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List of roles that a small business owner takes on

One of the hardest roles for me is to be a salesman.  I am not particularly extroverted or like blowing my own trumpet so I have found selling to be quite a difficult task when I’ve been asked to do it in the past. 

Minami Ikebukuro Park

Ikebukuro is a busy commercial area to the north of central Tokyo.  It has great shops and restaurants and a large, convenient train station where you can connect to many of the main JR and Metro subway lines including the JR Yamanote line and the Maranouchi and Yurakacho Metro lines.


List of roles that a small business owner takes on

The role of the Buyer in a retail business is to decide what items are stocked and, of course, since it is my shop and I am the only member of the team, that is my role!


New Hatsukoi delivery from Japan

When you have a small business with limited resources you often end up running the whole show yourself.


Renga Zaka side streets of Nakano, Tokyo

Nakano is a vibrant area of Tokyo just a few minutes west out of Shinjuku Station on the Chuo Rapid line.

It is famous as a centre for ‘otaku’ culture and most travel guides focus on this aspect and on Nakano Broadway, a covered mall close to the station.  However, you can discover another side of Nakano which is less well known by tourists.


Inokashira Park at Kichijoji, Tokyo, Japan

Kichijoji is a lovely suburb, away from the bustle and commerce of central Tokyo.  It combines a cool, artsy atmosphere with pretty side streets and a small town feel. 


Your items are wrapped in tissue with Hatsukoi stickers

These days we're all concerned with how much we consume and how much we waste so I wanted to say something about Hatsukoi's packaging.


Fabric Town flag in Nippori, Tokyo

This is the first of an occasional series where I will tell you about my favourite places in Tokyo.  I'll start with Nippori in the East of the city.


Cafe style in your own home

It’s fun to meet friends and chat over coffee but why sit in a crowded coffee shop, with crumbs on the table and slow service? 


Japanese curry in oval bowl

Did you even know Japanese curry exists?  Of course, curry originates in India but it was brought to Japan by the British in the late 19th century.


'Tenmoku' Arita ware traditional Japanese tea cup

The design and manufacture of ceramics is one of the oldest art forms in Japan and Japanese ceramics are known around the world for their beauty and quality.


Leila in Nippori, Tokyo (Fabric Town)

I started my online shop Hatsukoi.co.uk because I love Japanese culture and design. 


Cup mended using the kintsugi technique

Can something broken be more beautiful than it was originally?  The ancient Japanese art of kintsugi says that this is definitely a possibility!


Fashionable Japanese kids wearing face masks

What do you think about the idea of wearing a face mask to prevent illness or even as a fashion accessory?


Pour over coffee jug

With my little video you can learn to make great pour over coffee in about a minute!


Glass pour over coffee jug and ceramic filter holder

One of the latest additions to my shop is a pour-over coffee set, comprising a glass jug, wooden stand and ceramic filter holder.  They're beautiful to look at but can be a bit daunting to use for the first time.


Japanese plates and dishes

In western homes we usually take pride in possessing a full matching set of crockery which gets used everyday - it's kind of an annoyance if something gets broken and we have to eat off mis-matched plates! 


Hi Mojimoji Tagged Notepad photo

In this digital world, I love to make notes and sketches on paper - there's something about the engagement between brain, eye and hand that feels more creative and authentic. 


Beautiful coasters with Black Cat mug

The other day someone said to me that she didn't use coasters at home because they only had cheap furniture.  I say that's even more reason to use one!


Shinzi Katoh pencil cases from Japan

Back to school already!  I can't believe it, where did the summer go? 

As the season changes it's time to get serious about work again and stop daydreaming about lazing in the garden or on the beach.


Sewing machine by the window photo

Having spent a lifetime working in front of a computer screen, I now find that I need those little pairs of reading glasses in order to read, sew or do any other kind of 'close' work..


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