24 October 2011,


IT was actually a series of accidents that set fashion designer Masayo Yasuki’s (pictured) entrepreneurial spirit on course 18 years ago.

While there have been plenty of trials and tribulations since, perseverance is now paying off for the talented designer.

“I came to Australia from Japan 18 years ago to learn English and study marketing and while I was a student I made pocket money by purchasing clothes during the sales in Australia, buying small sizes in bulk and selling them in Japan,” she says.

“I had a number of friends in Japan that worked in boutiques that would sell the clothes as the seasons in Japan and Australia are opposite, so it worked well.”

A boutique in Japan liked a particular style so much they wanted to place a large order, but the original manufacturer of the garment couldn’t reproduce the style at the quality standards required for the high end Japanese market.

Undeterred, Yasuki decided to take on the project herself, despite having no manufacturing experience.

“I had no knowledge of how to make clothes, but I didn’t want to miss the order, so I borrowed around $30,000 from my family in Japan and began to look for a pattern and a manufacturer.

“Once I began making samples though, it took longer than I expected to get a finished product because every time you changed something, it had to go back to the manufacturer. On top of this was arranging for packaging, so I actually ended up missing the deadline for the order by about three weeks.”

From selling her designs at the Fortitude Valley markets 13 years ago to opening a fourth retail store last year and posting annual growth of 12 per cent, fashion designer Masayo Yasuki talks expansion and strategy in a tough retail market. Read the entire story by getting your copy of Brisbane Business News' October issue – out now in more than 500 greater Brisbane newsagencies.






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