I mainly buy products in Shibuya Tokyu and Shinjuku Isetan.
Those department stores are still quiet, compared to ‘ Before Corona.’ Yet I see some Chinese buyers who speak Japanese very fluently. They seem to be residents in Tokyo, so not many tourist yet.
Whatever the reason is, Japan COVID situation did not get worse. The Government of Japan has decided to accept foreign travelers of short-time stay now.
I reckon Japan will accept tourists in general soon.
I observed one Chinese buyer who was buying lots of SUQQU eyelash curlers. Do they sell SUQQU eyelash curlers in China very well? It is about 20USD. There may be some secrets in marketing. I need to learn how to sell it)
I don’t think I am good at advertising a product. I take a picture and post it to instagram and online shop.
The other thing is that I don’t do makeup so it is hard to know what people want.
So I talk to shops and Kumano brush makers, and get as much information as possible.
Mostly importantly, I value your feedback. Thank you)
Yesterday, I visited some brands who was displaying holiday collections.
They can customize brushes. That is unique as a fude maker.
They say the business is small, and they try to cope with customer needs.
You can contact them directly or you can use me) Please let me know.
It is difficult to write a blog every day. You see I don’t write a blog daily even though I want to.
I find it easier to write every day than to write e.g. weekly. It is easier if I make it a rule.
I haven’t come to this stage yet.
I try, and I try to write when I find a chance.
I tried to write a blog at cafe last night.
Two groups sat next to me in turn.
Though I tried not to listen, some words were heard, lol.
The first one was a business group.
An old guy, seemingly an eyeshadow manufacturer, was asking a lady, who seems to be a seller, for her opinion.
She put several eyeshadows and was telling him her opinions. And she was happily telling him that she had recently gotten married.
She was saying to him,
her husband is a Spanish. He is 195cm tall. He is a lawyer. He asked her father first for his permission, not to her. (the old guy said, ‘wow really?”) He left Japan without any decision, but later they met in London. Now they are married in Japan.
The second group are two ladies. One lady was asking the other for her opinion on how she could have her boyfriend propose to her. She and her boyfriend live together. She was not happy that it took long for him to make a decision.
It was a strategy session, lol.
I came back home and did some search. I thought I could write something as a blog.
I found some numbers. In Japan, 24 % of men at 50 years old have never got married. (14% for women)
It is in a square shape, the first time in Kumano history.
Kihtisu wants to put a French name as they did to their previous brushes.
I told them that my clients would prefer kanji (喜筆）name or product name in Japanese.
These brushes will be made by Koyudo as usual, with goat hair.
Please let me know if you prefer Kanji, Hiragana or English or French etc.
It would be interesting to know.
Fupa01 is now out of stock, but Kihitsu will ask Koyodo to produce it.
It will take a month or so. I will keep you updated.
I wonder if you prefer 喜筆 to Kihitsu (please see the picture above) .
The handle is darker than the Koyudo fupa01.
Do you think this color is fine ?
I was informed by Koyumo,
the cheek brushes of Gradation, Pearl White and Pearl Pink are now out of stock.
They will be back but take a few months.
(the middle one is a cheek brush of Pearl Pink )
I want to write about my experience when I broke my limitation.
Please skip if not interested, it is totally unrelated to brushes.
Many people study hard or focus on sports and do their best at some point of their life.
That is good.
I didn’t do much till I began to work.
I tried to find how easily or efficiently I could live through school.
I avoided studying long hours.
When I was at elementary school, there were mountains and a river in my town near Hiroshima City – just played there, right after school till a crow cried. (Japanese expression to describe ‘getting dark’)
When I was at a junior high school, I studied hard but it was only several months.
When I was at a high school, I did not study.
When I was at university, I studied only to an extent that I was able to graduate.
On graduating from a university, I wanted to work for a company where I would have an opportunity to work internationally.
I remember I applied to following companies.
And some more that I don’t remember.
Born and raised in Hiroshima, I wanted to work for a company in Tokyo or Hiroshima, but Hiroshima has only Mazda. I was not really interested in cars, LOL.
Makita is in Nagoya, where I have never been.
My choice was either Canon or YKK or Alpine.
I don’t remember how but I ended up in Canon.
At Canon, I chose to work for accounting.
I thought I could work more effectively in accounting, and that I could get a skillset I wanted quickly.
The same way of thinking as before. Avoiding hard work.
The first year was very different from what I had thought.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of work as a rookie.
Canon, though big and multinational, was very Japanese.
