I'm Jacqui, a New Zealander living in Osaka, Japan. I've lived here since 1996. I have two children: Biggie also known as Noodle (14) and Little Guy (9).

We love the outdoors, especially the sea. We travel when we can, mainly back to New Zealand to see the family but we hope to do more in the future. Our next big trip might be to Australia or even Canada! We are recent converts to the joys of skiing and snowboarding.

As a family we like to go to the beach, we also visit our local mountain, Mt. Inunaki, as often as we can. Hiking, bush walks and picnics by the river and waterfalls are a favourite Sunday activity. The kids recently got fishing rods. We have also tried our hands at camping here in Japan. Unfortunately our schedules and the weather have conspired against us fairly often but we love it. I swim at the gym in the Masters Club and regularly attend the Aquarobics classes. We also enjoy cycling and are lucky to live in a relatively flat area with tons to see and do by bike.

My blog: I started this blog about six years ago as a means to discovering what my life's purpose might be. You can read all about my start as Ms. Blooming here in the first post.

A year later things were going really well. I wrote this update. Keeping this blog and having the support of a wonderful group of readers helped me start not one but two small businesses. It's all documented on this blog.

In 2007 I discovered Etsy. My first order was for some personalised stationery from 12fifteen as a birthday present for my sister, Sally. The service and quality was so amazing I became a huge fan of Etsy, handmade sellers and letterpress. I really wanted to open my own shop. For a while I contemplated making cards to sell ... it was a lot harder than it looks.

Around the same time I was also sewing for myself and for Biggie's kindergarten craft fair.
Somehow I found out about a great book, Craft INC by Meg Mateo Ilasco, which is all about how to turn your creative hobby into a business. I started looking into Etsy more seriously by first researching a market niche that I could slot into. Again my readers were really supportive of the idea.

In October 2007 I opened my Etsy store Mee a Bee with one product, a Japanese craft magazine, that I never sold. I did a bit of research and chose to focus on items for children using Japanese fabrics. I made my first sales in November 2007 and was hooked!

My other business venture is Chatty Cafe a conversation class for English learners in my area. I give small groups an opportunity to practice their English in my home. We laugh, chat and eat my homemade cakes.

I have a degree in Marketing from the University of Waikato.

♥ I have a Facebook page for Mee a Bee.
connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.