At Miya Shoji, a father-son team takes a different approach to business and to life, keeping craft as the guiding principle.
Watch the video and answer the questions below.
1. What analogy does Hisao Hanafusa, the father, use to describe a business?
2. What did Hisao Hanafusa make for his mother and father as a child?
3. How did Zui Hanafusa, the son, apply for the job in his own father's shop?
4. How big was the workshop back in the 70's?
5. What is Hisao Hanafusa's approach to his work?
6. What do they not think about when they talk about their business?
Our business philosophy is something like every day we go to work, we try to make something beautiful, so it’s more of an artist’s way of thinking through business.
Many people ask about how we run the business or how business is successful or how does it actually revolve within the shop itself. My father always said it was like a bicycle business. You pedal, bicycle can move. No profit. But sometime, down he'll come. You don't have to pedal. Still go. Then hit the bottom. Then you have to get off. You have to push the bicycle with it. So it's going this.
Woodworking. I'm always interesting philistine. I was maybe nine years old. My mother said, I wish I had a window here. So I was nine years old. Cut the wall. Made the window for her. Then my father say, I wish I had a fireplace. So I made a fireplace. I liked it something to make.
When I was in the corporate world, I was there constantly. One day I was walking down the street, heading towards the shop. And everything looked very not kept well. And my father was actually working on some designs. But you could see him from outside. I thought, one day, I should hang out next to him. Not just learn in depth about the business itself, but learn more about our family itself. That's where the whole thing kind of took off. Like, maybe I should just be here full-time. I applied for the job with a resume. And my father actually thought it was a joke, since most of the times I'm kind of taking everything for fun. I started the next week.
Growing up back in the 70s wasn't exactly like the situation we have now. Workshop was maybe 3/4 of the space. And the showroom was only 1/4. But every day after school, come back to help out, clean up, watch several carpenters working.
Why I create? Fun. Fun. Should be fun, not serious. I check all my family. They don't have a business mind, traffic mind. Nothing. Just art kind of stuff.
When people talk about certain things like, what's your business model? Do you have any annual reports?
You know, it's not about money that we're thinking. Actually, the first thing we're thinking is about the business itself, which would be the design.
With nature it’s easy. We don't have to work anything. We don't have to design anything. Just find a nice old wood. Slice it. Beautiful, you use it. If not beautiful, you don't use it. Very simple. We never learn business. More like a craftsman.
1 He compares a business to a bicycle.
2 A window for his mother and a fireplace for his father
3 He sent a resume.
4 Three quarters of the space
5 He wants to have fun and doesn't have the business in mind