Good or bad, Canon ‘educated’ me in a Japanese way. They gave me lots of training, which helped me understand the company.
By the name of OJT, On the Job Training, I worked ‘hard.’
I checked all accounting entries for the main office. There were 3000 to 4000 accounting entries montly, which I needed to check and file.
I heard CPA stands for ‘cut, paste and attach.’ LOL. It was the job I did.
There are lots of positives, though.
I haven’t studied booking keeping so I took a corresponding course. With job experiences, I found it quite interesting. I got to understand accounting.
I liked accounting very much!
Another thing is that I learned that I was able to work hard, LOL.
It was the first time in my life.
I worked from 8am to the last train (12 at night) in Shinjuku.
During the closing seasons, I slept at the office. CFO had a nice sofa and I slept there. I needed to wake up before he came.
I was always wondering why only me…
It was only me working at 12am in the 23rd floor in the middle of Shinjuku.
After several months, I got used to it and learned how to finish my job in a short time.
The second year was much easier.
This experience made me a person who wasn’t surprised at the amount of works. After that, I got many other jobs, but I always looked back the first year, and was able to believe that I could do.
I have an opinion that the amount of work needs to be allocated fairly.
Even with this experience, I am opposed to the Japanese way.
On a personal level, though, it was my first time to work to my capacity and break it. That way, work life after that becomes something I can handle.
My way of thinking is not very Japanese, and I don’t think it is good to give one person more jobs than others.
But, on a personal level, I appreciated it very much.
I don’t spend more than one hour gym, rather I go there every day.
If it is a hard exercise, I will end up with going once or twice a week. Eventually, I don’t get to go to gym at all. So I have decided to make it short and simple. This has been working well for me so far.
Then, I went to a dentist for cleaning teeth after three months. Obviously, two months of lockdown made it difficult to go there.
By the way, we have (too) many dentists in Japan or Tokyo. Therefore, it is a hard industry to survive, and dentists have become so gentle, LOL.
When I was a kid in a small town in Hiroshima, there were very very few dentists so that it was hard to choose a good one or I was not able to choose….
Another hard one is a taxi driver. They are very nice compared to a decade ago.
Anyway, my dentist has a son studying in USA, and I spent time on talking with him about his son. He has just left Japan, so I asked how the airport was.
Empty, he said.
His son is playing golf at university, and I think it very helpful to get him immersed into a different culture. Something in common.
Then I went to body piercing shop in Shinjuku. It was in Alta, in front of Shinjuku Station.
Then I visited Isetan to buy the following products.
This liquid foundations is the most popular one, a shop told me.
I asked if one of the eyeshadow palette color is the same as one small eyeshadow.
Then went to Shibuya SUQQU.
It sounds like many trips I made , but actually with subway it was easy.
From Shibuya to Shinjuku, it takes only 10 minutes.
It is 40C in some places in Japan, and I feel I am in sauna….
I received many messages to congratulate on my brushes. Thank you very much!
I want to write the background why I have own products in this blog.
It is normal for business to buy many brushes upfront and sell them till the stock gets zero. Many retailers do this type of business.
I chose not to do so and I have been doing business of buying and selling products only when requested by clients. This is no-inventory business.
It takes time and I sometimes lose opportunities to sell more as I don’t have a stock.
It is, though, risky to keep an inventory as it puts pressure on cash. It also takes time to sell all products or it is not unusual to have many products left in the warehouse (well, maybe a warehouse is not needed for brushes)
As a small start-up business, I wanted to begin small, which allows me to fail or try many times. It is not avoidable to fail when we begin business.
Failure is nature of business.
One win, and nine loses. That is a low winning ratio, but it is how business is.
This time, I decided to have my own products. My current business is to buy many kinds of products, from brushes to makeup, clothes, chocolate … That has been fun, and I will continue to do so because that service can be unique.
But it takes time, and the profits are not good for time spent.
I have come to think it important to have ‘my products’ that will support my business in a long run.
I have been thinking about these products:
White Canadian squirrel
Red Canadian squirrel
Rare products like P-FO.
I want to sell those products, but the hair is so scarce that I need to wait.
So, my brushes are made by Kyureido, which makes some high-end Japanese brands. I trust their qualities, so it is a good start.
Thank you for reading!
These are pictures of ADDICTION eyeshadows, Decorte face powder in December and Guerlain limited lip cases.
Bunshindo is Kawajiri Brush, which is located next to Kumano. Kawajiri has Koyomo brushes, too. Both Kumano and Kawajiri are located in the middle of Hiroshima prefecture.
