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Tokyo Community: InstaBasics is back!

A LOT has changed in the world of Instagram since Victoria from Bikudesigns and I facilitated a number of ‘Instabasics – Instagram for small business’ classes back in 2019.

We revamped to course content to reflect those changes, new features and strategy approaches – if you are a small business owner based in and around Tokyo and would like to level up your Instagram game in 2022, this class might be for you!

Dates:
Tuesday, 8 March 2022 – SOLD OUT
Friday, 11 March 2022 – SOLD OUT
Saturday, 12 March 2022 – SOLD OUT
Tuesday, 19 April 2022 – 1 SPOT AVAILABLE
** NEW ** Wednesday, 1 June 2022  – 6 SPOTS LEFT

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Textured Turquoise

I came across Khun Alex’ textured turquoise creations when I lived in Bangkok, but I hadn’t met the creator during my time there. It took me quite while and a number of friends on Thai soil to find him and I finally met Khun Alex on my very first sourcing trip to Thailand (see picture above).

His beautiful decorative items have been adorning the Showroom for a while and they are now finally available in my online store.

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This month I’m … June 2020

And June it is – the rainy season upon us followed by Tokyo’s relentlessly hot and humid summer. 
Isn’t it odd how quickly the last few months have gone whilst life in general notably slowed down? Something to ponder about …

Right about now I had planned to launch my 2020 collection. Covid-19 stopped me right in my tracks by cancelling my last sourcing trip as well as orders coming from outside of Japan.

So instead of presenting a half-completed collection I’ll just show the beautiful pieces I found during the next few weeks over on Instagram & Facebook as well as via my mailing list.

Alex x

GETTING EXCITED ABOUT
opening my Showroom again!
I’ve made quite a few changes & can’t wait to show them off!

STARTING TO WORK ON
a series of home styling videos with Cherie Jones of Cherie Jones Design. Stay tuned!

READING
“The Clockmaker’s Daughter”
by Kate Morton
* I’m over 1/2 way through and addicted to the story! Great summer read.

RECEIVING
new Bikudesigns stock including a selection of fabulous vintage kimono fabric headbands!

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This month I’m … March 2020

Well hello everyone,

Right – what’s going on in the world??
The last couple of weeks have been … interesting … to put it politely.
Event cancellations left, right and center, closed schools & museums, travel restrictions etc.

I hope you are all okay out there. Keep up the spirit! (I’m finding that one a bit difficult, especially on rainy days like today, but hey…)

Despite the current turmoil I’ve decided to keep on going with my Open Days for the time being, but will let you know if things change.

Stay healthy & happy
Alex x

READING
“The Silent Patient”
by Alex Michaelides

EXPLORING
the Izu Peninsula. This is rather last minute and I haven’t done any research. We had booked to go to Bangkok, but a certain virus messed up our plans…
Would love your recommendations!

GETTING EXCITED ABOUT
the amazing ceramics I found on my last sourcing trip – available in the Showroom at the end of March

REPLANNING
a whole bunch of trips. I usually go sourcing in spring, but that’s probably not going to happen at this stage… 🦠

BEAVERING AWAY 
on my online shop. I’m hoping to have the first set of products up & running at the end of the month!

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Introducing: “This month I’m…”

Turquoise Port was founded and is run by me, myself & I.
My personal life and my life as a small business owner are very much intertwined so instead of just talking about my products, events and releases all the time, I thought I’ll share a few more personal things with you on a regular basis.

This is the first instalment of “This month I’m…” 

READING
City of Girls
by Elizabeth Gilbert

GETTING EXCITED ABOUT
new arrivals of Vietnamese pom pom cushion covers – available in the Showroom at the end of February

EXPLORING
Kobe, Japan
Any recommendations?

MAKING 
a bunch of different muesli / granola recipes
Got a good one? Please send it to me!

I’d love to know what you are up to – comment below or send an email to let me know.

Alex x

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2020 goals

We are one month into 2020 and I’m well into achieving some of the goals I have set for myself and Turquoise Port at the beginning of the year. The emphasis is on SOME of the goals; not all of them are ticking along nicely.
But hey – that’s the nature of goals, isn’t it?

My absolute #1 goal for Turquoise Port is to finally get my online shop up and running! It has been on my to-do list FOREVER, but that’s the issue with working for yourself: deadlines are very fluid and there is no boss to hurry you along! 😇
A lot of work has already been done, but a quite a few more hours are needed before I can flick the switch. 

