Seido's 10 Years Anniversary Special
We made it! Seido is now 10 years old. A full decade of dedication to the Budo community and Budo equipment craftsmanship. To celebrate this huge milestone, we've decided to offer 10% on everything until the end of the month, but that's only the first part. Stay tuned, we'll have other surprises for you in the following weeks and month. 2020 is going to be a year of celebrations!
Thank you all for this unexpected success story
I remember when I first arrived in Japan in 2005, knowing pretty much nothing about Japan and the Japanese language, alone in Shinjuku station, the biggest station in the world, lost, disoriented, but impatient to be training on the mats at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. It took me 5 years to get comfortable enough to imagine that I could run a company in Japan. Years of Aikido training at the Hombu Dojo and all over Japan, years at the university to learn the Japanese language, culture and manners, years of very diverse working experiences that prepared me, at the end of 2009, to this decision to create Seido (called BudoExport at the time).
No one believed it would be a success. Absolutely no one. I started with a few thousands dollars, almost no support, alone behind my computer most of the time, with all the stocks and ordered pilled up in a 30m² appartment that I was sharing with my girlfriend Eriko (who happened to have a real job!). Seido opened at a time the Japanese YEN was relatively weak, which made our products cheap to Americans and Europeans. The world seemed to be recovering after the subprime crisis, but a few months after Seido's opening, summer 2010, the exchange rates fall and in just a few weeks, all our prices rose by 20 to 30%. It felt like the end, but the support from the community was there and I decided to continue. Despite the terrible economical conditions, we grew, slowly but sturdily. And in 2012 the second great fall, the YEN rose to its most expensive level in decades, and another price raise of 20 more percent was imposed to our products. We did our best to lower our prices to the maximum viable, reducing our income to the very minimum, and hoped for a prompt resolution.
Which happened! 2013 was the year of hope, and with an exchange rate back to what it was before 2008's crisis. We were finally able to drop the prices by more than a third, and get reasonable income. Orders started to pile up and we had to hire. It was the beginning of our success story. Seeing how hard and determinated we were, many people started to really believe in us, including someone who made a huge difference for us, Christian Tissier Shihan.
Between 2014 and 2019, Seido became the number one in France, and number two worldwide for made in Japan Aikido and Kobudo equipment, to the point Seido Co., Ltd. is now one of the major player in the industry in Japan, with an influence that has nothing to envy to the other actors. But we didn't build our reputation and influence with money and profit, we built it with an ethic and moral that was entirely constructed around the Budo philosophy, from a practitioners point of view.
Indeed, Seido was the first Japanese Budo Equipment company founded by an actual Aikido practitioner with a strong Budo ethic, and it made a huge difference with the craftsmen.
Seido is also the only company of the industry that is run by a non Japanese. Of course, those who know how it works within the Budo community in Japan will understand why no one believed in this project at the beginning. A foreigner in such a traditional and conservative industry was destined to fail.
Some people say that it isn't possible to run a business, especially under harsh conditions, and stay perfectly honest with everyone, including with customers (which means refusing to manipulate them with sales techniques). We are here to prove otherwise. It is possible to run a business based on honesty and equality, without exploiting anyone, from craftsmen to customer, including the company workforce.
And it is possible for one single reason: you. You decide from which company you want to buy. You decide what's important, and you proved us that you have chosen integrity, honesty and Budo values over anything else. By making this choice, you are not only the source of our business's success, but also the source of the great confidence we have in this community.
Thank you very much to you all. To all our customers, to all our partner craftsmen, to all our past and present partners, to the hundreds of high profile teachers who trust and support us, and of course, to all former Seido employees and interns who helped build Seido as it is today.