I've finally settled down a bit and can now write about how "OurKawaii.Tokyo" idea started, developed, and materialized into a reality.
This will be quite a lengthy narration because this is also about friendship between two Kawaii fangirls.
Initially, we just wanted to compile all our gathered information we both have (since we love sharing and blogging) into one self-published Japan Travel Guide Book. I guess we are the type of people who would rather start basic / on our own than to wait for an invitation / or opportunity to write a book by a publisher / producer / etc. We have our content, our passion, and we know a little bit of everything (which is enough to jumpstart one).. so if we combine together, anything would be possible! Since we are into kawaii and we basically breathe in and out this lifestyle through our unique kind of self-expression (whether it's fashion / photography / projects).. of course, Ashley (Candy Kawaii Lover) & I instantly "clicked".
I knew that I would love working with this gal when she, without hesitation, believed in Japan Lover Me (which turned 3 years this April!) by responding enthusiastically to my intent of having her as our contributor. I was just a starting founder & pure JapanLover then, and I was pooling people and pitching my ideas. It is natural to be rejected by some especially when "you have nothing to offer back" that is why it is more admirable when people believe in you, and help you with genuine hearts without expecting so much. I've reached out to a lot of people, and some would be just polite to respond with a smile / emoticon / thumbs up.. and some would just seenzone you. That's why I vowed to myself that every person who saw greatness in what little I could "show off" and "present" that time, I would do my best to raise them too (even if they don't need it) as I grow and grow and my projects / ideas prosper.
I love working with Ashley because she's very easy-going yet professional at the same time, and always game for crazy ideas! And this is our crazy idea: Our Kawaii Tokyo.
We are starting small, but of course, we are a dreaming big with this one. eBook, actual book, travel opportunities as a duo... we'll get there. : )
Our Kawaii Tokyo (www.ourkawaii.tokyo) was created by Filipino, Tokyo-based, kawaiibloggers Ashley and Kaila because of their friends and readers who are interested about traveling to Japan. Getting tons of questions everyday about Tokyo such as “Where to go?”, “Where to stay?” or even more specific ones like, “How to get tickets for Ghibli museum?” spark their interest to launch Our Kawaii Tokyo. Although it serves as a compilation of answers for many questions about Tokyo and Japan as a whole, Our Kawaii Tokyo is full of creative illustrations and personal experiences.
The concept of Our Kawaii Tokyo is to make the reader feel that he/she have two kawaii best friends living in Tokyo who are very keen to answer all his/her hesitations about traveling to Japan. There are a lot of travel sites for tourists going to Japan but what makes Our Kawaii Tokyo different is the touch of kawaii and sophistication in each post. Since Japan has four beautiful seasons, each one will be highlighted accordingly. Right now, it’s pre-spring time in Japan, most of the posts are designed to fit the reader’s need for this season such as “how to differentiate cherry blossoms and plum blossoms“, “where to find plum blossoms“, “when are the cherry blossoms scheduled to bloom“, among many others. <3
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller
2-3 days before our launch, this was my desk. Haha. Our website didn't launch "perfectly", but it was our best shot.
And it was the kind of perfect for us.
Throwback to that time when I first emailed her about Japan Lover Me.
This was the time when we were working together to bring Harajuku brands from Tokyo to Manila.
We were both beginners in this. Didn't have any "peg" to follow and we just found our own ways and solutions.
Ashley was working as a teacher everyday, and yet.. even with such busy schedule, she would update me about our Harajuku Fashion Show sponsors when I was in Manila. I really admired her for that. A friend is indeed for keeps when she helps you out and goes out of her way. I could not imagine her travel time from Yokohama to Harajuku that time. ;_;
Setting personal bias aside, I knew that she would be best fit as an ambassadress.
Kawaii Philippines would not be as strong as it is now if it weren't for Ashley's sincere contributions. : )
As the face / a representative of Kawaii Philippines, my position is difficult and having an intimate support group HELPS a lot. They keep me motivated and grounded at the same time.
After Kawaii in Manila 2, I messaged Ashley on facebook and brought up our Our Kawaii Tokyo collaboration <3
[Rough Translation by Kaila hahaha]
Kaila: Ashley, would you like to collaborate together? I got an idea while I was fixing rainbowholic online shop (for lucypop kawaii girl uniform).
Ashley: Sure hahaha! What have you come up with?
Kaila: Let's make a book, Ashley! Even if it's just an e-book haha. Tokyo Kawaii Guide or something like that!
Ashley: Yess! Weren't we planning about this since last year? Hahaha!
Ashley: Hahaha!! Let's go!!
One day later ....
... and the rest is chat history. Haha!
Throwback to the time when we produced a video together for Kawaii PH TV (that was aired) about a quick Harajuku tour.
When we sent our activity report / gifts from the Philippines to our beloved Harajuku Fashion Show sponsors.
When we had a fun day with Laura and Allie ~
And basically just hanging out together ~
This was during our first sleepover at my place when we brainstormed about OurKawaii.Tokyo
When we went to Inokashira Park to take pictures of each other together.
And we rode the boat : )))
When she stayed in Saitama for 3 days (after she moved out from her apartment) and we did the layout / collage together. Then she went to Kobe after huhuhu.
We do love sharing kawaii, but what we love most is sharing our life experiences and learnings on our blog.
When we bonded for 3 days here at home, it was fun and meaningful at the same time. I learned a lot from her, haha.
So that's our mini success story for now.
I cannot wait for the day we would blog together about our first ebook release (which will be for Kawaii Fund)! : )
We'll do our best!