Today we’d like to introduce you to Noriko Oyama.
Hi Noriko, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Born in Toronto and raised in Mississauga, I always had a keen eye for fashion and design. I’m a passionate, focused and extremely determined individual. I am currently the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at a software company, but I wanted to pursue my passion in Fashion. I launched LUXFINDZ in 2017 offering edgy, sophisticated and affordable fashions, catering to busy women looking for unique pieces. Throughout my career I was a single mother, traveling around the world on business. From packing school lunches, driving my daughter to ballet, piano, soccer and other extracurricular activities, I didn’t have the time or energy to go to the mall to find business wear, casual loungewear to formal wear. When I would travel abroad, I would find some time to shop and noticed that the European Styles were a bit more edgier and cut better than at home. This is where my journey began through the love of European Fashion. I not only think about Fashion but want women to feel confident on the inside and out by living a healthy lifestyle and by promoting work-life balance. It’s important for me to have women of different sizes feel confident and beautiful in edgy, sophisticated, and sexy clothing that is affordable. As a mother, I understand that body shapes change, metabolisms change, so I try on everything at Buyer shows to ensure the areas women want the most coverage is cut in a more flattering way, or the material is thicker to add a better silhouette. I wanted women to feel sexy, edgy, comfortable, the way they may have felt before having kids. I love looking for clothes that are cut really well, hide the tummy or give the thighs or backside a more slimming effect. I’ve always loved the higher-end luxury stores like Saks or Holts but who can afford to shop there all the time? I wanted a platform for busy mothers, corporate women, or just busy people to purchase affordable, good quality, unique pieces they could mix and match with their Louis, Chanel or Gucci bag and look 120%. I have many clients who do just that. They want classic, edgy looks they incorporate into their designer look, without spending excess money. The material and wash is very important to me and I look for easy care items and have been known to throw leather leggings into the wash to test them out. I want to save women time on having to go to the dry cleaners if at all necessary. I loved the fashion in Europe where they offered different textures and cuts that were more flattering and edgier compared to the fashions in North America, but also like to promote women-owned businesses and brands in store.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has been a pretty tough road with lots of unexpected things. I developed my website myself by learning and reading and on support calls most of the day. Since most of my background has been in sales, I had to learn all of the marketing on my own. I’ve cold-called many people in the beginning trying to get some pop-ups or getting into some local markets. It takes a lot of work, determination, thick skin, and failures to initially work through the kinks. But if you love it, it’s worth it in the end. You just have to keep your eye on the long-term goals and work everything out as it comes.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We really care about customers. Our staff is friendly and can select items that would look flattering based on a woman’s body type. We receive a lot of compliments from customers who say “I would never have picked that, but I am so glad you suggested me trying it on because I love it”. That makes us feel good. As we get older, it’s not easy to feel as we did when we were younger and our goal is to help women find things that make them look and feel great. We have clients in their 20s to their 80s and we are proud of that. We also help promote women-owned businesses and usually have local small businesses selling some of their items in-store.
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Always expect the unexpected. I heard a quote from Tom Hanks the other day and he said his most important lesson was “This too shall pass”. In life you have really great times which you need to fully appreciate as we will always hit bad times. But the bad times will also pass. It’s a constant ebb and flow. Covid19 was difficult, especially for small businesses. I had a popup downtown at the time and we had to shut down for most of the period during the busiest retail months of the year. That hit hard especially when retail places order a yr. in advance. But, as Tom mentioned, this too shall pass and things are starting to ramp up again. It’s a good saying to keep in mind because to get to where you want to, means being able to get through adversity even when you don’t see the light, but we just don’t see the light, yet.
- Website: www.LUXFINDZ.com
- Instagram: @luxfindz
- Facebook: Luxfindz
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCopiyP6A8rpJHgYNUHWBhOw
Karly Carnegie Charlot
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