]

Published on 30th September 2018

September Monthly Meeting Recap – Rina Bovrisse

From Prada Epicenter to Court Battle…and How She Persists Rina Bovrisse, a former fashion industry leader who sued her employer – Prada Japan – for discrimination and sexual harassment in 2009 and, eventually, lost her fashion career due that suit, shared her inspiring journey at the FEW Monthly Meeting in September. Now running her own […]

Published on 26th September 2018

July Monthly Meeting Recap – Ama Divers

Living at the pace of the ocean In July, FEW welcomed professor Anne McDonald from Sophia University to share the stories of Ama divers, female free divers of Japan, during the Monthly Meeting. McDonald has been researching the Ama communities by interviewing the members and taking part in their daily life – even diving into […]

Published on 26th September 2018