We had the good fortune of connecting with Yoko Riesen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yoko, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have seen many smaller Japanese companies struggling to deal with issues that often arise when expanding sales internationally and can be made even more difficult because of Japan’s Far East location, the time differences and the language and cultural barriers that can be intimidating for the uninitiated. I worked for many years in marketing, branding and licensing for my previous employer’s overseas branches and clients and with the addition of my Law degree I feel I am uniquely positioned to assist Japanese companies, especially beauty & health industry which has been my interest almost all my life in overseas market expansion, I was fortunate to recently have had a chance to partner up with Rikki, a third-generation Japanese American living in Tokyo, who has been established for over 20 years in Japan and is a leading importer and distributor of high-end, niche-brand American and European cosmetics, including jane iredale and RevitaLash®. I am excited about the opportunity to help the Japanese beauty industry maximize the many possibilities and opportunities to expand their product profiles to acquire loyal customers in the United States thru Nino Beauty LLC.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We introduce a specially curated line of innovative, niche-brand Japanese skincare and beauty products that epitomize the essence of today’s J-Beauty to the people in the United States. J-Beauty, as ‘Japanese Beauty’ is popularly known, integrates the enduring values of traditional Japanese beauty rituals using natural ingredients with the innovations derived from Japan’s cutting-edge scientific research for more effective and longer-lasting results. I am very proud of our select high-end, best-selling products with appeal to an American clientele. Most of the products are only available in Nino Beauty LLC. I am happy to know that many Japanese brand owners are excited about Nino Beauty’s establishment , expecting that we can open up the US market for them. The challenge sometimes I face is when we have to decline the products to add in Nino Beauty shop. We are very careful what we have in our store and we only have the products we ourselves use and are proud of having it in our store.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my friends visit me, I would take them to Malibu (I like Malibu farm) followed by maybe driving around Malibu. Montana Avenue / It is just fun to walk around. I like Pinkberry , the frozen yogurt place on Montana Ave. Venice beach / It is very touristic but I like its atmosphere and enjoy people watching while we sit at the bars by the board walk. I also would take them to some of the Japanese restaurants to show them the difference between that in Japan and that in the USA. I would take them to Kanpai Santa Monica (as a reasonable one) and Nobu Malibu (as a high-end one). Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Rikki Ninomiya. She is CEO of Nino Beauty LLC.