Monday, November 14, 2016

#269-Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!



Almost December?

Do I sound like my last post in August?

 

After New York and Atlanta TV location work, I am just done with Fuji TV project, I feel so happy that my daily life is back. 

 

I guess I am a super independent person and I don't want to deal with Japanese men’s world people who want me to say “yes” to everyone who pays me.

 

At this time I really realized that I love American people very much and I can fit well in here U.S.A. or I only want to deal with independent smart people in U.S.A.

 

On New York and Atlanta location Japanese men’s world people want me to say “yes” to them, but I said BIG “NO” to them, and I am very proud of myself.

 

To me money is just the number, to me beautiful heart is most important valuable thing in my life, if people just want me to work for money and there is no heart, I don’t want to deal with them.

 

Time is money, of course, but life is not for money. I prefer to live with good heart people and work with good heart people.

 

 

As I wrote in my previous post, “Life is short, so I want my life perfect with beautiful heart people”.

 

Anyway Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays to you!

 

 

By Yoko Fujimoto

Los Angeles

November 14 2016

Copyright © 2016 Yoko Fujimoto 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

#268-Where is my summer?



Almost September?

 

Since June 27th, I have been working hard every day with newspaper projects and TV projects… I had only three days off for fun (4th of July & next day and August 21st) this summer…

 

Even I am still having a problem with a new neighbor (upstairs woman who is waking me up at late or mid night) every day since February 20th…I am waking up at 5:00am and working hard every day…

 

Even I had a mouse problem (mouse made a hole into my kitchen drawers wall and left droppings in my kitchen drawers) & a car problem (my other neighbor made some scratches/dents/dings onto my car by their baby & bags & door etc.)…I managed well with an apartment owner & maintenance guys…

 

My motto is “enjoy every moment”… so I enjoyed my summer with my work & problems, and I learned that sometimes “a perfectionist makes a problem”, but always “a perfectionist makes a perfect life”… yes, I am still a perfectionist, and no matter what happens, I am still care about the high-maintenance lifestyle.

 

Life is short, so I want my life perfect for myself ; )

How about you?

 

Oops… I need to finish with my newspaper article now.

Have a nice rest of your summer!

 

By Yoko Fujimoto

Los Angeles

August 25, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Yoko Fujimoto 

Monday, June 27, 2016

#267-Kitson and KITROSS

I really think that the founder of Kitson, Mr. Fraser Kitson Ross is genius for marketing & business. He knows how to entertain customer, and he knows what L.A. is and how to enjoy L.A.


 


About Kitson and Fraser, I have written a lot on Senken-Shimbun and LA Celeb (their business closed, but it was a popular Japanese online shopping site), and I also made a story about Kitson on Japanese TV program (TBS TV).


 


At this time, I interviewed Fraser and wrote an article about Kitson, him and his new store KITROSS on Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion business newspaper).


 


If you want to know about Kitson, Fraser and KITROSS, read below.


My translation (into English) is not perfect, but my Japanese article is more than perfect, ha ha…   ; )


 


********


Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion business newspaper)


Article about Kitson and KITROSS by Yoko Fujimoto


Published on paper on June 27, 2016


 


■■”Kitson re-started with KITROSS


■”Actually, I love L.A.


L.A. casual clothing and pop culture are the best in the world


 


Popular L.A. celebrity casual clothing boutique ”Kitson” in Los Angeles, U.S.A. has been closed last December, and all 18 stores closed in January this year. And then the founder of “Kitson”, Mr. Fraser Kitson Ross has been started the new boutique business.


 


On May 28th the new boutique called “KITROSS” (total floor space: 5,000 square foot) opened on Robertson Blvd. in West Hollywood which is the same space of The original “Kitson” flagship boutique.


 


Concerning the closing by “Kitson”, Mr. Ross opened his mind and said, “In 2013 I couldn’t operate temporarily the boutique due to personal reasons. I needed to resolve the financial problem when I opened 6 store locations quickly last spring, so I sold some stocks to a company (Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc.). But I became a victim of fraud by the company (I lost $2 million and management right, and they didn’t pay fees to many brands, and then they told me suddenly about the bankruptcy). I also lost my face and they disgraced Kitson’s name. At this time we are preparing for four lawsuits.”


