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Step Into Chidoriya World

We at VIBES Lifestyle have a personal affinity for the essence of Japan, and I was pleased to meet Mariko Sato, of Chidoriya World when we were amidst the initial launch of Indie Beauty Expo. I had the pleasure of trying some of the products at that time, and I was completely captivated with the beautiful packaging as well as what was inside! We now have the honor of learning more about the inspiration behind Chidoriya. We went behind the scenes with Mariko, to peel back the layers of this amazing brand and unveil the magic that dwells within!

Q: When + where was Chidoriya World first established, and what inspired its creation?

A: Established in New York City, in May 1999, by Ms.Tomomi Horikiri, the current owner of  Chidoriya Corp. and Kyoto Chidoriya Corp. Originally "Chidoriya" was established by her father in Kyoto back in 1949 that was a high-end clothing boutique where most of his selections used to be made-to-order, Haute Couture, European designer pieces, and rare jewelry, etc. The new Chidoriya, providing the line of organic and natural skincare was created by Tomomi, driven to expand her father's traditional business with ideas of Tomomi's creativity and modern twist in both the US and Japan.

Q: Where are Chidoriya World's current Headquarters, and how do you feel that this location impacts the brand overall?

A: Our head-quarters, Kyoto Chidoriya is located in the enchanted City of Kyoto, Japan, and the US main office is located in the wild mid-west Chicago, where I am currently operating the business.

Q: What is your role, and how long have you been with the brand?

A: I am the Director of Sales, Marketing and Logistics in the US market and overseas. I have been with Chidoriya since the start-up, when Tomomi established the company in New York in May 1999. Wow!

Q: What is the Mission + Vision of Chidoriya World?

A: Honest ingredients. Small is beautiful. Stay true to ourselves. Be kind and thoughtful to each other and our environment. I have always been working from home office since the beginning and am grateful that we have this work structure. Since the pandemic started this March, our wholesale department became very slow because most of our wholesale clientele had to close their storefronts temporally. I feel fortunate that our online store, has been quite busy since. We always do put care into each package when we pack orders. But now we do put extra care into each customer's order: enclosing thank you notes and samples, etc. I hope that when the customer opens the package from Chidoriya World, somehow, they can feel a bit more peace and happiness along with their favorite products they order from us! Q: In what ways do you feel that Chidoriya World inspires others?

A: Originality. Uniquneess. Well, I would love to hear from you all about this!

Q: The first product was Azuki Red Bean + Brown Sugar Soap, can you tell us a bit about this product? A: This bar soap was the first item that was created in NYC in 1999. We worked extremely hard for this item because with this formula it took a while to come-up with the best method. Due to the azuki bean's nature, being super rich in saponin, and natural moisture from the organic brown sugar, the soap did not become coagulate easily. After long days & nights of working and figuring out with our soap maker, we finally were able to achieve its final product that we are happy with it. As for the packaging, it was, of course, Tomomi's idea. Each bar of soap is still hand-wrapped till this day with the handmade washi paper and the mizuhiki string. This work cannot be done by machine. 

Q: In what ways has the brand changed and evolved over time?

A: We used to carry much more various accessories from Japan. Now we are definitely more focused on building skincare lines. Q: Natural and organic traditional Japanese ingredients are used in the products, and based on the philosophy that cosmetic ingredients should be almost the same as what we eat. Can you explain why this is so important?

A: We are what we eat! I think you agree to this, Vibe?! {Absolutely, Mariko!!!} :) This also has a lot to do with the basic Japanese philosophies. Our skin can absolve much more than water, and we use cosmetics daily. There are core reasons why our ancestors had used these natural ingredients for generations. They are very simple and useful ingredients yet extremely effective and often times available around us. Why do we want to pollute our skin and body with chemicals? The key is to stay true to our roots.

Q: What would you say many allergic/skin reactions are caused by?

