Aug 2016 | Bayspo Newspaper
Interview article in the Japanese newspaper of Bay Area
Moved to Silicon Valley in 2001 and started an apparel business the next year. She cherishes the moment and always looks forward. We interviewed Ms. Wahddah about her life in the Bay Area.
Expand everyone’s possibilities.
Question: What made you move to the Bay Area and in what year?
Answer: I moved to the US in 2001. My boyfriend that time (then my husband) transferred to Silicon Valley and I visited him. I felt very comfortable and decided to stay longer.
Question: What is your impression of the Bay Area?
Answer: Big blue sky. The weather is perfect and I can loosen and relax.
Question: What is your specialty?
Answer: I’m the founder of a legwear brand “Tabbisocks” that spread the socks made in Koryo Town of Nara where its history is more than 100 years old and produce superb quality socks. I also opened a cultural salon “Harmony Club” in January to spread people’s talent and possibilities and started “Maarlie’s Business Seminar” there. My specialty includes expanding possibilities of people, companies, and products and helping them achieve that by bringing out their characteristics and skills. For companies I help them with making a business plan for a start-up business, branding, building a system for continuous sales, etc. I like making a business plan that can develop and expand in the future.
Question: What made you go to the field?
Answer: “Live as selfishly as I can as long as I don’t cause any trouble to others” is my motto of life. That’s why I live my own way and only do what I like, following my heart. Then there is no stress in my heart, and my life is fulfilling and fun. I found Tabbisocks to tell everyone - “live your life.”
Question: How are you doing a job in English?
Answer: What I care the most when talking in English is to make sure that my expression is like native people. I am paying attention not only to the words but also to the sales style and overall operations of the business if they are American or native. Americans are very conservative and many of our customers are small retailers, so they wouldn’t deal with products or companies that they feel are unusual and uncomfortable. We currently have a contract with 6 American distributors and leave our primary sales to them. As a result, that leads to more than 400 retailers that sell Tabbisocks as of July 2016.
Question: Are there any big mistakes relating to English?
Answer: I think there are many, but I don’t remember at all. I cherish the moment and always live towards the next, so I hardly remember my mistakes and even good things.
Question: What kind of job would you do if you were an English native?
Answer: An Hollywood actress! I want to play my role fully on the global stage.
Question: What does “work” mean to you?
Answer: It’s one of my favorite things and a way to express myself. I love making business plans that open up possibilities and have potential, and I’m always excited about it. I also cherish the time of my life so much so I only think about making an action instead of just dreaming.
Question: What occupation did you want to do for the first time in your life?
Answer: A nurse. I was influenced by a girl’s manga, “Candy Candy.”
Question: What would you have been doing if you hadn’t got your current job?
Answer: A craftsman of traditional Japanese crafts. I love doing fine and detailed work and it doesn’t make me bored even if I do it all day.
Question: What is the house where you currently live?
Answer: I live in a one-story house in San Jose with my husband and my cat, Rico.
Question: What is your car?
Answer: Subaru Crosstrek
Question: How long do you sleep? What time do you get up and go to bed?
Answer: I sleep 7-8 hours. I go to sleep around 11pm and then wake up around 5am, then sleep twice and wake up again at 7am.
Question: How do you spend your day off?
Answer: I like to spend time at home so I wish I coil read books then take a nap, but in reality, I’m busy with cleaning the house, going out, or even working on my day off.
Question: Where is your favorite place?
Answer: Mount Shasta. It is about a 5 hours drive from San Jose and I visit 6-8 times a year, often just by myself. I usually use my left brain fully for work so I visit there to balance it out with my right brain. It’s strange, but every time I visit Mount Shasta, I see the next stage of my business and come up with new ideas, then it actually happens after I go home.
Question: What is your favorite restaurant?
Answer: It’s not a restaurant, but I love Shinobeau McConney’s macrobiotic food. Not only do I attend Shinobeau’s cooking class, but also ask for catering at my company or events. Her dish is very healthy and uses pesticide-free vegetables grown in the land of California, nourishing grains, and seasonings with high redox power.
Question: Which Japanese restaurant do you go frequently?
Answer: Ramen Halu. It’s the only Ramen restaurant in the Bay Area that doesn't use MSG.
Question: If you won 100 million yen, how would you use it?
Answer: Donate half and share the other half with my family and employees.
Question: How often do you go back to Japan?
Answer: 2-3 times a year.
Question: What surprised you when you returned to Japan recently?
Answer: I didn’t know the celebrities who were on TV.
Question: What souvenirs do you bring to Japan?
Answer: “Maboroshi” wine from Sebastopol, completely grown pesticide-free and by biodynamic farming method.
Question: What do you bring back from Japan to the Bay Area?
Answer: Japanese food such as seaweed, dried daikon radish, tea, miso, and soba noodles.
Question: When do you feel inconvenient in your life in the Bay Area?
Answer: Nothing in particular. I’m very positive so even if I feel inconvenient by something I immediately switch my thinking to a positive way.
Question: Do you feel nervous about anything in your life in the Bay Area?
Answer: Nothing in particular here either. I think I’m too positive. I don’t have any anxiety or fear at all.
Question: When do you feel nostalgia for Japan?
Answer: In the cherry blossom season.
Question: Which sightseeing spot do you recommend?
Answer: Mount Shasta
Question: Which city do you want to live in permanently?
Answer: Instead of living permanently in one spot, I would like to move around the world depending on the best season of the city such as Okinawa, Tokyo, Hawaii, Milano, Bay Area, and Mount Shasta.
Question: What do you expect from yourself five years from now?
Answer: Let myself be more free. Freedom of thinking makes me tolerant and open minded, and freedom of action expresses my own life.
Question: Which book left the biggest impressions on you?
Answer: “Gratitude” by Hisako Hara.
Question: Which book did you read recently?
Answer: “Yamada Hokoku - The Master of Clan Government Reform that Tugunosuke Kawai learned from” by Fuyuji Domon.
Question: Which movie left the biggest impressions on you?
Answer: “Grand Blue”
Question: Which movie did you watch recently?
Answer: “Cowspiracy,” a documentary film based on the fact that livestock are the number one cause of destruction of the global environment.
Question: How would you compare yourself to an animal?
Answer: A cat. Because I’m selfish.
Question: What is your motto?
Answer: “Thank you”
*Bayspo Newspaper was founded in 1996 and is published in San Francisco/Bay Area.
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