FEATURED MEMBER - Ko Tomizawa
Trillium Herbal Company Ltd.
1. Tell us about your company.
We produce body care products that use:
No methyl or propyl parabens, No chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, No petrochemical oils or solvents, No synthetic fragrance chemicals, No standardized (a.k.a. adulterated) essential oils, No animal testing: - Cruelty Free Development and Production Innovative Preservation Solutions, Responsible Recycling: Recyclable and Recycled packaging, 100% Certified Organic Plant Oils & Botanicals, 100% Pure Grade Essential Oils, and are 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed.
2. What inspired you to start up Trillium in Japan?
Unlike the US and Europe, the notion of "Organic" has yet to sink into the mind of the general public in Japan and "Organic Lovers" are still said to be the minority amongst the entire population. Furthermore, the Japanese organic market is currently in its infant stage, which resembles the state of the organic markets in the US and Europe a decade ago.
However, as our environment and natural resources progressively deteriorate due to deforestation, industrial waste, pollution, etc, the resulting climate changes, for instance, on a global scale and on a personal level, have led to an increase in the number of asthma and eczema cases. Asthma and eczema are now becoming the most common forms of allergies in children.
As a result, the public is becoming more cautious of what they take into their bodies and apply onto their skin. Thus the awareness in organic body care products is certainly on the rise. I believe there is a great business opportunity within this market segment to be capitalized on. These are the reasons as far as the business side is concerned, I also have many reasons on a personal level as to why I started up my own company.
3. How did you form your company? (Yugen Kaisha, Kabushiki Kaisha and the process)
YuugenGaisha. I decided to carry out all the paper work by myself, which is the cheapest way to form a company. At first, it seemed all too complicated, but once I got the hang of it, it was fairly straight forward. There is a very good manual called the 'Yuugengaisha Setsuritsu Touki Shinsei Todokede Youshikishyu' published by Nippon Hourei, which includes all the forms and "what-to-do" instructions, on how to set up a YuugenGaisha. I strongly recommend purchasing the book for anyone thinking of doing it all by themselves. It costs 4,600 Yen (in Japanese only).
For those of you who are too busy to be running around and hate performing tedious jobs, they can have the company set up by a lawyer or an accountant.
4. How long did it take?
About a month.
5. What has been the most challenging aspect of starting your business?
The challenge is never ending. You are faced with a new challenge every day, but that is the fun part of running your own company, isn't it? You grow and get tougher with every new challenge.
6. Can you give one piece of advice to others wanting to start their own businesses?
GO FOR IT!! and NEVER GIVE IN. As Mr. Howard Schulz, the CEO Starbucks, states "Don't let the conventional wisdom defy you."
7. Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years?
Being the pioneering brand in the organic body care market and having opened the 1st Trillium Organics store in Omotesando. Watch out, I am coming!!