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Article: <Good Partner Day Interview Project> Complementary relationship with grandfather's experience and grandchild's new ideas [Nanami Ozaki]

<Good Partner Day Interview Project> Complementary relationship with grandfather's experience and grandchild's new ideas [Nanami Ozaki]

KAPOK KNOT is a brand that proposes a "heart-warming lifestyle" in modern times. Who you spend your time with is important for living a happy life. Nowadays, diversity has come to be seen as ``richness,'' and the nature of partners has also changed. We started this interview project to update the anniversary of November 22nd, ``Good Couple Day,'' to November 8th, ``Good Partner Day.''

This is the 4th time we interviewed Nanami Ozaki, the representative of SEVEN THREE., a pearl brand from Ise-Shima, Mie Prefecture . This brand was created by combining the experience of an old man who has been involved in pearl farming for more than half a century with Mr. Ozaki's new perspective. We asked him about his relationship with his grandfather, who is both a family member and a business partner.

Our interviewer is Hoshiyuki, who is in charge of editing this interview project.

Branding Grandpa's Pearls
The opportunity was “Miss Ise Shima”


Hoshi : Nanami-san, thank you for your time today. Since I help with public relations for SEVEN THREE., I often hear about the brand and pearls, but this time I would like to talk about the relationship with the grandfather. I haven't heard much about the story with the grandfather, so I'm looking forward to it.

Ozaki : Thank you very much. That's right! I may not have talked about it in depth until now. Grandpa has been cultivating pearls for 70 years and is still actively producing pearls even at the age of 85. SEVEN THREE. is a jewelry brand that only handles Akoya pearls from Ise-Shima, with a focus on Grandpa's pearls.

Hoshi : Have you always wanted to launch a pearl brand?

Ozaki : No, that's not it at all (lol). It all started when I was selected as "Miss Ise Shima" in 2013, and I started traveling back and forth between Mie and Tokyo for work. After graduating from high school, I moved to Tokyo and worked as a model and talent.

After I started going back to Mie frequently, I looked at my grandfather's work again and thought, ``It's really amazing that he continues to work in aquaculture even after he's 80 years old.'' Even just going out to sea and pulling up shellfish requires a lot of strength.

*Akoya oysters that are growing pearls are being pulled from the ship.

Ozaki : Seeing people working on the sea every day made me want to play a role in delivering these pearls to a wider audience, even though I cannot continue the aquaculture business.

Hoshi : Until then, how did your grandfather sell his products?

Ozaki : I had customers come to my home and did home sales. I had no plans to sell it online. Being able to serve customers directly is one of my strengths, but I would like to spread the word about pearls a little more.

Pearls have a deep connection with ceremonial occasions, and I think it seems like a high hurdle, especially for people in their 20s and 30s. That's why we created simple jewelry that uses only one piece so that it can be worn on a daily basis, regardless of fashion. I would like to make updates that will make people who have never been interested in pearls think, ``Pearls are cute!''

"Goldfish Pearl" was born as a nickname for Baroque Pearl.

Hoshi : SEVEN THREE. has been attracting a lot of attention since they released ``Goldfish Pearls,'' which have a unique shape with a pearl with a tail fin.

Ozaki : This also happened by chance, when I saw a distorted pearl while selecting pearls and thought, ``It looks like a goldfish and it's cute.'' From Grandpa's point of view, it seemed obvious that pearls that weren't round wouldn't sell, so he seemed surprised that I said they were cute. I was like, “Is this good?” (laughs)

Distorted pearls are called "baroque (distorted) pearls," and until now they were rarely distributed.

Hoshi : When you think of pearls, you have a strong image of them being round and pure white...

Ozaki : That's right. At first, Grandpa seemed worried, wondering, "Will people really buy it?" I'm really surprised that so many people are interested in it now.

SEVEN THREE.'s jewelry was created because of my grandfather's many years of cultivation techniques and experience, as well as his "eye" for discerning the quality of pearls. When I first started, I wasn't very good at discerning pearls, so I selected them by myself while sitting straight at home, and had my grandpa correct them (lol).

Pearls may look perfectly round but have a slight distortion, and even if they look pure white, there may be other colors mixed in, so it is very difficult to identify them.

Hoshi : The grandfather's skills and Nanami's perspective complement each other's's wonderful.
I think it was a new initiative to name distorted pearls and turn them into jewelry. What kind of reaction did you get from the pearl industry?