 


Mr. Ross is also trying to make Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc. to pay fees to brands which were Kitson’s suppliers.


 


Mr. Ross had opened the boutique “KITROSS” that the name is a mix perning from Mr. Ross’s middle name and last name, and he told us about why he started this new business.


 


“L.A. has always sunny and the weather is warm year-round, and we can enjoy casual atmosphere and pop culture in L.A. I actually love L.A. This city has big power and one of the attractive cities in the world. I pride myself that Kitson was the only boutique which had a L.A. lifestyle theme. So that’s why I wanted to open the boutique which introduce L.A. pop culture” Mr. Ross said.


 


Mr. Ross had run business of Kitson since March 2000 until May 2015. He has experience of boutique business about 30 years including his 14 year-boutique business in Toronto, Canada.


 


He emphasized that “I had learned about boutique business that we need to avoid socialized with clients and keep distance from clients professionally, and most important thing is honesty.”


 


“Kitson” quickly became famous as a popular celebrity casual clothing boutique which has many young teenager fans. The key of this success was the young celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff etc. The paparazzi helped to bring celebrities to the boutique. He had a strategy that he makes popularity of celebrities and boutique both at the same time.


 


Mr. Ross is going to aim a “slow process” business for KITROSS which means he would like to expand his new business by word of mouth.


 


Regarding the reason of this new business strategy, Mr. Ross explained “Social media is everything. Consumer has own opinion because of that. That’s why we don’t use advertisement and we let consumer to find our boutique by naturally, and then I hope those customer will use social media (SNS) to inform about our boutique like word of mouth. I did only that I called hotel concierges to inform about our boutique for tourists”.


 


“Kitson” used to displayed premium jeans and reasonable price products on the floor casually together as a unique effort due to make customer feel free to purchase expensive and in expensive products. At the “KITROSS”, Mr. Ross is displaying accessories, mug cups, stationaries, books with T-Shirts, pants and caps, which means customer don’t need to think too much about shopping, and customer could make decision to purchase products easier. 


 


“This idea works at this time. Many our customer purchases 3 products at one time, for example T-shirts, baseball cap and book, or Toy, socks and candy”, Mr. Ross said.


 


Every season they think about what customer wants and they buy products, and they have new products every day. They have 30 boxes of new products every day, and they change display with fresh products.


 


At this time they have about 800 customers every week, but “it will be double of this number by summer”, Mr.Ross predicted.


 


The concept of “KITROSS” is entertainment lifestyle boutique with a L.A. theme. Main products are products which customer can feel L.A. pop culture. Clothing (women, men, kids and baby) are not many (30% of total products), jewelry, accessories, books, goods, toys, candy etc. There are 500 brands products at this boutique.


 


“We can’t compete with fast fashion stores if we have only clothing. At this time our boutique’s best seller products are trendy choker and toy for swimming pool.”


 


Regarding the clothing best seller brands are Brian Lichtenberg, Lauren Moshi, Chaser and DIESEL.


 


“The era of premium denim is over. There are many women wear leggings instead of denim. I am expecting that YEBA clothing which has colorful leggings will sell a lot.”


 


About the future plan, Mr. Ross said “I would like to have boutiques in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong with license business. Near future I might open a pop-up store in Santa Monica.”


 


Regarding the lawsuit, Mr. Ross’s lawyer, Mr. Glenn Joseph Feldman said, “The cause of bankruptcy of Kitson was new management company didn’t listen to Mr. Ross’s idea which he wanted to reduce clothing and add more goods. And the company opened new Kitson locations in bad area etc. Since 17 years ago Mr. Ross has been made good brand name and good reputation of Kitson, so we would like to get good reputation and good name back. We will sue Salus Capital, Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc., Jeffer Mangels and Chris Lee, and we are going to have four lawsuits.” (Writer, Yoko Fujimoto)


 


Photo1:


Founder of Kitson and KITROSS Mr. Fraser Kitson Ross


 


Photo2:


KITROSS (in front)


 


Photo3:


KITROSS (inside)


 


Photo4:


Unique display idea at KITROSS


 


Photo 5:


YEBA clothing which has colorful leggings will sell a lot for sure


 


Photo6:


At this time the best seller toy for swimming pool


 


********


 


I agree with Fraser, “honesty” is the key to everything.


