It seems like an age ago that the first February collection was born. At that time I was full of hope and excited for the possibility of 2020. We felt privileged that Tokyo was the Olympic host, it was a leap year and anything seemed possible. I was bracing myself for a great year in my business, getting my stock prepared early in readiness for the influx of tourism we were about to experience.
But we all know what happened next. Very soon after the launch of the Leap Collection, the world ground to a halt and the Olympics visitors never came. It took until the Summer of 2021 for the Olympics to go ahead (not very well-received in Japan) and Athletes competed in empty stadiums. Supply chains were broken, shipping ceased and we were all terrified of the silent killer. Still are.
Yet through all of that terrible stuff, my business survived. Indeed, it seem to blossom and thrive in a way I didn't foresee. My focus changed to helping others to start and grow their handmade businesses through the Overseas Makers Guild Facebook community and lots of new products were imagined and created for Biku. I held lots of online events, took part in virtual markets and even hosted Zoom Bingo nights as a way to support my lovely customers- and, of course, to make a living. And here we are two years later, ready to launch the third one-of-a-kind collection, still in the midst of the pandemic and a huge surge of cases in Tokyo.
The unwavering resilience of nature and its circularity has been at the forefront of my mind since the triple disaster of 2011 and the story of 'The Little Branch that Could' sparked the idea (you can read the article below). I see a lot of people around me who have blossomed during the last two years and I feel we have woken up to the treadmills we were on. We want more, we want to give more, we want to appreciate more and feel gratitude fully. I think we will look back at this time as a time of blossoming and growth, of understanding of what matters and what really doesn't.
Welcome to Bloom. 🌸
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I'm Victoria, the founder, designer and creator at Bikudesigns, a vintage kimono accessories brand in Tokyo, Japan.