100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2017-2018 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Venus Style

CEO Keiko Yoshikawa

Kanagawa Prefecture
Message to young people
I want Japanese women to be emotionally independent. If you are determined, then money will follow you. That was what happened to me. If you are emotionally independent, then financial issues can be resolved. Young people should think about how they want to live their lives from an early age. Those who are independent and have worked on their life-planning can get married, work and take on many things without compromise.

When I got divorced I didn’t have any skills to support my children. I was not planning to become an entrepreneur, but I was simply looking for franchise business ideas since my father was involved in a franchise and I had the know-how. Curves had just entered the Japanese market and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I thought there was a good business opportunity in female staff supporting other women, a membership-based business to provide steady income, with low initial investment in a health-related field in an aging society. Today, Venus Style conducts business in the field of health, beauty and education for women. Our core business is the operation of 13 Curves outlets, which offer 30-minute exercise classes for women, in the Shonan area. Last year, we celebrated our 10th anniversary.

Until last year, Venus Style’s employees were all women, working to support Shonan women’s lives. I believe that employee education is critical since they will have an influence on the next generation, when they become mothers. My earnest hope is for women to become independent financially, physically and mentally so they can make rational judgments.

To promote women’s active participation, women’s empowerment and increase the number of working mothers, I intend to implement policies so that our staff can balance work and family life more easily. I also believe that our staff needs to acquire skills to work efficiently while they are single, since they won’t be able to work the same way after childbirth.

As one of the 10th anniversary events, we held the first Pink Ribbon Walk Shonan. We have also hosted a breast cancer awareness seminar, which led participants to get screened and some were found to have early stage breast cancer. These women shared their stories on what it meant to them, their families, their post-op situations and their emotional states. They all had different stories to tell. I wanted to do something to support them.

For several years, our staff and Curves members have been participating in the Pink Ribbon Smile Walk in Tokyo. Each year, the number of participants grew and I was getting feedback that participants felt it was a worthwhile activity. We thought it would be wonderful to have Pink Ribbon activity here in Shonan, to express my gratitude on our 10th anniversary.

With cooperation from area companies and Dr. Takako Doi from Pink Ribbon Kanagawa, we held the first Pink Ribbon Walk Shonan to promote breast cancer awareness. It was a great success and we are going to do it again this year. I want Venus Style to be a company that contributes to society, and I intend to raise more issues together with our employees.

I want my staff to serve our members out of love. People with a positive view of themselves filled with love can offer great service. To hire people with this quality, I look for people who can relate to — and are willing to realize — our corporate mission. In the end, I hope all our staff, members and customers will be full of happiness.

Company Profile

Venus Style
Operation of Curves franchises in Shonan area/health, beauty and education business