By the way, Japan has 47 prefectures, the biggest of which is Tokyo. The second is Kanagawa that has Yokohama. Hiroshima Prefecture has only 2.8 million people, which ranks the 12th. So there are many local (small ) prefectures and small cities. Or you can say that Tokyo is too big for local people.
Bunshindo has Kolinsky hair that was bought 30 years ago. It has been kept well for long, which is good for brush.
In Japanese, 古 means ‘old,’ and is pronounced as ‘Ko.’ You may have realized that Koyomo is 古(Ko)羊毛(Yomo) (Yomo means old goat hair)
Now they use it as a brand name.
The Bunshindo web page ranks goat hair as follows: 古細微光鋒 (Ko Saibikoho)
古細光鋒 (Ko Saikoho)
古粗光鋒 (Ko Sokoho)
There are 2 more hair ranking higher than these hairs.
All have a kanji 古 (means old) so it is old hair that is softer and more expensive.
You see many companies: they look like products provided big Kumano brush companies and are sold as own brands.
While I take orders every day, I receive a question daily about brushes and makeup, and it may be interesting to write about it.
Today, I was asked how AB-HC of Bisyodo is compared with J210 Hakuhodo.
Both are goat, and Bisyodo officially says it is Saikoho. I don’t think Hakuhodo has Saikoho now. They just say ‘goat.’ Maybe at Hakuhodo, Saikoho is mixed with other kinds. And they don’t say Saikoho unless it is 100%.
Here is feedback from a client who uses both.
“AB-HC is more fluffy than J210. J210 is a little bit softer than AB-HC. AB-HC can be used more than J210 to parts of face”
Your question is welcome and I will look into it and will share it in my blog if you don’t mind.
Tsuyu (rainy season in Japan) has not come to Tokyo yet, but it is raining every day. I wonder which is better, 33C sunny & humid day or rainy day. In July and August, Japan has very little rain except for Typhoon.
This summer will be even more difficulty as people wear a mask.
I have been to Isetan a lot these days. They provide good service, and they have many limited products to Isetan.
(Isetan and Hankyu have many own limited products. )
Besides, fewer people are shopping at Isetan than before, and I can buy products quickly and comfortably.
This is Isetan limited RMK products – Ukiyoe Modern.
Ukiyoe is painting that was very popular during Edo Period (1603-1867). It is made from woodblock prints, so that it was easy to copy the original. People were able to buy them at a reasonable price, and it became popular among people.
(This is a painting by Utamaro)
These are Laduree limited.
Lasting Pressed Powder 4800 yen
Glittering Eye Color 3000 yen
Pressed Cheek N Mini 3600 yen
Please let me know if you are interested in these limited products.
I had a call from Laduree shop manager, who will be on her maternity leave.
That was nice of her, and maybe only second or third time to get a call from shop outside business.
Only one company called me after the ‘stayhome.’ It was Mikimoto, and it really impressed me )
EMS is not still working. I am talking to DHL and FedEX now. I will try using DHL this week!
Istan Shinjuku is the No.1 department store in the women fashion. Maybe No.1 department store all round in Japan.
Hankyu Umeda has a good reputation but I haven’t been there. Umeda is in Osaka, and it takes almost 3 hours by super express.
I have read that Isetan and Hankyu had the best service. I wrote as the past tense, as some people say it is not true anymore. I can stil see a different between Isetan and others. Isetan employees seem to know products well. They also move and reply quickly.
There are always some exhibits at stairs like this:
I had an interesting chat with a shop manager of makeup company.
He is 188cm tall and good looking so he stands out at the makeup floor. He says his father is a Spanish with 2m tall, and that is how he becomes tall. His mother is Japanese.
What he is good at is that he sees me as someone who buys on behalf of others and doesn’t talk a lot about makeup, LOL.
Topics of yesterday was a dog.
He said, ‘he has three dogs.’ Bulldog, Irish Setter and Chihuahua. Very rarely I see an English bulldog in Japan so I asked how much he paid. He said ‘840,000 yen!’ (8000 USD)
I joked to him how good the company paid but still….
He says that he is single and that he doesn’t spend much money on anything else so it was not a difficult decision.
Those dogs with a different shape of mouth need special treatment – French bull, Pug, Bulldog, etc. So he needs to spend more time than on other dogs, but he looks happy)
Hakuhodo has a plastic cover on each brush now so that customers cannot try them now.