I hope you enjoyed his story.


 


By Yoko Fujimoto


Los Angeles


June 27, 2016


Copyright © 2016 Yoko Fujimoto 







Monday, May 2, 2016

#266- KonMari?




This morning I watched TV news program “NHK World’s NEWSROOM TOKYO” and saw the segment about KonMari.

 

I enjoyed seeing how KonMari organized some American women’s home, because I love cleaning and organizing (yes, I am a super clean/neat/organization freak) and I love to see people’s neat place.

 

And I feel good to see neat and beautiful things in the world.

 

But I was screaming “Kitanai! (Dirty!)” to the TV screen this morning because KonMari was folding shirts of client on the floor (people are walking by their shoes, floor is dirty)… I guess KonMari is not a clean freak ; )

 

I haven’t read KonMari’s book, so I don’t know everything about her method of tidying, but I can say this… we can tidy our belongings without throwing our belongings out.

 

Most of messy people’s problem is not organization, their problem is “bad shopping habit or bad shopping taste” or “wrong storage style”.

 

Messy people buy stuff without thinking (they just shop for joy for the moment), that’s why their home is very messy with clutter (a lot of stuff). Before they organize their belongings, they need to organize their shopping list.

 

I don’t agree with KonMari’s method of “Does it bring you joy? If you answer yes, you keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, you donate it or throw it out.”

 

It’s dangerous to give the idea “if you don’t enjoy with this, just get rid of it” to people who is a shopaholic with messy habits.

 

Her method sounds simple and easy, it sounds good for the moment, but where those clutter (people’s unloved belongings) go?  Someone’s closet? (other someone’s clutter?)  or Donation center? (things you don’t feel joy, and then you give them to other people? Sounds nice?) or Garbage collection site? (we need to support our earth, eco-friendly world)

 

If we throwing things away and make space at home, of course everyone’s home is neat and clean instantly, because they don’t have many stuff at home.




Simple is best, but this simple joy is not going to work for long time, because those people who are messy don’t realize that they have a shopping habit problem. They keep buy stuff and throw them out… they are not able to organizing their life/home completely.

 

They need to watch out their shopping habit problem before organizing home.

 

And we need to appreciate what we have, which means we can keep our home neat without throwing things out or give things away or waste of things.

 

We can give life and love to them (many un-using belongings/clutter) again, and organizing them at the same time.

 

Give them life? Keep our belongings with respect + responsibility.

Clean. Polish. Fix.

 

How to organizing things? Tidying with Zen.

Appreciation. Kindness. Love.

 

Oops, did I mess up with you who have been Konmaring?

 

I am just saying that I want to see people who can respect things and take care of things well without toss them out…same as for people (including our lives).

 

By Yoko Fujimoto

Los Angeles

May 2, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Yoko Fujimoto 

Friday, March 25, 2016

#265- Happy Spring, Happy Birthday and Happy every day : )


I love spring, because I was born in spring.

Today in Japan (March 26) is my 52nd birthday.

 

I love my life, because I love what I do and have.

Today is an appreciation day to my mother and late father who gave me a life.

 

I love being me, because I am happy every day.

Today, especially I appreciate my family, friends, people and things around me.

Thank you for everything in my life.

 

To everyone in the world, Happy Spring and Happy every day : )

 

By Yoko Fujimoto

Los Angeles

March 25, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Yoko Fujimoto 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

#264- Market Price at eaves Los Feliz???


Mr. Donald Trump said, “Location, Location and Location”, I agree with him.

 

But eaves Los Feliz apartment (I just left this apartment after I lived in this apartment for 10 years) said, “Market, Market and Market”, I don’t agree with them.