Another goal is to share some of my travel tips and stories with you. I travel a lot and love talking about it, so why not write some of it down and share it with you in the hope that you’ll get inspired to visit new places and maybe even revisit some places you have already been to? 

Talking about travelling: We (Mr. M & I) have come up with a whole long list of places we want to visit in Japan before we leave. While we don’t have a departure date yet, we are well aware that our Japanese adventure can end at any time. 
We have already started to chisel away at the list by visiting Kanazawa and the gassho-style (thatched roof) Unesco World Heritage villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama in January and we purchased Shinkansen tickets to Kobe for the long weekend in February. 

I’ve never been sporty, but I started to be quite active in the last few months of 2019. My goal is to keep the current level of exercise up – I work out 4-5 times a week with a combination of going to the gym, bootcamp classes, reformer pilates workouts and some Krav Maga thrown in.

One goal I am still struggling with is making mediation part of my day. I gave it a go not so long ago and enjoyed it, but it is not yet part of my routine. Got any tips for me that might help? I use the Calm app and currently work my way through the beginner levels.

My reading challenge is going well and I am on track with reading 12 books in 2020. “City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is the book I’m reading right now.

What are your goals? I’d love to know! 

Alex x

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Creative collaboration update

A couple of days ago Victoria from Bikudesigns and I launched our creative collaboration project and cheekily didn’t show you the items we have been working on. So here they are on an actual person, on a street in Tokyo. All of the jewellery pieces are made from a single turquoise iro-muji vintage kimono.

Our collection comprises of:
Meera clutch-hand embroidered and beaded with a chain strap
Harisashi stud earrings
Saya dangle earring
Saya fabric pendant on a chain (long or short)
Musubime neckpiece
Musibime bracelet

Launch day is fast approaching so make sure you are firmly in the loop to hear about when and how you can get your hands on these limited edition pieces.

Thank you to our amazing models:

https://www.instagram.com/qintokyo/
https://www.instagram.com/sayamatcha/
https://www.instagram.com/lia__kim/

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Collaboration unveiled!

Victoria Close from Bikudesigns and I have been working furiously behind the scenes since 2018 to design a creative collaboration of bags and jewellery.

This was the first time either of us had worked with another business, planned and creatively directed a photo shoot with a professional photographer or launched a joint campaign. To say it was a steep learning curve is somewhat of an understatement.

Thanks so much to our fantastic models and photographer who worked all day to create the look and feel we wanted.  They were all so patient with us newbies.

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Tokyo Community: What is the Tokyo Instamingle?

The Tokyo Instamingle is a community of Tokyo Instagrammers of all walks of life. 
People new to Instagram, total pros and everyone in between!
Owners of small businesses, creatives, private user, bloggers, you name it!

We meet on a regular basis, chat about all things Instagram, network and have fun along the way! Events take place at different times of the day and in a range of venues. Some events feature a speaker, others are purely networking / fun events.
The community is organised and co-hosted by Victoria from Bikudesigns and yours truly 🙂

What to join our group? Hop over to Facebook, our current “home”:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1882660371811746/

Hope to see you at one of our events!
Alex x

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Sip & Shop for Refugees International Japan (RIJ) … Thursday, 29th November 2018

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Although there might not be as many refugees in Japan as in other countries, we should not close our eyes to the worldwide refugee crisis that has been going on for quite a while with no end in sight.

With that in mind Victoria of Bikudesigns and I have teamed up with Refugees International Japan (RIJ) and curated an evening of shopping and socialising over a glass of wine (or two) at the Shibuya Campus of the British School in Tokyo (BST). All table fees and proceeds from the tombola go to RIJ – read all about their work here.

The event is open to The British School in Tokyo community and all friends and families.

Check out the great line-up of vendors, come along for a sip of wine and tick those items off your Christmas shopping list!

Art & Decor
Turquoise Port
Anne-Marie Peters Ceramics
Ciaolink
Erica Ward Illustration
From Juju With Love
Kintsugi
Paradiddle Designs

Accessories & Fashion
Bikudesigns
Kamihoseki
Mamam Leatherwork
Ring and Wraps
Vintage Kimonos

Lifestyle, Kids & Food
A Joy to Behold
Eco Hachi Living
Jikuu
Kodomo Paradis
Noox
Swan and Lion

Event details
Thursday 29th November
5-6pm Faculty shopping
6-8.30pm BST Community and friends -> that is you!!!

The British School in Tokyo
Shibuya Campus Gym
1 Chome-21-18 Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002