BIKU LOVES: SHIZEN NATURA
Welcome to Kelly Wetherille, the multi-passionate brains behind the new bath and body brand, Shizen Natura. This month I'm delighted to be collaborating with Kelly on the Biku Self-Care Kit, a treat kit for these uncertain times. Get your kit in the Biku webshop here.
What do you sell/ make/ do?
I sell natural products that help people to get back to basics and away from all the nasty chemicals that permeate our lives. Everything is handmade in small batches, using just a few easy to understand ingredients, most of which come from plants.
Tell us about your business story? What is the 'why' behind your brand?
For my day job I am a journalist covering the fashion and beauty industries in Japan. I get a lot of freebies from companies, and I became very conscious of the excess waste. At the same time, I started looking more closely at the products I use every day and their ingredients. Even those that professed to be natural often weren't, and they were always packaged in plastic. I thought that maybe I could do better for myself and the planet, and I started developing my own recipes that would be simpler, more natural versions of the products I loved. I did this as a hobby for about three years before I started sharing some of my creations with friends as gifts. Eventually those friends started asking to purchase more of my products from me, and that's when I decided to turn my hobby into a business.
What's your business philosophy?
I think every business must at its heart have something to give back; something that makes the world a better place. Existing solely for the purpose of profits is no longer acceptable, and many young consumers feel the same way. If your business is honest and ethical, sales will follow.
What problems are you solving for your customer?
Providing simple, all-natural yet effective daily products that are not packaged in plastic.
How can people shop from you?
I am still working on my website (I have three other jobs, so it's taking me a while!), but for now people can send me a direct message via my Instagram or Facebook pages.
MAY BIKUFAN: AMY WATTS
My name is Amy, I'm an Australian with a long held love of Japan and fabrics.
I first came across Biku Designs when I was living in Tokyo and instantly loved the concept of turning vintage kimonos into modern jewelry to be worn and loved any or everyday. I met Victoria at an event she held to bring small business owners and Instagram users together. One of the things I noticed that day and have admired since is how wonderful she is at supporting other women and bring us together.
I'm now living back in Australia and I love my Biku Designs necklace as a little piece of Japan that I took with me. I pop on my necklace when I want to add a bit of interest and colour to an outfit. It never fails to draw compliments! I also love Biku pieces as special gifts - a one-off souvenir that I know will be worn and loved.
My business is the yin to the Biku yang! I run an online store specialising in modern fabrics by independent Japanese designers. I love supporting these artists to create their original textiles and inspiring creativity amongst the sewists in my community at the same time. I named my business after my second son who was born in Tokyo at the same time as the idea for my business - Indy Bindy.
I first came to Japan as a high school student for a year long exchange and Japan has drawn me back many times over the years. I completed my latest 4 year stint in January of this year and know that I will be back many times more!
I not only love the fabric, but also the food, martial arts and the modern and ancient culture that are both alive and well today.
You can find my fabrics at https://indybindy.com.au/ and you can follow along with my sewing and general adventures at http://www.instagram.com/indybindyfabrics
I'm Victoria, the founder, designer and creator at Bikudesigns, a vintage kimono accessories brand in Tokyo, Japan.