Betley-based Jan Constantine: "People love to buy British!"
DESIGNER Jan Constantine believes it is crucial for businesses to find new markets.
About 20 per cent of business done by Jan Constantine Ltd is in exports.
Betley-based Jan says this is growing year on year.
Jan is currently on a UKTI lifestyle trade mission to Tokyo.
Fixed fee sales package for any residential property, just £325 +vat. Includes listing on all major portals e.g. Rightmove & Zoopla, floorplans, photos, for sale board, etc. Call for more details.
Terms: All prices subject to VAT. Terms and Conditions apply. E&OE.
Contact: 01782 900100
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Although she already exports to Japan, Jan believes the trip will be the perfect opportunity to target new contacts and get a feel for the market.
She said: "I will be looking at the shops. Japan is very high fashion and quite quirky.
"They love the British thing so it will be good to see how the British look is interpreted in Japan.
"I think the whole culture of Japan is so different. It will be fantastic to see and to meet all those people we have had contact with already."
Jan Constantine already sells to a number of shops in Japan as well as a couple of distributors.
The company also exports to the U.S., Canada, Australia and across Europe.
Jan added: "We do a lot of collaboration with other companies, using their products but our designs. Quite a lot of those companies export as well.
"The areas we export to are gradually widening out.
"Britain has made such a big impression on the world with the Olympics, and the recent London Fashion Week was a huge success.
"We would like to get more into the Asian market and Japan is a key destination. Other countries look to Japan first and that influences their tastes and fashions. Then hopefully those countries will start to import products from the UK too."
After travelling to Tokyo with UKTI, delegates were invited to the British Embassy where a 'Meet the Buyer' showcase was being held.
Invited guests, retailers, the press and agents are given the opportunity to meet and chat to delegates and start to build business relationships.
Delegates were also being taken on a tour of retail outlets, with guides sharing their knowledge of the market with the group and passing on tips and advice before the visitors attend any individual meetings.
Pete Chapman, international trade adviser with UKTI based at the chamber in Festival Park, said: "For example, retail in Japan is very different to here.
"The focus is on department stores and the quality is very high.
"We can help explain the difference in customer expectations, such as the fact that packaging is really important in Japan.
"It's a key market to get into and if a business can get a relationship going with a department store or an agent, it can be very rewarding."
As well as showcasing goods, passing on knowledge and matching companies with potential trade partners, UKTI will have interpreters on hand to overcome language issues.
Pete added: "For a UK company to go somewhere like Japan on their own is doable and they can generate a lot of research but it's really difficult.
"Whereas on these missions, the networking and the access to the embassy opens doors that would otherwise be quite difficult to open."
For more information about the work of UKTI call 01782 202222 or visit www.nscci.co.uk/international/