WWB Ideal Find: Meet “Yuzen” …Delivering Japanese Serenity in a Box

Mar 4, 2013 by

 

Welcome to the second installment of “Ideal Finds” where you will get to know beauty, health & wellness brands intimately that are authentic and true to the cultural ideals they are inspired by.  Here you will get to know brands that have what I call “the feel good factor”.  You feel good about purchasing them and you feel good using them! Hope you find simpatico with all our “Ideal Finds”.  I know our find this week is a sure way to match up with brands that will speak to your ideal values.  Introducing…

 

Ideal Find: Yuzen  Sample Box

Founders: Ted Ning and Jen Vaughan/Ted is with us for this Q&A

Authentic Dedication: The Yuzen concept is inspired by traditional Japanese patterns currently used today for intricate handmade Japanese paper. The actual Yuzen sample box is dedicated to presenting high quality natural and organic personal care products, healthy snacks and lifestyle items.

Lauroly Q: Welcome Ted and thank you for joining me here at World Wise Beauty. Yuzen has been selected as an “Ideal Find” because your special sample box is really a cornucopia of “ideal finds”.  From what I understand if I subscribed to Yuzen I would receive my carefully curated box of samples that are eco-friendly, natural or organic every three months in sync with the seasons. In a time crunched world when we are overwhelmed with so many choices I can appreciate having my own personal curator in a box! It’s a great gift idea as well.  So let’s start with the basics. What can I look forward to when I receive a special Yuzen sample box?

Ted Ning: We select the purest of the pure natural and organic skincare, beauty and lifestyle products that are mission based. Each box has a curated selection of items that are intended to bring people to their Zen moment – to give a gift to themselves and as they open up the box they are wrapped in sensual beauty and relaxation. It is intended to provide what we call a “shoulder dropping moment” where you open to box and experience the products and when you do you drop your shoulders 2 inches as you relax. The products are are balanced out so there is no overlap on items such as facial scrubs or moisturizers. They are also wrapped in tissue with a strip of Yuzen origami paper and each time we send out a box it is different. Traditional Yuzen is all about process and attentiveness to detail. We hope to convey that with our box.

Lauroly Q: I love the name Yuzen and how you creatively weaved it’s meaning into your conceptual branding. I feel relaxed just saying it! I know you spent a lot of time in Japan and even lived there for a few years. Can you tell us more about the Japanese cultural ideals that personally inspired you to create the Yuzen concept?

 

Yuzen Founders: Jen & Ted Ning

 

Ted Ning: We lived in Nagano which is a mountainous province north of Tokyo and we learned the they rhythm there is very different. It is attentive and slower and there is a lot of emphasis on the pauses and subtleties in life. Japanese people have a strong affinity for nature and natural elements that can be seen in Shintoism and many temples and shrines we lived around. All were made of wood and stone and have been there for hundreds of years. There is a strong focus on process in Japan. That is why you see that everyone writes the same, has the same mannerism and is one of the reasons for their success and intrigue. Yes there are challenges with this culture code but there are a lot of great things that we learned to appreciate as well. We have always loved Japan’s culture and art and wanted to share our passion with people in a unique way that blended education about natural and organic products and the beautiful Japanese Yuzen paper esthetic.

 

Lauroly Q: In addition to being the Founder of Yuzen you are also the Executive Director of LOHAS and responsible for promoting awareness and expansion of the conscious consumer marketplace. There are many people who don’t even know they are a LOHAS consumer–they just know their values matter when selecting and purchasing products. LOHAS inspired companies are a multi-mission oriented bunch just like us consumers! Some are focused on sustainability, fair-trade, animal protection, wellness or a combination of these missions. What’s your selection criteria for Yuzen? 

Ted Ning: We look at two things – depth of product and efficacy. We research the product and determine what ingredients it has and if they are natural or organic. For example there are a lot of companies that tout they are natural but have synthetic fragrances thus diluting the benefit of the ingredients. We also see what story they have to tell. Are they in the business for the bucks or is there a deeper message and value. We then try it ourselves and see if they work well. We also want to ensure they have a good quality aesthetic. This is very similar to Japanese cuisine that is judged on three principles – ingredients, taste and presentation.

And yes LOHAS is a global movement that is taking off quite rapidly. LOHAS consumers are the early adopters and educators when it comes to the environment, health and wellness and social justice. They are the box turners and seekers of information to ensure their decisions are the most well-informed. It is a movement that many companies are interested in so they know how to prepare for what will become  mainstream in 5 years.

Lauroly Closing: Thank you so much again Ted for joining me and sharing your inspiration for creating Yuzen. Your brand story is a lovely and authentic and I encourage everyone to visit your website Yuzen where they can learn more and sign up for a Yuzen subscription. I personally am a great fan of your work at LOHAS and wish you all the best as you continue to platform and expand the LOHAS mission worldwide…

Truly Herself,
Lauroly

WWB Note: If you would like to learn more about LOHAS you can visit LOHAS.com and you can also read a fabulous book called Cultural Creatives to learn more about how LOHAS consumers came to be a powerful force in our consumer culture. On the inside book jacket it ends the introduction of the book with these words “Cultural Creatives offers a more hopeful future and prepares us all for a transition to a new, saner and wiser culture.” 

 

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