My journey to creating Tatcha is guided and inspired by Japanese philosophies and practices. In order to craft treasures with authenticity, our work extends beyond skincare into self-care.
When I first read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, many of her practices resonated with me. Just as we practice purity and simplicity in our skincare formulation at Tatcha, the KonMari method (her beloved approach to fastidious cleaning) is famously minimalistic, instructing the reader to only keep items that “spark joy” and to donate or discard the rest. Even more, we both share a fundamental belief that cleansing (whether space or skin) sets you up for success each day.
I spoke with my now-friend Marie Kondo to learn more about her life-changing, magical practice, and how our shared Japanese philosophies inspire our work.
For many people, tidying feels like a chore. How do you teach your clients to think about cleaning so they look forward to it?
I think of tidying as a festival. In the KonMari Method, tidying is a step-by-step process of imagining your ideal life, going through each of your items, and choosing only the ones that spark joy and can support your vision. The process is reflective because tidying is a unique and special occasion to rethink the way you live. At first, this may feel like a chore, but thinking about what brings you joy inspires gratitude and fun.
After you deep-clean, what do you recommend to keep a space tidy?
The last step of tidying in the KonMari Method is to designate a place for every item you have chosen to keep. At the end of each day, remember to return each item to its special place at the end of the day. This ensures that you maintain the tidy state of your home after the deep clean.
At Tatcha, we believe that skincare is also self-care. I love that you talk about tidying and cleaning as “life-changing.” Tell us more about this!
My tidying method is based on one simple criterion: whether or not an item sparks joy. By the time you are done tidying, you have chosen to keep items that bring happiness to you. I believe that tidying is an act of re-examining your relationship with your belongings and, with it, your way of life. The things you own speak multitudes about what you value and what you need to achieve the life you want. I have seen my clients discover their true passions through tidying – for example, one of my clients found that all the books she chose to keep were on the topic of social welfare and she proceeded to start a new career in that field. By tidying your home, you put your business in order and start living a life that sparks joy.
I love the idea of only keeping the items that spark joy. What are some things that spark joy for you?
I try to relax as much as possible when I am at home, so some of the things I love are scented candles, aroma oils, and tea bags that help me relax. I have a collection of soothing items and choose different types based on the season and occasion to match my mood.
What are some of the Japanese traditions and philosophies that inspire your work?
My tidying method references the Japanese philosophy of thanking each item before discarding it. As a premise, Japanese culture has an element of animism, which believes that every object has a soul. Thanking items is quite an intuitive concept in Japan. This initially surprises Western people who typically do not believe that things possess a “spirit.” If you are letting go of an item, giving thanks is a way of properly saying goodbye, so that you can mark the end of your relationship with the item and release it without guilt. This philosophy was inspirational and continues to be an important part of my method.
What are some of your favorite morning rituals to start the day off right?
Every morning, I open all the windows to let in fresh air, then burn incense to cleanse the air. I strive to keep my home comfortable and filled with clear energy throughout the day, so starting off the day this way sets me on track. Next, I give a little prayer to thank my family and team members’ health, and renew my resolve to do as much as I can that day.
From one mother to another—how do you teach your children to keep things tidy?
Tidying with children is a challenge, and I’ve had trial and errors with my two daughters. One thing I strive to do is to show by example; for instance, I make sure to have fun when I fold the laundry in front of my young daughters so they can see how much I enjoy tidying. I want them to learn that tidying is a comforting and enjoyable process.
Tatcha is born from centuries of wisdom, handed down and honed through generations of women. What is some of the best advice you have received?
“Value what cannot be seen from the outside.” This is the advice my grandmother gave me since I was a child. My grandmother’s house was always very tidy, and even the inside of her drawers were beautifully organized. My grandmother’s life was not luxurious, but she was always happy and fulfilled. I had always respected my grandmother, so this advice reached my heart. After I grew up and began working as an organizing consultant, I became all the more certain that her advice was correct.
Cleaning and purifying is a deeply satisfying feeling, and I even enjoy this during my skincare ritual. We created The Deep Cleanse to help clear the way for a good day. The easy-to-use cleanser harnesses the exfoliating power of the Japanese Luffa fruit to lift away impurities and unclog pores, while leaving skin soft and hydrated. I hope having a KonMari-clean house and our newest discovery help to start your day off right.