Episode 8

Published on:

20th Jun 2022

Doing business in Japan with Kiwi Kindness with Mayu Suzuki

As an exchange student at Kapiti College at 14 years old, Mayu Suzuki helped her family to start what is now a successful business exporting high quality mānuka honey to Japan. Mayu shares how she is influenced by Māori culture and the care of future generations in driving  how her business operates on its three pillars: care, kindness (“mariri”) and honesty

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In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Mayu found her first supplier of manuka honey at 17 years old after a rummage in her pantry!
  • The differences between online platforms such as Rakuten and Amazon
  • The importance of crafting a story for your product
  • Mayu’s predictions for the future and planning for the next 300 (yes 300!) years

About Mayu:

Mayu is a business and cultural bridge between Japan & New Zealand.

Born in Japan, raised in Japan/New Zealand, currently calling Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), home.

During the daytime Mayu is the Managing Director of mariri New Zealand delivering the taonga (treasured possessions) of Aotearoa New Zealand to Japanese customers on e-platforms.

Mayu is also heavily involved in organising the Japan Festival Wellington - one of the biggest biennial events in the coolest little Capital, spreading her love of Japan.

She is director and founder of maririNZ brand which is a family-owned business based in Hokkaido Japan. Their products include manuka honey, avocado/olive oil, bee-related products and cosmetics. 

Their business kicked off 15 years ago... on Rakuten, Yahoo, Amazon and its official marketplaces.

Mayu went to Kapiti College and Victoria University and has a deep understanding of kiwi-ness as a Japanese person. Her motto is "being a bridge between Japan / NZ and sharing Kiwi-kindness with Japan".

Mayu is an experienced hand for all things Japan being born in Japan and is a fully bicultural Kiwi Japanese with an incredibly deep insight into both cultures and she truly knows how to be successful in business in the land of the long white cloud AND the land of the rising sun. 

Connect with Mayu:







Rakuten University: https://university.rakuten.co.jp/ 

Connect with Jayne and Catherine

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jandals-in-japan-podcast/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jandalsinjapan/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jandalsinjapan 

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About the Podcast

Jandals in Japan
Bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
The best show about New Zealanders doing business in Japan, bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
How do you build a brand in Japan and nurture a loyal customer base?
What do you need to have in your tool belt if you are thinking of coming to Japan to launch a business here?
Japan is often considered to be in the "too hard" basket but we are here to open up the black box of doing business in Japan.
We will share stories from successful Kiwis selling their products and services here in Japan.
They'll tell you their tips for success and pitfalls to avoid.
They'll share their challenges and what they did to overcome them.
They will tell you things you can't find in textbooks or on the internet.
We will also be sharing the latest intel and insights on Japan from our on-the-ground presence
And you'll hear some super business culture and other tips from us sprinkled throughout.
Grab a glass of sake and let's get into it.
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About your hosts

Jayne Nakata

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Jayne Nakata is a Southland girl who arrived in Japan in 2002, planning to stay just two years. 20 years later she is still living in Fukushima Prefecture with her Japanese husband and two children. When the triple disaster hit in 2011, Jayne made the commitment to stay in Fukushima and contribute to rebuilding the area. She is the host of the award winning podcast Transformations with Jayne, which is a favourite with international women living in Japan. She is also the double award winning podcast producer and manager for PodLaunch with Jayne.

Catherine O’Connell

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Born and bred in Christchurch, Catherine O'Connell landed in Japan in 2002, on a one year contract, and 20 years later she's planted her feet firmly in Japan. She built a wealth of business and cultural experience working at the coal face of brand-name Japanese corporates as in house legal counsel. Catherine took a leap of faith down the entrepreneurial route launching her own multi award-winning boutique law firm in Tokyo in 2018, being the first Kiwi and first foreign female to do so. She is Vice Chair of the Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan and helps businesses thrive in the Japan market delivering business insights meshed with legal instincts. Catherine is also host of the award-winning Lawyer on Air Podcast.