Ozaki : I was very happy to hear from people in the industry saying, ``I'm glad you're working with new ideas.'' Rather than taking an approach that competes with customers within the industry, we would like to create a brand that brings pearls closer to those who have previously felt distant from them.

There is no one who doesn't know about pearls, but there are still very few people who know the details about the cultivation methods and the uniqueness of their colors and shapes. That's why we make sure to carefully communicate the background behind the pearls.

SEVEN THREE. is a brand that “becomes”

Hoshi : Do you ever discuss the future of SEVEN THREE. with your grandfather?

Ozaki : Hmm, we don't talk that much. SEVEN THREE. is a brand that relies on Grandpa's pearls, so we haven't decided how long it will continue to exist. For example, neither he nor I know whether he will still be actively engaged in aquaculture five years from now. It would be putting the cart before the horse if this brand were to become a burden to the old man, and we haven't decided too far into the future and haven't set out a vision.

However, every time my jewelry sold, people would often call me and say, ``I hope you're still doing well!''

Hoshi : Wow...that's right. I think there are many people who come to like SEVEN THREE. after knowing the story of the two of them, so it's a wonderful cycle that the voices of those customers are connected to the grandfather's vitality.

Ozaki : It makes me really happy when I feel that SEVEN THREE. motivates me to work. This is a brand that I started because I wanted to help my grandfather, so I think all I have to do is think about what I can do under the circumstances at that time, and I hope I can do what I can (lol).

Personally, I'm the type of person who finds chasing numbers extremely stressful, so being able to maintain that stance is a relief. While Grandpa is healthy, we can take on new projects and challenges, so I want to continue having fun together without putting too much effort into it.

family, friends, business partners
Comfortable relationships created through gratitude

*Nanami is wearing KAPOK KNOT's air light jacket. I have been using it regularly.

Ozaki : Grandpa is a very nice person and is extremely loved, but he's not the type of person who is good at making money. I also don't think I'm the type of person who is good at management that prioritizes profits first.

Hoshi : Nanami-san too? Why?

Ozaki : Maybe it's because I'm doing business with my grandpa and my family...I've never thought that only I want to make money, and I just want everyone to have a good relationship.

I was able to get this far because of the support of the people around me, and to begin with, there was no one in my life who was only thinking about their own interests.
We are now where we are today thanks to the blessings we have, so I try to cherish the feeling of gratitude to everyone who is involved with the brand before I start doing business.

Hoshi : At the pop-up event the other day, I could feel Mr. Ozaki's good nature from the customers who flocked to him.

Ozaki : Thank you.
I really want to cherish a ``comfortable relationship.'' In that sense, from a financial perspective, we try to buy from producers at asking prices whenever possible.

I want to create a business that can be a win-win for producers, sellers, and consumers because I have watched Grandpa closely and know the hardships faced by producers. Because we are not in a field of mass production, mass consumption, or low prices, we place importance on preserving originality and carefully conveying the passion and story behind each piece of jewelry.
I think there will be more manufacturing like this in the future.

・Nanami Ozaki (SEVEN THREE. Director)

Born in Ise City, Mie Prefecture. After graduating from high school, she moved to Tokyo and worked as a model and talent before establishing a company that plans and operates corporate promotions. President and CEO of Sanbun Nonana Co., Ltd. In December 2017, she was appointed as the ``Ise-Shima Ambassador,'' a tourism ambassador responsible for disseminating information about Ise-Shima in the Tokyo metropolitan area, and is still active today.

SEVEN THREE.Official website

Nanami Ozaki Instagram

* * *

SEVEN THREE., which began with the desire to help an old man, was a brand centered on connections with people and gratitude rather than profit. Because he has a genuine feeling for his family, his posture remains steady. I feel that this sincerity is conveyed to our customers, which is why we are loved by so many people.

A series of interviews with KAPOK KNOT on November 8th (Good Partner Day). Next time, we will ask a daughter who runs an inn in Hida Takayama with her mother about the ``heart-warming relationship between parent and child.'' looking forward to.

Interview/edited by: Hoshiyuki Written by: Yuito Matsumoto

◆The "Good Partner" campaign is being held at the Nihonbashi showroom from November 8th (Monday) to December 26th (Sunday)◆

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