Sachiko Kiriyama was chief of sales of a major logistics company when she fell in love with Portugal and decided to enroll The Magellan MBA. The programme gave her an opportunity to improve and enabled also a business opportunity. “The entrepreneur spirit that we breathe at Porto Business School inspired me to create my own business”. Filigrana com amor is taking portuguese filigree jewels into Japan. The next step it is to explore other Asian markets.
Why Portugal and why Porto Business School?
[SK] Through my life experience I realized that Portugal has great potential as an axis of a vast market throughout the world. I needed to improve my business skills and wanted to create a real network in Portugal and neighbour countries so Porto and Porto Business School seemed a natural choice.
Porto Business School has one of best MBAs in Portugal. It is recognized worldwide. Also offers a very well organized curriculum in some areas in which I was lacking – at the time - much experience, such as finance or entrepreneurship. Besides it, during the programme the school held many seminars with executives which helped me to get in touch with real Portuguese business experiences and create a very interesting network.
Throughout the programme I managed to develop my analytical skills as well to improve my collaborative and team-building skills. Porto Business School gave me a good opportunity to improve my career in many ways. It was a great experience. I can say it changed me and helped me to change my life.
The changes after the MBA journey…
[SK] After I graduated I started working at Euromonitor International, a strategy research company, where I was responsible for advisement, especially financial institutions such as banks, securities companies, asset management and private equity funds. I can say - without doubts -that I used all the financial knowledge that I learned at The Magellan MBA in this period of my life. But the Magellan MBA was also very important in the process of creating “Filigrana com amor”. With my own business I started using many other things I learned at the MBA.
Filigrana is one of the most ancient techniques of working metals in the all world. The origin of this technique was born thousands of years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. It is a true miracle that we can still meet craftsmen working on filigrana in Portugal.
When I was a student, at Porto Business School, I visited a company called ALCINO in Porto and I heard that the number of craftsman who can make Filigrana had decreased in the last years. That time I felt that this technique had to be preserved in the future and I wanted to contribute for it. “Filigrana com amor” is my contribution.
“Filigrana com Amor” was born from the communion between the most ancient techniques of portuguese filigree and the romantic design inspired by Portuguese customs and habits. Our collection of legendary stories told through the hands of authentic artisans, who, through the secrets of this millenary technique, make us relive ancient amorous passions. We reveal the finest details of these stories in our small pieces. Nothing is random. Nothing is excess.
How are Japanese reacting to Portuguese jewelry in filigree? Who are your main targets?
[SK] We launched “Filigrana com Amor” last year, in March.
Our customer group with the largest share is women in their 40’s. But there is also a significant amount of use by women in their 30’s, 50’s and 60’s as well. Women that pay attention to quality products.
The mission of "Filigrana com amor" is to spread the Portuguese jewels through Asia. Do you plan enter in other Asian markets in the future?
[SK] It is always in my mind, however, I still don’t have specific plan for it. My main goal for now it´s to consolidate the brand in the Japanese market and only after I will start thinking about spreading “Filigrana com amor” in other markets.
What are your expectations for the future of the company?
[SK] I expect “Filigrana com Amor” to be a global brand. I hope we can spread our love and passion for portuguese filigree all over the world. It would be great if we could create more employment and the right conditions to develop even more the profession of craftsman.