 

And I said in my negotiation time, "Condition, Condition and Condition" ; )

 

I had lived at eaves Los Feliz by AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (Former Archstone Los Feliz) for 10 years, and I had negotiated my rent with an apartment manager or a higher position person at eaves Los Feliz or Archstone Los Feliz each year, because I had so many condition problems (sewage leaking from the ceiling in the kitchen and living room, water leaking from the bathroom ceiling and wall, rain leaking in the bedroom, ants problem, car break-in etc.).

 

So my rent price was ok (I still think that they charge us more than the value of the apartment) until this year (new lease) negotiation.

 

Anyway they raised my rent $226 (15.5%) per month in my new lease (expire date was on February 23, 2016), and I failed negotiation with an apartment manager and an apartment manager’s boss (the Portfolio Operations Director) at this time.

 

If you want to know about how I was upset with this situation, please read my last email to the Portfolio Operations Director (apartment manager’s boss) at AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (Headquarter of Eaves Los Feliz) on January 19, 2016.

 

By the way, I gave my 30 day notice to this apartment and I moved out this apartment on February 20, 2016.

 

*** Here is my email to the Portfolio Operations Director Michelle. ***

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: YOKO FUJIMOTO

To: "Michelle***@avalonbay.com"

Cc: AvalonBay Ms. Mollee *** ; S*** <***@gmail.com>; "kelly***@avalonbay.com"
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 4:13 PM
Subject: To Ms. Michelle *** / From Yoko Fujimoto, #2** at eaves Los Feliz
 
 
Hello Michelle,
 
Thank you very much for your email.
 
Regarding the monthly maintenance of my sinks (in the kitchen & bathroom), I have never asked for it.
 
Your company needed to do it, because your company wants me to shut my mouth off.
 
This situation & condition is not normal!!
 
This monthly maintenance (started last May) was very uncomfortable.
 
It took all day and wasted of my time (needed to move my stuff under the kitchen & bathroom sinks and clean and put them back after the maintenance).
 
***
 
I had many sewage leaking problems from upstairs.
 
Even I reported to Alan about something wrong (noise) after your company fixed sink/pipe problem of #3**, your company (Alan) didn't do anything (he told me "no worries"), and then next day the nasty swage of #3** leaked from my kitchen ceiling and living room ceiling on April 13th.
 
And on May 8th, after fixed kitchen sink of #4**, the nasty sewage came up to my kitchen sink from upstairs again.
 
This sewage leaking problem is causing by two things, #1 -old building issue and #2 -human errors / bad customer service.
 
Rain is also leaking in my bedroom right now!!
 
***
1: Many times sewage leaked in the kitchen sink and the bathroom sink from upstairs.
 
 
2: A couple of times sewage leaked from the bathroom ceiling/wall, kitchen ceiling/wall and living room ceiling.
 (Twice I had big constrictions on the bathroom ceiling and wall)
 
3: Many times mailbox thefts (still going on!)
 
7/17/15, 7/29/15, 9/10/15, 9/15/15, 10/?/15, 1/6/2016 many more!
 
Even I reported about "there are many strangers/guests at the swimming pool party (some tenants bring around 10-20 people at once), Alan and Frankie ignored my report, that's why this apartment has many thefts problems (we are easy target from them!).
 
When I reported about many strangers/guests at the swimming pool at once, Alan treated me as a bad complainer, and then Alan treated the bad tenants (who brought many guests at the swimming pool at once) nice (because tenants brought some BBQ food to Alan and Frankie).
 
I called LAPD and Post office to claim about these incidents (mailbox thefts) in September.
 
4: Many times package thefts (I lost five packages in two years!)
 
As I said above, I reported about many strangers/guests at the swimming pool to your company, this brings thefts to our building.
 
And Alan and Frankie used to go to lunch together, so many packages were sitting in the lobby without security care (I reported about this to Mollee on May 6th, 2015).
 
5: Many times car break-ins (I lost money because of car break-in in 2014)
 
As I said above, I reported about many strangers/guests at the swimming pool to your company, this brings thefts to our building.
 