A: This is a very deep subject. Because there are many different cases depending on each of us and surroundings. But I think the No. 1 cause of the skin allergy/reactions is EMOTIONAL STRESS. Maintaining balance in life is very important for the skin and overall health. Additionally, it would be helpful if your skin is treated by natural and gentle skincare daily. Eat well and sleep well. Take good care of yourself inside and outside to strengthen your immune system. It makes such a big difference in the skin's health.

Q: In what way do Chidoriya World products treat and nourish the skin?

A: Our skincare is truly safe and gentle even for the most delicate skin. I think you can literally feel that if you try our products. You are going to want to take better care of your skin. What a lovely way to start your day and end your day. That is how I feel about the way our products treat and nourish my skin.

Q: Have you ever been to Kyoto, Japan? If so, what was your favorite thing about it?

A: Oh yes! Kyoto is so magical and very cultural. As soon as you get out of the Kyoto station and look around the scenery...No wonder this is the No.1 City in Japan for foreign people to visit from all over the world. It's like a painting. It seems like the time moves slower in the space.  And, definitely, the foods! You can see and taste the tradition in how well thought out each recipe is and how they present the dish. Everything is an eye-opening experience.

Q: What is one food dish that you could eat every day for the rest of your life?

A: Rice! Mochi, Natto, Umeboshi! I love all of them! Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A: I love my current city, Chicago where I have been living for 3 and a half years. I have lived in New York City for many years as well. These two cities were my dream places to visit since I was a teen. So where is next? I would love to live closer to the beautiful water in the near future. Q: What is the greatest compliment a customer can give?

A: We are so grateful when we receive complements from our customers how our skincare products had changed their skin or they are simply very happy with our products and services we provide for them. It really means a lot to us and makes our day!

Q: What are the goals of Chidoriya World for the future?

A: There are many things we are working toward. But there is an exciting project that we have been working on quietly at this time. Hopefully we will be able to present it to our customers within a year or please don't go away and stay tuned!

Q: Do you believe that "Simplicity is Bliss", why or why not?

A: "Simplicity" is more difficult to create just like a make-up artist doing a very minimal and natural look for a photoshoot. Because it shows every details. This is the same for the ingredients and the packagings we create for the skincare and cosmetics industry. Q: What is your favorite song to dance to?

A: Le Flex - I am so into this artist right now!! Please check him out. His songs literally make my day and night! And of course, anything Salsa and Bachata! I used to go out dancing a lot to these salsa and bachata clubs last year. I am not a formally trained dancer, but I know I had the most fun every time!

Q: What piece of advice has helped you most in your life?

A: recently a friend told me this:

"Forgive the people who hurt you, but just remember how they made you feel." *It was a massive lesson for me, and this helped me to move on finally. Tomomi told me a long time ago, "Keep your head cool, but have a warm heart" - this applies to everything we do in life.

We would say this in Japanese: "Atama wa cool ni, Kokoro wa atsuku." Q: What advice would you give someone struggling with skin issues or lack of confidence?

A: This is also a very deep subject because it depends on each person why they are having these issues. It could be a much deeper issue coming from their emotional stress. If I see them in person, I will just listen to them first and learn what is going on. Sometimes spending the time and just listening to the person can help them to feel better and/or even helps find the core issues.

Q: What is one thing you would change about this world?

A: I would like to be kind and respectful to other people around me and myself. A dear friend told me, "Happiness starts at home." - this is so true. We are creatures of energy. So I believe even a little gesture I do or things I create can affect much more than I could imagine. So, my answer is, I would like to spread GOOD VIBES to the people and the world.

Thank you so much Mariko! We loved learning more about the brand, and have really been enjoying the products. The Eye Serum is a life saver, it soothes my eyes every time I apply it! I also favor the Massage + Cleansing Oil, the grapeseed + jojoba is a dream. I must say, the Hiba Herbal Water makes me feel very refreshed, indeed! We can't wait for the new updates when you release them, so we will definitely stay tuned!


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