From Kamakura to New York
New York has had a long history in clothing. If we are to survive here, we need to utilize our prize asset – the spirit of ‘omotenashi’. Of course our shirts and ties are of the highest quality. But if we are to stand a chance outside of Japan, all we have left is our mentality: the spirit of caring for others. A merchant can only do business by responding to demand, and fulfilment of wants is guided by the heart and not by the body.
The first point of ‘omotenashi’ is to keep a well-tidied store. The store needs to be clean, with its products ordered, and to smell pleasant for all. We must sense what the customer wants and present an appearance and conversation that is relaxing for the customer.
The culmination of all this is ‘O-MO-TE-NA-SHI’. It was ‘omotenashi’ that allowed us to acquire an amazing 4000 loyal patrons in just one year. Our ‘omotenashi’ was valued highly by the local customers as ‘great service’. We received many emails thanking us for the level of service that even luxury stores could not offer. We were able to demonstrate how enjoyable shopping can be.
We, Japanese, went to New York to sell clothing. While we may have been looked down upon initially, we were able to deliver first-class service that captures the spirit of Japan.