Japanese Businessman Upbeat About Marikina Shoe Industry
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Yamamoto Tatsufumi, who is in the business of supplying high quality leather materials sourced from abroad for more than four decades, is upbeat about the prospects of the Marikina shoe industry. That is why he decided to move his business here from Tokyo last year.
Yama, who owns Yama Leather Studio located along J.P. Rizal St. in Brgy. Malanday, opened his Marikina shop in September of last year, thanks to the help of the Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office (MASIDO).
“I’ve been in this business for more than 40 years of my life. I’ve been dealing leather in the Japanese market --- manufacturers, tanners – but the market is shrinking and the major productions for shoes, bags and garments have already shifted outside of Japan. The demand is getting less and less. I don’t want to watch the market until it dies,” said Yama in an interview inside his shop.
“So I have to find another market. My wife is from the Philippines and I want to develop a business here because the economy is growing. Demand is increasing. So I have decided to change markets and opened a shop here,” Yama added.
His wife is from Butuan City. They met in Japan and got married there.
Yama sources his finished leather materials from Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan and India. He specializes in leather made form sheep and goat, but the Marikina manufacturers are more inclined towards cow leather, he said.
“I am targeting customers who are located in Marikina, who are manufacturing mainly shoes and bags,” Yama said.
MASIDO, which is assisting the Marikina shoe manufacturers to, among others, boost their production and expand their market, helped Yama in meeting the leather goods makers in the city. MASIDO is headed by Noel Box.
“Masido helped me a lot. They have been introducing me to new customers. They refer to me any enquiries that they receive from manufacturers about my shop. They help me in penetrating my information to the market,” Yama said.
He praised the shoes made in Marikina. He said the quality of Marikina’s shoes, especially men’s shoes, are of international caliber. Japanese customers who have seen the shoes made in Marikina were impressed, he added.
“There is one manufacturer here who has given me some samples of classic men’s shoes. I brought them to Japan. For the Japanese customers, there won’t be any problem,” he said.
The only problem is the price since prices of shoes made in China and Indonesia are very competitive.
“The price competition is heavy among the Chinese production and Indonesian production. We have to show them something special from Marikina. The structure, craftsmanship, there is no problem. They have to use more superior materials (to beat the competition),” Yama said.
Yama Leather Studio
703 J.P. Rizal St., Malanday
Email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook page -- https://www.facebook.com/YLStudio17/
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