Miyoko Fuse combines her interest in gerontology and Feng-Shui to create positive home environments.
Business name: Home Esteem
What the business does: Home environment design with Feng-Shui considerations. Her specialization is helping older adults stay in their homes as they age.
Origin Story: Thirteen years ago Miyoko started her business with a very small step. “Everything was a fresh start. No business experience. No budgets. I did not borrow any money from any financial institution. I fed my business from my other work that was translation and editing.”
Miyoko differentiated her approach to home design in three areas: Japanese design, Feng-Shui, and helping older adults stay in their homes. Ten years ago, “aging in place” was not a priority with many designers. She established her niche early.
She balanced her lack of experience by having a Master’s degree in Communication. She enrolled in a gerontology program, and an interior design program to learn about American housing systems. Miyoko earned a Certified Aging in Place designation from the National Home Builders Association. Now Miyoko is both a certified Aging-in-Place Specialist and a certified green professional.
Journey of re-invention, re-creation: Miyoko writes, “I was in the translation industry, translating from English to Japanese, mainly huge documents. The Japanese economy went down a slippery slope, and the translation company that I used to work for could not get Japanese projects for me any longer. I got laid off. I was in my early 50s. Is was time for me to think how I would support myself for the rest of my life. I thought that my last career (as translator) would not be affected by the world economy.” Miyoko then asked herself “what is stable? Homes!” A home is a basic need. I live with an American husband in a U.S. constructed house, and I will continue to live in the same house, says Miyoko. I would like my home to be a happy, peaceful place to live longer. Many others would wish for the same situation, wouldn’t they?” Turns out, they do.
What makes your business work? “My credibility. A Japanese person learns and uses the discipline of Feng-Shui. My personality: patience, active listening to other’s needs, and sincerity.” Being a published author of Healthy Home for Healthy Aging with Feng Shui helps. Marketing happens largely via word of mouth.
Jackie teaches many classes to help you get started with your solo business or refine the entrepreneurial idea you have. You can learn these ideas also by reading and doing the exercises in her book, Better, Smarter, Richer here.