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Tatcha Inspirations - Japan's Okasans

Tatcha Inspirations - Japan's Okasans

I am often asked how I juggle having a young child and a young company. The women asking these questions are usually on the verge of their own careers, eager to find a way to have a fulfilling career while also finding time to be good friends, sisters, wives and mothers all at once. In truth, I’m trying to find my way as well and often look to my role models for inspiration.  This month, I had the honor of being featured in O, The Oprah Magazine.  As I looked at the magazine though, all I could think was – I wonder what Oprah’s secret for getting so much done in 24 hours is?  It struck me that Oprah's day must be far busier than mine, and then I realized: neither of us is alone in this work/life juggling act.

Women throughout history have found their way in any circumstances. At TATCHA, we always look to the past to inspire our work; now I look back to inspire my life. Any time I have a moment of fear or doubt, I think about the Okasans (“mothers”) who run the geisha houses of Kyoto.

One fun fact that I love to share is that geisha were amongst the earliest female entrepreneurs in Japan. An Okasan runs her training house like a small business and many began as geisha themselves. Hundreds of years ago, when women were expected to work in the home, these young enterprising women chose instead to create a world apart where they could be artists and entrepreneurs. Without the benefit of formal business educations, financial backers or mentors of their own, they laid a foundation for small businesses in the arts that have lasted for centuries. Beyond that, they carved out a living for countless other girls and invested in an art that they loved.

As women, we feel like we have many hats to wear and people to be.  The responsibilities and to-do lists can seem overwhelming. I find great comfort and inspiration in knowing though that many before us have found a way to do meaningful work, live joyful lives and contribute to their communities.

If you have any wisdom to share about how you manage it all and who inspires you, I’d love to hear from you.


Victoria Signature

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

Published March 29, 2013
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