Company/Organization: Origal LLP
Topic of Internship
Origal LLP was started in December of 2000 by two friends, Tatsu Shimizu and Yoshi Nishiyama. They saw that many Japanese stores wanted American brand clothing but could not get it easily, so the two decided to take advantage of the opportunity and started their business Origal LLP. They began their company with an e-commerce site called Apollo-nyc.com, which sells street-wear brands to the Japanese market. Street-wear is considered as small brands that young designers and artists make that are popular within these groups. The site soon became very popular due to the release of limited items with competitive prices that became more readily available over the competition. To do this, they receive inquiries from many existing boutiques and also those who want to open businesses. Due to an overload of requests and not having enough help they decided to close the e-commerce site down and focus mainly on wholesale and distributing clothing goods to their clients. Origal distributes all different types of clothing and apparel to over 50 stores across Japan. A few years ago, business was booming so they decided to create their own t-shirt brand called CRAFT and sell their custom t-shirts as well. After a while, however, they realized they could not juggle the two areas, so they shut down CRAFT. Today, they represent more than 100 brands and more than 50 wholesale clients. They act as a broker, or a middle man, by getting products from one to sell to another. They put brands in touch with clients and charge a twenty percent commission fee on top of their total sale. The customer pays for shipping and customs and Origal LLP gets a clean 20%. The partners frequently visit trade shows for brands to try and constantly expand their selection for their clients. They are now trying to expand their client network to other Asian countries such as South Korea, China and Taiwan.
Summary of Internship
At my internship, I perform a variety of tasks. I catalogue new items, record received merchandise, package boxes to be sent to Japan, invoices, use Microsoft Excel, and many other tasks. Through all these tasks, I am able to see what it takes to run a business on your own. Throughout the days, Tatsu would also show me various aspects of the business that he deals with but were too sensitive for me to get hands on experience with. I also see how the economic status of both countries affects the business of a small company such as Origal LLP.
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