This is Satoru of Ikigai Artifacts.
Satoru, tell us more about how you started Ikigai Artifacts?
I was born and raised in Japan. I moved to the States on my own when I was 18 after I graduated from high school.
Since I was here on a F1 student Visa, I couldn't legally get a job, so I took so many odd jobs and worked under the table to survive until I received my green card in my early 20's.
Out of all my jobs, I enjoyed working for my friend Sam, who was selling body jewelry at different local street fairs.
He has taught me so many things, but the one thing he prepared me for was how to be a great business owner.
One day, he decided to travel to different tattoo and piercing conventions throughout the U.S instead of doing business only in San Diego.
After a couple of years of him leaving Oceanside, my best friend and I decided to establish our own body jewelry business.
When we were brainstorming on the names, we came across a word ikigai, which was a concept I grew up hearing about.
It is loosely translated as "reason for being" or "things that get you up in the morning."
We thought it was a perfect name for our business and that's how Ikigai Artifacts Co. came about.
We went to so many street fairs and events throughout San Diego, Orange County, and sometimes up in L.A. for about 1.5 years.
One of the things we'd always do was take polaroid photos of customers and ask them to write down their Ikigai.
We were so surprised to have ended up with over 300 Polaroids.
That really allowed me to have such deep connections with my customers and I had so much joy from it.
One day, my best friend left to pursue her own Ikigai and I decided to take over the business.
In October of 2019, I was finally able to open a storefront in Artist Alley, Oceanside.
What is the most difficult aspect about pursuing your passions?
The most difficult thing was to believe in myself.
We are always faced with so much adversity when we are being our authentic selfs and pursuing our passion but everything seems a lot simpler after we overcome our doubts.
What sort of advice would you give someone who is struggling to pursue their passion?
Just believe in what you do no matter how difficult it gets or how long it takes.
As long as you keep working on it, you will find happiness in anything that you do.
Do you have anything new or upcoming that we can expect to see from Ikigai Artifacts?
Since opening the storefront, I started working with so many local artists.
I have hosted art galleries, workshops, pop up events, live music, and many more.
Working with artists who are pursuing their IKIGAI inspires me and I love how that brightens the mood of the whole shop and customers that come into the store.
My next project is to collaborate with local artist on shirts, hats, and stickers (maybe masks too).
I want to keep promoting local artists and show customers and the community how each artist's IKIGAI transcends through their artwork.
Through this we can all create and share light and positivity in the community.
I'll also continue to host all-inclusive hangouts that support the LGBTQIA community by promoting equality for all.
Once I can re-open the shop, I'm planning so many awesome events and projects so please stay tuned.
Follow Ikigai Artifacts:
Online Store (coming soon): ikigaiartifactsstore.com