Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I respond to the question, “So, how long have you lived in Japan?” Twenty years sounds like a long time. A VERY long time. But actually it feels like the blink of an eye, even though in those two decades I got married, gave birth to two children, gave up my teaching career in an international school, became a qualified Sogetsu Ikebana teacher-trainer and launched my own jewellery brand.
It all began with ‘serious’ materials such as gold, silver, semi-precious and precious stones and my training in classical jewellery techniques, commercial jewellery production and diamond setting. Yet my love of vintage and the desire to inject colour into my work drew me towards using vintage kimono as the main material in my designs. I rarely solder anything these days and much prefer to work with the softer stuff.
I realised that having a a strong product was not enough to drive sales, so I spent time developing my brand, networking and essentially growing my tribe of #bikufans. My pieces are bought by women in business who are looking for unique statement pieces, busy mums who want to feel put-together on the school run and people who need gifts with a Japanese flair for friends and family back home who are tired of fans and chopsticks.
Just writing it all down, I can see how far I’ve come and I can see how far I’d like to go with developing the Bikudesigns brand. FEW networking events have been crucial in helping me make some amazing connections. The FEW Women’s Start-up Club is an essential part of my business plan for 2017-18 as well as my fabulous Mastermind group who help keep me on track and accountable for my goals.
To find out what’s next for Bikudesigns, follow Victoria on social media or subscribe to her newsletter for updates here: http://www.bikudesigns.com/
Remembering Doreen Simmons, May 29, 1932 – April 23, 2018
Obituary for Doreen Simmons May 29, 1932 – April 23, 2018 It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of one of FEW’s longest patrons and members, the inimitable Doreen Simmons. Ms Simmons died in her sleep in the early hours of April 23, 2018 at age 85. Details of her memorial service […]Published on 26th April 2018
Q&A with Catherine O’Connell and Naoko Matsuzaki
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Lessons from the Lawyers,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Catherine O’Connell, a bilingual New Zealand lawyer and founder of Catherine O’Connell Law, and Naoko Matsuzaki, Director, International Anti-Corruption and Global Intelligence for PwC Japan’s Forensic Services Group. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into […]Published on 10th April 2018
Special Event Recap: The Essence of Belly Dance Workshop with Sara Amira
FEW’s March Special Event, “The Essence of Belly Dance Workshop,” was hosted by belly dancer Sara Amira at the Belly Dance Arts studio close to Omotesando, whose team generously allowed us to use their beautiful space for this workshop Sara started by telling the participants about her personal journey and how she first got into […]Published on 5th April 2018
April 2018 Strategic Partner Member Offers and Other News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners 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 provide professional and personal services […]Published on 5th April 2018
March 2018 Monthly Meeting Recap: Celebrating Women as Change Agents in Post-Disaster Tohoku
In honor of International Women’s month and the 7th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, we welcomed Megumi Ishimoto, Executive Director of NPO Women’s Eye, and Dr. Jackie F. Steele, a political scientist at the University of Tokyo, to share the stories and challenges of the amazing women change agents in post-disaster Tohoku. Neither […]Published on 5th April 2018
Yoyogi Park Outdoor Drawing Workshop with Divya Marie Kato
Join us for this members-exclusive special event where Strategic Partner Divya Marie Kato will offer a daytime drawing experience in Yoyogi Park to help rekindle your creativity and boost your confidence in sketching.
May 2018 Women's Start-Up Club: Cyber Security
Mark your calendars for May 30 to round up our series on Building an Online Presence with the ever important theme of Cyber Security with speaker Nicola Vote of McAfee. More information to follow soon!
May Midweek Lunch Mixer at Citron
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering. In May, we'll be meeting again at Parisian-style salad bar, Citron, in Gaienmae!
FEW 20th Career Strategies Seminar (CSS): AMPLIFY!
Join us on June 2 for AMPLIFY, a transformational and inspirational day-long event full of seminars, workshops and networking opportunities to help you elevate your career to new heights.
Radical Boundaries Workshop with Sarah Furuya: How to Say No to Make Way for YES
Due to its high popularity, we are offering the Radical Boundaries Workshop again. Join us for an exclusive workshop with Sarah Furuya on developing techniques to say 'no' in order to devote your time and attention to the things and people you truly love.