Chieko Egged USA Corp
Interior Bonsai TOKYO： Japanese handmade bonsai art for sale online
I am Chieko Egged, owner of Interior Bonsai. I was born in Kanagawa, Japan. I started my own business at the age of 25, which includes a nail salon, nail school, esthetic salon, e-commerce, and entrepreneur school.
After moving to the US from Japan in 2003, I started my own business in the US as well, running two companies, one in Japan and one in the US.
The way of doing business in the U.S. and Japan is quite different, but I was most surprised by the American culture that is very favorable to women doing business. In Japan, it is still a male-dominated society, and women are not preferred to be active in business. That is one of the reasons the Japanese economy is declining.
I thought that for Japan’s economy to rise, we need to do international business with women in the workforce. I was looking for products that could be exported from Japan to other countries. I learned that Japan has many wonderful cultural practices and art forms. However many of these practices are at the risk of dying out due to the lack of trained successors.
At that time, I came across an organization of senior women aged 70 to 85 who were making handmade bonsai replicas out of wire, clay, paper, etc. as a hobby. I was amazed at the quality of this bonsai art. I thought to myself, This is an art form I can bring to the world!
My husband loves bonsai, but it is very hard to take care of it and it dies very easily. Bonsai is very popular in the world, but it is very difficult to grow. It takes a long time to become a big bonsai, like 800 years old, and the most expensive bonsai is 1 million dollars. But with this bonsai at, a large bonsai can be custom made.
The Zen lifestyle is popular around the world, but the only plants that fit the Asian-inspired interior are orchids or bamboo. Bonsai is popular, but too labor intensive to incorporate into a lifestyle. However, if there were bonsai that would not wither, there would be many people in the world who would want to display them.
Today, Japan is a very inexpensive country. Japanese pensions are supported by the government and only $240 per month if you were a full-time housewife. This also applied to senior women who make bonsai. I wanted to bring them to the world for the wonderful craftsmanship and authentic-looking interior bonsai that these women had spent so much time creating.
We started this business in 2022 with the goal of creating jobs for Japanese seniors and passing on Japanese cultural skills to the world.
The way we priced bonsai was determined by the species, form, size, method of making, author, and value of the base. There are three different methods of making pine needles alone, and the production time varies depending on the method used. Autumn leaves, in particular, take an enormous amount of production time, as each piece of white cloth is cut and colored individually. In addition, the impression changes depending on the base or vase, so those with hand-painted pictures are very expensive.
Interior bonsai are characterized by the fact that they are made to look like the real with wire, clay, and paper, so they do not require watering or care. There is no risk of wilting, making them ideal for frequent travelers, vacation homes, restaurants, stores, and hotels. It is meant to be appreciated indoors, as the color will fade or peel easily if placed in direct sunlight or in a damp place. They are very durable, but if the colors fade or peel, they can be sent in for repair so they can be enjoyed for a long time.
We tried advertising online without knowing where our target audience would be. When the first small item sold, our craftsmen were very happy. And the first customer immediately bought a larger bonsai and became a repeat customer. The second customer also bought a larger bonsai after purchasing the first smaller one. I am sure they will go on to larger collections after they are sure that the quality is better than their previous artificial plants. Interior bonsai are works of art and each one is an original . In Japan, bonsai is a popular hobby for men, and 90% of our customers from around the world are also men.
We also offer custom-made bonsai. We have received requests from interior designers for large bonsai for the entrance of their villas, for example. If you have a picture of a bonsai you like, we can create something close to it. We can make bonsai up to 150 cm in height. Custom-made bonsai takes about 2-6 months.
The problem we are currently facing is the rising cost of shipping. At first, we thought of shipping from the U.S. to the world, but shipping within the U.S. is more expensive than international shipping from Japan.
Now we are shipping from Japan to the world. Also, since interior bonsai looks so realistic, they stopped for about a month in customs clearance thinking they are live bonsai. Do interior bonsai often break in shipping? but they are very sturdy. The trunk is made of wire and is flexible.
We would like many people around the world to know about interior bonsai so that they can easily enjoy bonsai art as interior decoration.
We also offer custom-made bonsai. If you have a picture of a bonsai you like, we can create something close to it. We can make bonsai up to 150 cm in height.
We will make more people around the world aware of interior bonsai so that they can easily enjoy bonsai art as interior decoration.
Interior Bonsai TOKYO
President Chieko Egged
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