Are you interested in Japanese fashion, especially Harajuku fashion?
Do you love Japanese items, but have a hard time getting your hands on them?
Then you should better read on!
Today I want to introduce a friend of mine.
Anji is an adorable fellow German who lives in Tokyo with her Japanese hubby.
So, without any further ado let’s start the interview!~
Zooming Japan: Hi, Anji. Please introduce yourself.
Anji: Hi Zooming, Thanks for having me!
I am a German woman in the mid-twenties, married to a Japanese and I’ve been living in Japan for four years now. Fashion and all kinds of creative things make me feel alive and I am working freelance on various projects.
Overseas Parcel Service – KAERU PARCELS
Zooming Japan: So, you don’t only blog about your life in Japan, but you also offer quite an interesting service for people who live outside of Japan, right? Please tell us more about it.
Anji: That’s right. I initially started blogging before leaving for Japan but eventually this grew into something bigger. About 3 years ago I decided to start my own shopping service called “KAERU PARCELS” for people living overseas and we are currently a team of 4 people working on orders and shipments.
Zooming Japan: What does “KAERU PARCELS” mean?
Anji: “Kaeru” is ‘frog’ in Japanese. Why we wanted to have a ‘frog shipping service’ you wonder? Well, my better half and me we really love frog characters and years ago I started collecting small frog figures and illustrated my own frog called ‘Onegai Kaeru‘ – then created a little brand off it – so naturally our shopping service is also run by frogs. ;)
Zooming Japan: Aww, that’s so cute! Why did you decide to offer such a service?
Anji: When I lived in Germany, I had a hard time getting certain things from Japan. Living in Japan and having easy access to so many fabulous goods, sweets, interior and electronics – I thought it would be great to help people overseas who are craving for some unique things from the land of the rising sun.
Zooming Japan: I see. That’s a great idea indeed. How exactly does it work?
Anji: First people would sign up and send a request stating what they’d like to order preferably with a link attached.
We then prepare a customized member ID for future use along with some information and respond to the request. Usually if we have enough info and the item is available we would send an invoice for the product + service cost immediately. Otherwise we would clarify further details via mail.
Once the invoice is paid we order the goods. As soon as the packages reach our warehouse we weigh them, determine the shipping cost and send the final invoice with the shipping cost to our customer.
After payment is cleared the goods will be securely shipped out via EMS (Express Shipment by Japan Post) with a tracking number.
It’s a very easy and quick process!
Zooming Japan: Sounds easy enough! What kind of products do your customers usually order from you?
Anji: Oh, it’s really broad and basically anything you can think of! Sometimes we are surprised how people overseas knew about certain things without living here!
The all time favourite orders are usually anime related goods (Premium Bandai – Sailor Moon’s best friend. Ha!), we have many people ordering DVDs & books, Japanese idols / bands’ merchandise, clothing, concert tickets, car parts and everything kawaii!
Zooming Japan: I’d probably order Maneki Neko figures from you. *g*
I guess a lot of readers want to know why they should use YOUR service and not someone else’s?
Anji: Hah! Yes, that is a good question! First of all KAERU PARCELS is a very personal service – we take time for each individual and also can compare prices to save our customers some cost.
Also we do research in case something rare is on your wish list and do pre-order items (which are paid and ordered and then shipped months later).
Besides English we speak German and Japanese, so we get many German customers who can comfortably communicate in their mother tongue.
Some frequent customers even became friends – overall we really love what we do. Communicating and making our customers happy is real fun! (Even if it sounds corny – I do really enjoy it!)
Harajuku Fashion – SALZ Tokyo
Zooming Japan: You also create and sell your own fashion and vintage items, right?
Anji: Oh, well I haven’t been up to much recently, but I do! My brand is called “SALZ Tokyo“. I like to create accessories and clothing by myself and I’m also a huge fan of vintage clothing. I’m a style chameleon and create, collect and sell what I like.
Zooming Japan: I’ve met you a few times in Tokyo and I really like your style! You’ve even successfully sold a few of your items in stores in Harajuku. I’ve also seen that Arashi’s Jun Matsumoto wore one of your pieces on TV. Are there any other famous people who bought your fashion?
Anji: Yes, that was such a crazy surprise!! I thought I was dreaming. He totally rocked those shades. ^^
Apart from him, Yumi-chan from the girl group Juliet bought several veiled hats and leather wing earrings and my lace caps were featured in a magazine.
Zooming Japan: That’s really awesome! Congratulations! What are your future plans / projects?
Anji: Well, I hope to establish KAERU PARCELS further and that I can do some creative work in the Tokyo fashion community from now on.
Also, I am addicted to kimonos at the moment and would like to encourage more people to wear them (in and outside of Japan). Soon I will offer more vintage kimonos and yukatas in my shop as well and am thinking of showing people how to wear them. We will see what the future brings.
Zooming Japan: You are always so creative. I’m sure we can expect a lot from you in the future. For now, I wish you all the best!
Find Anji and her projects in the WWW:
|SALZ TOKYO:||KAERU PARCELS:|
Disclaimer: All the graphics and photos in this blog post were provided by Anji. Zooming Japan will not take any responsibility for them.