Hey kawaii creatives. Welcome to Shoppe Gal’s DC to Japan Flashback Friyays on the podcast. Cuz I’m missing Japan like shit! So I dug up my old blog to share some good times with you ~
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OMG gang! I’m so happy to have dug this DC To Japan blog up because I’m currently sharing HOW to build a business with some pretty awesome dream creatives right now! And in the spirit of stopping for a bit of gratitude in celebrating wins – big, small and indifferent!
Also these beings chose me as their coach and guide to building their artistic and creative businesses – moving them from hobbyists to professionals in their craft and OMG!!!!!! These receipts are gold ~
I’ve been bubbling since opening the doors to YUME Create Club – to get back to podcasting and storytelling; sharing my personal narrative of bring more kawaii to DC, exploring self-mastery through J-fashion and more. But what I forgot about is the day I blogged my own big dreams – of working in Japan. And even what my goals were with my tattoo shop.
This is fucking magical for so many reasons that I cannot even properly formulate a blog post. I just wanna hop on Instagram LIVE and be like OH SHIT I DID DAD SHIT Y’ALL CELEBRATE WITH ME!!!!!
Here are some milestones since setting a goal to not only work in Japan but to start bringing more Japan to DC!
Lofty Kawaii Dreams
🌸 create a permanent creative space to encourage pursuing creative dreams –
Welp I am happy to say that Little INKPLAY Shop is almost 5 y’all! And this year, let the receipts speak for themselves – we have a lot to celebrate!
🎀 give back to my community, IKB style and through art
These days I’m helping fill in the gaps in my childhood hood Ivy City alongside informal mentorships to neighborhood kids, clients and their children and programs offered through the studio’s business model.
💖 bring kawaii presence to DC
Aye! DC KAWAII STYLE is out’chea and if you don’t believe me, check out the recent piece by District Fray on the community’s founder (spoiler alert: das me!)
Building a Brand … From DC to Japan
Essentially, I set out to create an international brand though small mindset didn’t allow me to see the grandeur in my big dream – my vision and ultimately my own path to radical self love.
But this is what leading with my heart and letting logic follow did:
First I was able to place Pinz-n-Needlez Tattoo, the home built by my own tattoo master Chris Mensah, in Japan. I was like look y’all … these my folks and where I come from but wassup with building a bridge. And we did …
Shout out TNS Tattoo (Osaka) and Artemis Tattoo (Tokyo) family!
Then I was reminded that this is my lane when I ran into one of my favorite humans VJ, doing some swag af street wear brand work in Tokyo from LA. We tore Tokyo the ufck UP together.
In hindsight, I was creating my best life and I didn’t;t even know it.
But if you grabbed and read Shoppe Gal, The Memoir you already know that’s literally the story of my life! Haha But if you heavenly … got get Chu a copy and join the ‘I AM ME’ Movement.
Will slowing down to look back at the wins change? I dunno. But I tell yah what. When I realize I did dat sh!t. I will not hesitate to take my rightful place atop a mountain top to say
FAM WE DID DAT SHIT!
We still out’chea workin’. But it starts with a dream.
And I’m thankful to be a part of the biggest community of dreamers ever –
kawaii dreamers and creatives.
Happy Friday and cheers to plenty more to come Shoppe Gal Gang.
As always. Gambatte ne!
Imani K Brown, Tattoo Artist/ Illustrator & Author