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/
May 2018 FEW Women’s Start-Up Club Recap: The Importance of Cyber Security to Entrepreneurs
In our May Women’s Start-Up Club, Nicola Vote of McAfee shed light on how entrepreneurs can protect their customers and also protect their reputation and business online. And she managed to leave us all well informed, alert yet a bit “scared”, too. Let’s jump into some definitions and which aspects are important when it […]Published on 24th June 2018
Special Event Recap – Radical Boundaries Workshop with Sarah Furuya
FEW’s June Special Event Workshop, took place on June 21st, 2018 at H&R Roppongi and was run by Sarah Furuya, FEW Strategic Partner, long-time member and former president who works as a life & executive coach, facilitator and mentor, supporting particularly women in achieving their goals and realizing their dreams. Her workshop “Radical Boundaries: […]Published on 24th June 2018
Q&A with Cynthia Usui, author and Head of Hospitality, Tokyo 2020 Olympics, The Coca-Cola Company
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Breaking the Mold: Finding New Beginnings at Any Age,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Cynthia Usui, author of 専業主婦が就職するまでにやっておくべき8つのこと (Eight things Full-Time Housewives Should Do Before Entering the Workforce) and Head of Hospitality, Tokyo 2020 Olympics, The Coca-Cola Company. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to […]Published on 7th June 2018
June 2018 Strategic Partner Member Offers and 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 6th June 2018
May 2018 Monthly Meeting Recap: Stronger Together: FEW x FAJ
Who knew that our members had so many hidden talents? The first joint event with FEW and FAJ — the group for French-speaking professional women in Tokyo — on May 15 unveiled quite few surprises as we listened to presentations about their work, projects, lives, experiences and aspirations. Members of both associations are involved in […]Published on 5th June 2018
Women's Start-Up Club: Branding with Archetypes
Come along to the final Women's Start-Up Club meeting of the FEW year where we'll discuss the classic brand archetypes and how to choose the right archetype for your business.
Midweek Lunch Mixer
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering at Royal Garden Cafe in Shibuya.
Mentoring Moments Senpai Brunch: Finding Love in Japan
Join us for our next Mentoring Moments Senpai Brunch on dating and cross-cultural relationships in Japan.
The Powerful Sea Nomads of Japan: The Legacy & Lessons of the Ama Free Divers
Join us as Anne McDonald discusses the unique history of Japanese Ama divers and shares insights from these strong women about sisterhood, protecting tradition and the environment, and preserving the Ama way of life.