Many people dream of turning a hobby or side hustle into a full-time job or successful business, but Kaila Ocampo made it a reality.
Savvy Tokyo sat down with Kaila Ocampo, the Filipina entrepreneur, to find out the story behind Rainbowholic, her Saitama-based kawaii stationery and lifestyle products business.
What brought you to Japan?
It was my dream to come to Japan. I grew up watching anime, and my brother brought me souvenirs when he was an exchange student here. When I graduated from college, he helped me get into a language school in Tokyo in 2011. After completing my course at the school, I worked with my brother in his e-commerce company and then got a job as an English teacher at a school.
What got you interested in Japanese stationery and why is it so special?
Growing up, kids in my school exchanged letter writing sets. My family didn’t have much money so I would make my own sets, but I never really used them; I just collected and exchanged them. One time, a Japanese exchange student gave me a cute stationery pouch from Japan. I was so amazed by it. Now I laugh because it was from the 100-yen shop Daiso. Back then, the Philippines imported mostly Korean or Chinese stationery, so Japanese stationery blew me away.
When I came here, I thought it was like another world for stationery. Japanese stationery combines three important elements: high quality, cute aesthetics, and functionality. There is even stationery specially made for seasons and events like Children’s Day. Having stationery for every occasion is particularly charming. For any stationery lover, I think Japan is a paradise.
How did you get into journaling?
Journaling started for me at school when I was asked to keep a reading journal to improve my English. I liked sticking things in it and being creative. While at college, I was rejected twice for a visa to visit my brother in Japan. Both times, I turned to journaling to express my dream of setting foot in Japan.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
It was accidental. I had a blog called Rainbowholic (now inactive) and was looking for another channel for my work, so I began YouTubing about journaling. The viewers started asking where they could buy the products I featured, and I realized I could fill the gap with a small stationery shop.
Click here to read more.
- External Link