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Heather

Russell

Founder and MFCEO of Rinkya

heather
 

about

Born on the 4th of July, in New York City. The fireworks were not for her. In 2001, she would create her own with Rinkya in Japan.


Heather’s life long love affair with Japan began on her 4th birthday. She asked for and got a Godzilla toy as a birthday gift.


While studying at Manhattan’s High School of Fashion Industries, she took her Father’s words to heart: “Never let school interfere with your education”, thereby, spending her time haunting Canal Street in Chinatown for early anime videos.


Moving to Arizona with her family, Heather studied Japanese at Arizona State University. She started a business, selling Japanese animation artwork. But her lack of fluency in the Japanese language (with a Brooklyn accent) was frustrating. So, in 2000, she moved to Japan and tackled the Tokyo challenge alone as a “gaijin” female.


Living in Japan, she saw the opportunity to bring Japan to the world.


She quickly realized that an English language middleman service would be attractive to worldwide buyers and Japanese sellers alike. The buyers would understand the intricacies of what the Japanese were selling and could bid on their items. The Japanese sellers, on the other hand, would only have to deal with someone who was fluent in Japanese and not have to ship anything out of Japan. Born: Rinkya!


Twelve years later, Rinkya is the number one middleman service for all things Japanese: from toys to car parts, antiques, dolls, fashion, books, music, etc,, bought and shipped to a worldwide audience 18-85 years old from New York to Iceland.


Rinkya has been on the INC 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in America from 2007 thru 2011, with revenues at over $4 million USD per year.


Heather now lives in London full-time, looking for new business opportunities while sharing her love for Japan.


talk

Time of presentation: Monday, June 24th, 2013 17:30 - 18:15

Track: Track 1

Topic of Presentation: Mistakes as an Entrepreneur


Do you know what you are doing? No one does. Let's learn how we can sort of figure it out.