I’ll never forget the moment I found out we were moving to Japan because I nearly burned dinner. While my husband and I had been looking to move out of the United States and out of our native Michigan, Asia wasn’t on our radar. It just seemed too far, too hard, too removed from everything we were used to.
But now, almost three years later, I can’t imagine having chosen another path. We made the move to a place where every daily task can come with its own unique challenge, and we’ve become better people for it.
For me, the hardest part was leaving behind a career that had taken so long to get going. Many people I encountered expected me to do little more than go shopping and socialize as a steadfast, silent cheerleader for my husband. Taking the first steps to put myself out there was a challenge that left me wrecked by anxiety some days, but it was through the amazing women I’ve met in Japan that I found my place here and pulled myself away from the draw of comfortable stagnation. They kept their ears open for job opportunities, passed along names and email addresses and set me up on blind friend dates. They checked on me when I was sick and invited me to spend holidays with them.
Joining FEW was a first for me as well, but I was welcomed with open arms. The genuine interest in helping one another succeed flies in the face of awful stereotypes associated with women. We’re not here to compete with each other but to propel each other forward. And that’s a beautiful thing.
I’ve accomplished more professionally and personally in these three years than I ever thought possible. Each little milestone has served as a reminder of the strength, determination and grace inherent in all women . . . we just have to tap into it.
Q&A with Rina Bovrisse, activist and founder of the Chateau School
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting – The Accidental Activist : From Chanel to Governor of Tokyo? – we’re featuring a quick Q&A with speaker Rina Bovrisse. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Join us for an insightful discussion next Wednesday, September 12, as Rina […]Published on 9th September 2018
Insider Intel on the Japan Market Expansion Competition
When the opportunity to apply for a Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) scholarship through FEW arose, FEW members Jane Szafraniec (pictured center left) and Nina Cataldo (pictured center) jumped at the opportunity. To understand the full extent of why this was such an amazing space to be in, they’ve shared what JMEC is, their experiences […]Published on 7th September 2018
Event Recap: TELL & FEW Presents The Feminine Eye
On Saturday, August 8th, a group of 11 people interested in learning more about photography gathered at the National Art Center in Roppongi for a women-led photo walk by Selena Hoy, TELL Outreach Coordinator and FEW Community Services Director Tia Haygood, who also is a professional photographer of TopTia Photography.Published on 3rd September 2018
September 2018 Strategic Partner Member Offers & Other News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners and other FEW Community Events here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also […]Published on 27th August 2018
How I got Here: Kirsten O’Connor
I decided at age 7, quite resolutely that I wanted to be a teacher. All my decisions thereafter created the path to a teaching qualification, a first teaching post in London, a promotion and then the biggest decision of all – to apply for a teaching job overseas. In Japan no less. Accepting a […]Published on 27th August 2018
Masterminding – Supporting your Success
People buy things because they like the story behind the brand. YOUR story is a key element to your success. Join us as we kick-off the fifth season of the FEW Women's Start-Up Club focusing on the overarching theme of shaping Your Business Story.
FEW Fundraiser Event with Strategic Partner Mom in Balance Tokyo
Start your Sunday with an energetic and fun workout in Yoyogi Park hosted by instructors and FEW members Julie Mangen and Tanja Kinnen from Mom in Balance Tokyo.
October 2018 Members Exclusive Wine Night
Join FEW for our twice-yearly members-exclusive wine night, courtesy of our Strategic Partner Oakwood Premier Midtown. Come along, network, and share your stories around a nice glass of wine in the stunning ambiance of the resident's lounge!
Midweek Lunch Mixer
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering at Blu Jam Cafe in Daikanyama!
Note: The Lunch Mixer will take place on a Wednesday!