Blooming in Japan - new direction and a big update

Visit my new site

Welcome to Blooming in Japan. You'll see a few changes have taken place.
  1. I am not updating much anymore. There are over 2000 posts here to read if you care to.
  2. I'd love you visit me at Mee a I'm blogging occasionally there and of course I am still making bags!
Last year I started working on a site called Bloomiary. My hope was to inspire women in a similar situation to mine to make a go of it - start a blog, open an Etsy shop, open their own language cafe, write a book, or set up a Facebook fan page.

I am still passionate about that goal and it is all coming together at my site JacquiMiyabayashiCreative - where heart and soul marketing happens.

I know a lot of you have watched my self-made career and wondered how I do it. My secrets are all slowly being revealed and I confess to you that my dream to expand this small idea into a full-blown consulting firm is happening It's happening, it really is. Thanks so much for your support.

So many people have come to me asking about my cafe classes Chatty Cafe - where I provide a warm and welcoming environment for people to practice their English. I am in the process of designing a Chatty Cafe How-to. I might even franchise the idea! I am currently hosting nine classes a month for groups of between three and five, mainly women. I have baked literally hundreds of cakes in the past seven years and my core client base remains virtually unchanged in that time. Good cake, great chats and delicious coffee have been my winners.

As for bags, I recently hit 750 sales in my Etsy shop. Wow! It doesn't seem like that many but when you think about it I have bought the fabric, cut them out, sewn them, photographed them, done all the marketing that goes along with selling them, packaged them and taken them to the post office. Going to the post office is still a dreaded task for me despite the ladies there being so kind and friendly. I don't know why I dislike it?

In the past I also sold bags wholesale - that means I sold them to shop owners who then sold them in their own shops. This was a fun activity but ultimately a lot of work. It's hard to sell in bulk and make a profit since each of my bags is made entirely by hand. It's difficult to streamline the process to the degree that each bag is not a very time-consuming process.

I also think that a lot of my customers love my bags because they love to connect with me and my story. Each bag is very personal to me, I've laboured over the choices and made sure that each bag is in keeping with my personal philosophy: handmade in Japan, all natural materials, no commercial characters, imagination-inspiring designs. Somehow this gets 'lost in translation' when the bags are seen in shops around the world. The connection just isn't there.

That said I do work with a wonderful mummy in Australia who really gets my philosophy, Kylie at How we Montessori is my only outside stockist. She is amazing. and she stocks a few of my bags.

That brings you all up to date. Life is good! We're in a very happy place. My kids are doing really well. Biggie / Noodle just started Junior High School and loves it. Little Guy is in the second grade and is blasting the other kids out of the water in his swimming class. He's gone from level 23 to level 6 in just two years - now he's mastering BUTTERFLY!

I'm still swimming. And doing aquarobics. Mr. Mee a Bee is looking fabulous with his back troubles behind him, hopefully for good. He's walking a lot and playing golf again (on the company dime!)

I'd love to keep in touch. My Facebook page for people who are interested in running their own creative businesses - sewing, photography, design, baking, etc is Jacqui Miyabayashi Creative . For mums and families who love incredibly cute bags then visit Mee a Bee.

Thank you! Jacqui

1 comment:

  1. HI Jacqi, I've been following your blog for a few years now, ever since I found it while I lived in Japan. I've always admired how you were able to manage life, your then little business, family, and even your chatty cafe. I am so happy to see how your business has grown and developed. Not a big commenter I do like to check in from time to time to make suue you are still going strong. You are looking for guinea pigs? Can you send me more details? I may be interested. I have also signed up for your newsletter, and looking forward to your tips.
    Keep up the good work.


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