 
6: Two months, I couldn't open my bedroom window! (Big construction / replace the window), because #3** keeps his window open, so rain leaks to my bedroom window frame and ceiling.
 
January 5th, 2016, my bedroom window frame leaked rain again!
 
7: Many car scratches from the power wash in the parking lot in 2014.
 
8: Some strange scratches on my car in the parking lot, so I asked Mollee to put some more security cameras in the parking lot.
 
9: Bedroom window and closet doesn't shut complete, because this building is not straight enough (This building is sinking toward to the street side).
 
Even Alvaro tried to fix them, it doesn't work, because of this old building and bad condition building issue.
 
10: Thin wall and floor bring a lot of noise from upstairs and next door.
 
 
11: #3** wakes me up midnight and early in the morning a lot.
 
1/1, 1/3, 2/1, 2/3, 3/28, 3/29, 3/31, 4/1, 4/11, 4/22, 5/2, 5/3, 7/4, 7/5, 7/18, 7/25, 7/26, 8/1, 8/2, 8/8, 8/21, 8/23, 8/31, 9/5, 9/6, 9/7, 9/14, 10/3, 10/4, 10/10, 10/11, 10/24, 10/25, 11/5, 11/6, 11/7, 11/8, 11/12, 11/20, 11/27, 11/28, 11/29, 12/6, 12/11, 12/12, 12/30, 12/31, 1/2/2016 were really noisy, and he woke me up many times with his noise on those days.
 
And #3** is constantly making noise (especially footsteps) on purpose.
 
12: Living room window has a problem (installed wrong), so there are gap between window and screen, and many insects (twice lizards) came into my room from this gap.
 
13: Dogs are so noisy.
 
14: I am afraid of dogs and cats. When I moved in this apartment, it was a "no pet apartment", so I have been having a hard time with bad manner tenants (no leashes, pee and poops on the pavement etc.).
 
Smells bad and dirty animal hairs everywhere (especially in my balcony and in the washer/dryer).
 
15: Smoking smells everywhere.
 
Some tenants smoke inside of the staircase, it's very dangerous to catch the fire!
 
Even I reported about this to Ruth (at that time, she was the manager), she didn’t appreciate it, it seems like she didn’t care about it.
 
16: A lot of noisy party people at the swimming pool /BBQ area
 
As I said above, some tenants bring many guests (more than 10-20 people) at once, and they play music like a bar or club.
 
If there are just our tenants and some their friends (even total of people are more than 20 people), the noise is not that bad compare to one big group of 20 people.
 
And many strangers in our building, which means we have many thefts, right?
 
Especially August 22nd, Alan handled badly with my report of the noisy party people at the swimming pool/BBQ area.
 
3/28, 3/29, 4/4, 8/15, 9/7, 9/8 were very noisy, they had big parties at the swimming pool/BBQ area.
 
17: Many late nights (midnights), I also called the security company because of the party noise at the swimming pool/BBQ area, I felt like I was working as a security staff for your company (wasted of my time).
 
18: Many ants problem
 
Even I am a clean freak and I don't have any food on the kitchen counter or smell in my place, there are many ants in the kitchen and bathroom.
 
19: Your company staff is off on Sundays
 
We used to have staff in the office on Sundays, so less business = rent should be reduced instead of increased.
 
20: When your company painted our building, I asked about the date of the painting for our parking lot, but your company didn't tell me, and then one of the painters put the paint on my car!!! (January, 2015)
 
I reported to Ruth (at that time, she was the manager) about this, she didn't do anything or say sorry.
 
I asked her that "if you guys paint in the parking lot, please tell me, I would like to move my car", but Ruth didn't tell me about it, and then my car got some paint!
 
 
21: The paint project made us inconvenient, I couldn't open my living room window for three days during the New Year holidays (2015), and our living room and bedroom windows got dirty.
 
Your company didn't clean anything after paint project, instead of that, your company charged the paint fees to us (increase our rent more than 15%!!!).
 
