Nothing transports me back to the cobblestone streets of Kyoto as quickly as opening a package of our Original Petal Fresh Aburatorigami Beauty Papers—the very first of Tatcha’s discoveries.

I fell in love with Kyoto instantly. It was a culture suspended in time, one that valued honor, simplicity and dedication to a craft. The people there treat one another with the utmost kindness; everyone goes out of their way to make visitors feel as cherished and welcomed as if they were long-time friends.

When I first met the gold leaf craftsmen, they showed me the sheets of abaca leaf paper that they used to protect the gold from hammering. They shared that geisha had been visiting their workshop for generations to pick up the papers, which would otherwise have been thrown away. As I pressed a piece to my forehead like they showed me, I understood why—every trace of oil was instantly wicked away, without disturbing my makeup. I felt honored to have stumbled across one of the oldest beauty products in the world, so elegant and sophisticated in its simplicity.

The geisha introduced me to a kind of beauty more profound than I had ever known—a beauty that reflects from the inside out. I was inspired to leave my old life behind to share these treasures with women everywhere.

Each time I pull a package of those little papers from my bag, it reminds me of the lessons I learned in Kyoto. I feel as if I am carrying a piece of that special place, and my geisha friends, with me.

They also remind me of another milestone: The day the beauty papers went on sale in stores, I went into labor with my daughter, Alea. That was almost five years ago today, marking my transformation into a mother, an entrepreneur and Tatcha’s Chief Treasure Hunter. 

Back then my inspirations and treasures came from geisha, ancient beauty texts and Kyoto itself, but increasingly I find that my truest treasures are the people that Tatcha has brought into my life—clients who have become close friends and colleagues who have become like second family. 

Because birthdays are often a time to make wishes, my wish is that the year ahead brings you beauty and joy in return for all the joy you have brought me.

Always,

Vicky

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published January 2015

Beauty Secrets, Geisha, Kyoto
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Photo 1: Geisha Kyoka-san in Kyoto, delicately patting her beautiful makeup with one of our Petal Fresh Aburatorigami Beauty Papers.

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