Behind the Scenes – Leisel’s Trip to Japan
I saw a Facebook post the other day that asked you to name the movie title that best describes your life. For me, there is clearly one movie title that fits the bill……Planes, Trains and Automobiles, no doubt! After having only been home less than a month after my Europe tour, I took off for Japan.
The day before I left, I went to work for just a few hours to make sure my convention projects kept moving, attend a smattering of meetings and finish my PowerPoint for this trip. I had about finished everything on my “to-do” list and I sat back to peruse my itinerary.
As I looked down at my flight itinerary my eyes rested on the first flight out to Japan…..I’d already missed it! It was that morning at 8:00! Panic set in and the beginnings of a chaotic two-day long trip to my first meeting began. As the office scrambled to get me new flights, I raced home to quickly finish last minute chores, visit with my kids before I left and of course, to pack!
After barely arriving at the airport in time, I jumped on the first of what would be three flights to go before even my first meeting. In order to make it to the first meeting, there would no time to rest before the first meeting. Three plane rides (one of which was a grueling 11 hours) and a taxi drive later; I arrived to the first meeting with no time to spare.
My first meeting was held at the home of distributors, Mr. and Mrs. Takenouchi. It was low-key but high energy and I relaxed into what would become a tour full of fun, laughter and of course all things beauty. We relaxed, eating delicious food while I spoke about the new beauty products. Afterwards we were able to visit with each other and were even treated to some beautiful Hawaiian dancing by some of the beautiful Japanese distributors; it was a perfect start to the tour.
Everything Japan does is first class and this tour was no different. The theme of this tour was “Pretty in Pink” and everything from the accompanying magazine and video, to the ribbons on the back of each and every chair was pink themed. It was feminine and girlie and everything it should be when you’re talking about new lipsticks, liquid foundations and of course the best pink of all……Exfolium!
After each meeting we would gather round to take pictures, eat some goodies and of course try the products. Women love to apply makeup and since this was the first time they were able to use the new liquid foundations, lipsticks and Exfolium, they excitedly tried on color after color. The turnout was invigorating with the biggest meeting in Tokyo, were about 500 attended; we were literally spilling out of the room.
City after city I not only met distributors who’ve been with us for years but also quite a few younger distributors I hadn’t met before. It was after visiting with these distributors that I found many of our long time distributors had brought their daughters with them.
Just as I was speaking about the Mower Mission that my father had started years ago, these young women were now doing as their mothers had….continuing the tradition to use and educate others about the common harmful ingredients in today’s personal care products and the safer alternative that Sisel offers. What an amazing discovery to see that the philosophy my father started more than 30 years ago is just as important to the younger generations, as it had been for their parents.
Although we had hundreds of distributors at some meetings, afterwards as we gathered around the makeup table to try the makeup and visit with each other. Despite the size there was much the same feeling of getting together with your girlfriends for a sleepover to visit, laugh and do makeovers on each other…mostly it just felt like girls getting together to have fun. Of course there were guys there too, and they joined in the fun as well but the feeling was refreshingly low-key and relaxed, I loved it.
I had a few hours here and there of free time that I was able to spend some one on-one-time with distributors. Before a meeting one day I was able to visit the grave of Egashira Toru, one of the first distributors in our company and a great, personal friend of my father. I had the privilege to make this trip with not only Scott Murdoch but Eiji, the son of Egashira Toru. To hear Eiji talk of the appreciation for all the opportunities Tom Mower and Sisel had afforded not only his father but his entire family, I was humbled to realize this business goes much deeper than products and payouts. It was an overwhelming feeling to see just how life-changing this business can be on a personal level, as well as a financial level.
On my first night, Mr. Takenouchi took myself, Scott, Kuniko and a small group to one of the best Italian restaurants I’d ever been to (I know, it seems weird to be in Japan and eat Italian, but it was amazing!). This was great for me because sometimes certain Japanese food can seem very different to me. I always want to try food and never want to seem as though I don’t appreciate anything offered to me. We were visiting and laughing and just having a good time as each course that was served was better than each one before it.
Finally- it was bound to happen- a plate came with not only vegetables but with lots of tiny, baby octopus. My eyes grew wide as I tried to convince myself that I wanted to eat these things. Scott could see my hesitation and he translated to the table that I might not be eating from this dish. Mr. Takenouchi took a baby octopus on his plate and gave it a good look for a few seconds before he finally said, “I have to admit, if I really take a good look at them, they do look pretty weird!” We all burst out laughing as I realized just how common we all are even amid our differences and it’s these commonalities that bind us all together.
Older generations talking to the new generations in the field sharing a common concern; a desire for safer products, with no harmful ingredients, that work better than any other product in the market…..and having a whole lot of fun doing it!
Thank you, Japan, for the great experiences!