Every story begins with passion and courage to discover new lands. This is what happened to the Japanese woman Hikari Tanaka, who discovered and visited Estonia before, and only then did she get the key to Estonia’s digital country – Estonian e-Residency. The following story takes us through beautiful Estonian landscapes and explains how a Japanese woman; Hikari has become part of the Estonian e-Residency program, thereby changing the boundaries of her entrepreneurial world.
Estonia and Japan: Meeting of Cultures
Hikari’s first visit to Estonia was in 2016, when she studied crafts at Folkehøjskole in Denmark, then she traveled for the first time in her life to the Nordic and the Baltic countries. That’s where her curiosity about Estonia came from – national crafts and local culture and nature. She visited Estonian cities and was also on the island of Muhu and Kihnu.
Crafts and nature were so beautiful to her, and the cities were also clean, small and compact. Very different from Japan, but also somewhat similar. After the first visit, in 2018 and 2019, she participated in Estonian national handicraft summer courses and also helped some organic farms in Saaremaa and an eco-hostel in Tartu.
Hikari’s journey is a testament to the power of passion and curiosity. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, she moved to Tallinn, Estonia, in the summer of 2022, where she works at Fotografiska restaurant, which is dedicated to zero-waste and sustainability. She has also begun working at Vivita Telliskivi, a creative space for kids that originated in Japan and is now a global community.
In addition to her work, Hikari frequently receives personal offers for workshops and enjoys creating and repairing items. Her love for various handcrafts is evident, as she combines her hands and senses to craft unique pieces.
Hikari's Entrepreneurial Journey in Estonia
After arriving in Estonia, Hikari met Japanese businessmen who inspired her with their open and warm, yet sharp point of view. Their words and thoughts resonated with Hikari, especially their belief that “Entrepreneurship is a way to live as yourself and make the world a better place.” Although her work may be slow and practical, she believes it can inspire people in this fast-paced, information-rich age.
When establishing the company, she was helped by the possibility of Estonian e-Residency, through which she opened her borderless business in Estonia. And that before coming to Estonia. Her motivation was not to start a traditional business, but to share her knowledge and techniques, especially the deeper aspects of Japanese culture, with those who seek inspiration. This decision to start her own company was born spontaneously when she was looking for opportunities that were in line with her passions and the impact he wanted to make in Estonia. Hiraka’s journey is a testament to the limitless possibilities that await those who follow their hearts and hands.
The name of the company was decided on “BREWCOLLAGE”, which is a combination of the words “Brew” and “Collage”, referring to the French term “Bricolage”, which means DIY and working with various materials. These words describe what she does and her curiosity, reflecting how she strives to inspire connections between people, nature and the world with love, appreciation and respect.
Embracing Estonia's Unique Qualities: A Truly Journey of Inspiration
Estonia is very inspiring for her from many angles – the history of Estonia, the different deeper perspectives of Estonia, the nature of Estonia, and the possibilities of the Estonian e-Residency program. The latter, especially from the aspect that it opens many doors and gives opportunities to entrepreneurs.
However, when it comes to business, Hikari initially thought it wasn’t for her. However, she quickly realized that entrepreneurship is a good way to share and spread the hope of her life or the world. At this point, she encourages everyone to try if there is a business idea or idea and start anytime, anywhere and be sure to ask for advice. It doesn’t matter how big or small the idea is, social trend or not, it’s important to do something special.