Little Miss Paintbrush’s Mad Skills + Dreaming Big For Kawaii Philippines + Help Rebuild UP Diliman’s Japanese Room

Hello, everybody!

Here’s a kawaii dump featuring ChiChi / Little Miss Paintbrush’s artworks and a couple of event announcements!

(As you can tell, I’m a really proud friend of hers, heehee! ^^)

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Reeseypeasey & Rainbowholic for Japan Lover Me Store, as drawn by LMP.

These are our best-selling jackets featuring the hokusai wave.

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My cousin Gil has been slaying it for weeks! Wish I could model so naturally, haha!

Gilbert Gabriel Cherry blossoms sukajan souvenir Jacket

Photographed by my brother during the sakura peak in one of our favorite places in Saitama.

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Justin featured the sukajan / souvenir jackets on his blog together with a photo essay about Edo Tokyo Open Air Museum (thanks Reesey for dragging us with you~!). You should read his write-up here!

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Dream Realizations + Kawaii Halloween Party Preparations

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Being back in Manila for a short time has made me realize a lot of things. Actually, these thoughts aren’t exactly “realizations” but more of a confirmation about some ideas I have been thinking about during my idle time when I work or whenever I’d catch up with my friends who are also crazy dreamers.

Before moving to Japan, Manila was my comfort zone. As years pass by, Japan became a much more comfortable zone for me. In this place, I was able to achieve a lot of dreams because Japan served as a safe place for me to pursue what I want. Traffic, security, and other third world problems I used to have are not the problems that I’d encounter. Of course, living in Japan has its cons too. I figured that whether you’re in a highly-developed country or not.. you cannot escape any problem. It’s everywhere, hehe. Every country has its unique societal issue and it’s not right to compare two different worlds with different cultures and values. I think I learned how to be a chameleon over the years, haha.

Whenever I’d go back to Manila and I’m on my way home from the airport, I would be welcomed by these poor Filipino streetchildren knocking on the car’s windows while I’m completely engrossed on my iPhone. I cannot deny that there is a nagging feeling that I just can’t fully describe. Manila is still the same country that I left years ago.. (but with heavier traffic conditions… :/). Being able to live in Japan for years / travel in different countries really opened my eyes. How I wish Philippines would improve in some way or the other.

I feel that my Japan life is just a “preparation phase” for me that I must complete in a few years time. I feel like someday, I must go back here in the Philippines and try to change the game as an entrepreneur or a budding businesswoman. As of now, I can’t just go back anytime here because I still have a lot of work obligations left (Japan Lover Me Store and moreee) and if I want to save up money, Japan is the most “logical” option for me. Right now, I’ll just keep these confirmed realizations dear in my heart.

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My Part-time Job at AREA Harajuku (エリア原宿)

Hello everyone!

Last week, I think that I surprised a lot of people when I announced the news that I’ve started working at AREA Harajuku (where Kawaii PH Store items are also being placed). I’ve actually kept this secret for months because I was anxious that it might get jynxed if I told everyone about it. >_< I didn’t want to announce something that might not end up happening in the future so during the entire time, I just hoped and prayed that everything would come into place……and it did! よかったです!

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I’ve always wanted to experience to be part of the fashion industry here in Tokyo even just for a short time. Moreover, it had always been one of my #bucketlist goals to work at a shop in Harajuku, even if I already have my own set of responsibilities here in our family business.

At around April / May, I was contacted by Kazuhiro-san of AVANTGARDE (the shop that started the tattoo tights trend). I’ve met him a couple of times before because I would bring my friends from the overseas to his shop whenever I’d give them a “kawaii tour”. Coincidentally, we also met at a fashion runway event during Kawaii Leaders project (Kawaii Matsuri) and I took a photo with him and his mohawk (tallest in the world lololol). Haha.

When we met up, I didn’t have any idea about this AREA Harajuku shop at all. During our meeting, he then offered me a golden opportunity for Kawaii PH Store. He wanted us to stock some items in this new shop! At first, I could not believe it..! *_* That time, Kawaii PH Store website was not even launched yet. ANDDDD..  also that time, I just thought it was both funny & interesting because (maybeee) I have gotten used to the feeling that sometimes you need to have a lot of “convincing” for others to believe in your entrepreneurial dreams. And then here comes an opportunity that is just waiting for you to say “yes!”. I still do not have any idea why there had been constant blessings for Kawaii PH these past few months but I know that this means something. Being recognized in a place where the kawaii culture roots are… it is just unbelievable. ;_; After that brief meeting, I told him that he should meet my older brother since he is my overall manager / business advisor.

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After the second meeting, I really expressed all my sincere thoughts about this and about how we built Kawaii Philippines from scratch. I do get approached by Japanese companies and interested partners, but there were A LOT of times that I didn’t know how to manage or to make fair deals and negotiations. In the end, I was just used for connections and marketing information (my personality / nature was quite troublesome because I was then gullible… you just really learn, ね?). So I learned from all those experiences. As a community, we all worked hard to build Kawaii PH to be where it is now and as a wiser team leader, I only want it to be involved in projects that are genuine and that would inspire many in our kawaii family back home.

Fortunately, Kazuhiro-san has been very supportive of Kawaii PH. He even allowed ENJI to be placed in their store too (I’m so happy for Anggy! Omg, this was also her DREAM!)… and he approved my recommendation that Satchiko should also work with me there (since I am only available 2-3 days a week).

I consider working at AREA Harajuku as a big challenge for me because this is where all my Nihongo conversation skills will be put into use. I am also fortunate to have the most patient co-workers in the shop. Right now, I really consider this as a valuable work experience and I’ll do my best to maximize and multiply this blessing. We’ve finally gotten a little place in Harajuku, and I cannot wait for the day when my teammates can also see their products of hard work right there too. 🙂

Anyway, enough of the long narration! Here are some photos I’ve taken during my first days 🙂

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Arrived quite early in Harajuku during my first day of work, so I had some iced tea from Island Vintage Coffee.

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