 
22: Bedroom window never clean for 10 years!!!
 
I had a chance to clean the window once when my window needed to replace it.
 
And I cleaned my living room window by myself after we got dirty after painting project. (Bedroom window is impossible to clean by myself)
 
23: What is the point we have a survey?
 
When I answered to the survey honestly, Ruth (former manager) got mad at me and she took personally.  She ignored me after that.
 
But Mollee is nice, she has never changed her attitude after I wrote some comments on the survey.
 
The survey shouldn't send to the manger direct, because some tenants can't be honest with it.
 
I guess Yelp is the only good report for consumer that we can trust and rely on it to have useful information about business.
 
24: Most of the apartment company pays water/trash/government fees, but your company doesn't...
 
I understand about the market price, but your company should consider the building/room condition and customer service error/situation for the fair price.
 
 
25: If your company is doing this kind of business (your company doesn't care about loyalty tenants and just care about the profit), your company will be like K***.
 
I wrote many articles  about K*** business in Japanese newspaper (they charged 10 times more than regular boutique, and they treated badly to their fashion designers, and they didn't pay full rent for realtors), I knew it they will close their business, and then they did.
 
***
 
I have been living here for 10 years and I respected my place and building (I kept clean and made them look so new for carpet & wall etc.), please understand that I feel sad to say good-bye to this apartment.
 
But 15.2% per month increase ($226 per month increase) at once is impossible to pay, and I think the condition of the building/customer service doesn't make sense of this big increase!
 
Who gets $226 per month increase salaries at your office?
 
Business is about win-win situation, if your company takes a lot of profit from the customer without customer satisfaction, it really doesn't call "good business".
 
Anyway I am going to move out to let your company makes more profit from my room.
 
Thank you so much for reading my email.
 
***
By the way, I still would like to talk with your boss (VP), so please provide his full name and his contact info (email address and phone number).
 
Thank you.
 
Have a good one.
 
Best,
Yoko
 
********
 
I haven’t received any response from the Portfolio Operations Director Michelle.
 
If people don’t business with good heart, I don’t think the business will grow.
 
I hope this info is useful for someone who is trying to find the nice apartment or find the good tenants.
 
Honesty is the key to everything. If you are an honest person, you will get what you want and get good luck.
 
***
 
One month later, I moved in a lovely apartment in Montrose in L.A. County (It’s a hidden peaceful area in Glendale. Just 15-20 minutes away from downtown L.A.).
 
In January I have met wonderful apartment owner Bob and his wife Jan, and I still believe in that “Honesty is the key to everything”.
 
When I signed the lease of this wonderful apartment in Montrose on February 17th, Bob and Jan didn’t charge me from the 17th. Even I told them, “Please charge me from the 17th”, and they charged me from the 20th.
 
I believe in miracle… I met wonderful apartment owner and got a wonderful apartment with a fair price rent.
 
Since then…
 
I met a wonderful moving company guy (Harven at MOVE IT WITH MUSCLE!   http://moveitwithmuscle.com/) [he understood about my clean/neat freak thing, and he took off his shoes for me].
 
And…I met a wonderful AT&T internet installation guy (Francisco) [he also understood about my clean/neat freak thing, wore shoes covers and he installed my home phone as well which I had an appointment next day, I felt relief that I didn’t need to worry about the shoes covers thing next day].
 
And more…I met two wonderful & fun Charter cable TV guys (Tom and Harrison) [they were super nice!  they also understood about my clean/neat freak thing etc.].
 
More over… my new mailman David, I met him on the 25th in the morning and he came back to my place on his lunch break and brought a flower gift (moving gift) on the same day.
 
Thank god… Since I left the corporate apartment (eaves Los Feliz), I have been meeting these wonderful & warm hearted people.
 
Again I believe in miracle, and life is in miracle.
 
I appreciate everything what I have, especially I have a wonderful place to live in the wonderful owner's building.
 
Yes, Life is Beautiful.
Have a beautiful day to you : )
 
By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
March 3, 2016
Copyright © 2016 Yoko Fujimoto