The stars have truly aligned for Misiluki. Japan you have exceeded my expectations. Our last day at the Giftshow today and what we have learned is this:
1) For any cosmetics business you need an Import Agent in Japan. They have strict cosmetics regulations like most countries. Luckily for Misiluki we are internationally certified natural by Biogro NZ Natrue so this makes life easier for the agent and me. A Japanese agent found us, she already imports Pacific products, just happened to be in Samoa last year but currently doesn’t import any products from Samoa to Japan. If this works out it will be an opportunity for other Samoan businesses to use the same channel. Just make sure you do your homework and can supply. Those were her words.
2) Not everyone is out to make money in this world of business, there are people who genuinely want to help regardless of the language barrier - this just happened to be Miki Kobayashi, owner of the stall opposite us who sells and I quote: “ 570 units in 10seconds on QVC (homeshopping network) Japan at $40 USD per unit..wow. Have any of you people watched that movie “JOY” if you haven’t, as an entrepreneur you need too. Yes she’s obviously made her money but she read my pamphlet early before the giftshow opened to the public (with an interpreter by her side) and said to me “I like from the heart, I want to help you”. She just wanted me to do Step 1 first - Get Japanese Certification...so fellow entrepreneurs please refer to Pt.1.
3)Find out if you have Government Representatives in that country, contact them and develop a relationship, this is key. I am thankful to our Ambassador Fa’alavaau Perina Sila-Tualaulelei for visiting us everyday, directing her business contacts made in Japan through the Samoan Embassy to us, providing us with our own English Interpreter (Naoko who spoke fluent Samoan lol) for the duration of the Giftshow.
Her contacts knew other people in the industry and they actually came down to see how they could help.
4) To all those in the elei and garment industry, here’s a fact: there are approx. 700,000 hula dancers at different resorts in Japan. They love anything islandy especially clothing.
Congrats to Loreen from Rimani and Lisa Vaai from Eveni Curruthers for breaking into the Japanese market. So people the markets are there we need to up the quality of our products.
It was such a wonderful giftshow to be with fellow Pacific Islanders what a great bunch of people.
They made me forget about my sore feet and made me stay awake because I would start doing work from 2am by making me laugh hard.
It was an eye opener for sure, I thought I needed to be at a beauty show not a giftshow, it just goes to show that with the right networks, hardwork and commitment opportunities present themselves. God is good.
Where to from here?
Michael and I will be checking out the department stores researching competitors and positioning in the market.