News

How I Got Here: Victoria Close

Victoria Close Profile PhotoSometimes 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/

Biku Designs Collage

News

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