KAY MAKISHI

Strategist

Business + Tech + Design + Social Innovation

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about me

My Life Mission is to unite and uplift our world. 


MAKISHI 眞喜志 in Japanese means Pursue True Happiness


My Life Philosophy is based on ways to view time: Everything always happened for a great reason [Past]. You're always in the right place at the right time because if not you wouldn't be Here [Present]. No regrets, ever [Future]. 


MY LIFE CHAPTERS

Inspired at age 15 by one of my favorite books Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.  

Based on age since Human's common currency is time.  

Chapter 1: EXPLORE

Kay Makishi, University of Oxford

Age 0 - 30. This chapter I explore who I am, what the world is, and how I want to make a positive impact in chapter two. Worked in private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Had tons of side hustles including as a TV host for a Singaporean travel show. Tried to try everything. Traveled 50 countries, learned about my heritage, got my masters and so on. 

Chapter 2: ENDEAVOR

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Age 30 - 60. This chapter I endeavor to use business as a force for good. My mantra is Pursue True Happiness - a lifelong journey of serving others through your gift to our world. My gift is turning ideas into actions into results. The theme in this chapter is to make others happy through good product with great people. Good for people, planet, and profits. 

Chapter 3: EDUCATE

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Age 60 〜. This chapter I educate and invest full-time. I hope to build a school around fundamental new ways of doing business based on chapter two's designing, developing, and doing. Normalizing the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits and evolving it to the next level. Maybe write a book called A Woman's Search for Meaning.  :)

THINGS I'VE LEARNED

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I sold $5,000 of paper cranes door-to-door at 13

At 13, I was selected for the People-to-People Student Ambassador program to England, Ireland and Wales. My parents didn't hand me $5000 for the program, so I had to get creative. I hired my little sister, folded paper cranes, stapled them to a piece of colored construction paper with a note about me, my motivations and program details on it. I knocked on doors and sold them for $5 a piece until I hit my $5000 goal. [Photo: me on left, sister on right].


I learned about work ethic.  

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I sold $50,000 of knives at 17

At 17, I sold Cutco knives using in-home demonstrations and lead referrals. I ranked as the #1 sales representative in my Pennsylvania office. At 18, I started my own office in New Jersey recruiting, training and managing a sales force of 60 college students. This was one of the most influential experiences in my life. 


I learned about mindset being everything.

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I helped generate $500,000 in revenue at 19

At 19, I interned at a digital advertising agency called Digitas through the American Association of Advertising Agencies' competitive Multicultural Advertising Internship Program. Out of the MAIP national cohort, I received the Multicultural Excellence Award for helping to generate $500,000 in additional revenue for a client's social media campaign strategy pitch.

 

I learned about corporate relationships with VIP clients. 

I called every MAKISHI in the Peruvian Yellow Pages at 22.

I am second generation Japanese-American. My parents are from Okinawa, Japan. I was first in my family to be born in Hershey, Pennsylvania.


Identity always intrigued me.


I was selected as an Okinawan Government Scholar (沖縄県費留学生) and spent 1 year in Okinawa to learn about my cultural roots. 


In Okinawa, I discovered a 300-page book of all my ancestors' names since the 17th century. The book was organized by regions of the world to where my ancestors and relatives immigrated to over the centuries. 


I read about relatives immigrating to Peru before World War Two. I was curious. So, went to Peru to find them.


I published a call-to-action article in the local Peruvian-Japanese newspaper, called every MAKISHI in Lima's public telephone book and... found them! 


I learned about my heritage. 

My 400-year family tree (Okinawa, Japan)

My 400-year family tree (Okinawa, Japan)

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I led a 20-person team from 7 countries at 24

At 24, I served as Chair for AJET National Council, consisting of 20 members across Japan, to build a national community of Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program participants comprised of 4000+ professionals from 40 countries. Elected by my peers, I served as the liaison between JET participants and the Japanese central government including Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Communications, and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.


I learned about leadership.

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I cycled 5,000 miles across 5 countries for 5 months at 26

At 26, I solo cycled the Silk Road from China to Uzbekistan for the Silk Peace Cycle. My tag line was 5000 Miles for 5000 Smiles. I aimed to collect photos of 5000 persons smiling holding a whiteboard with the word PEACE written in each person's native language to bridge local and global community together. I am a contributor to the UNESCO Silk Road project.


I learned about resiliency.  

Makishi Apparel

I sold $30,000+ of dresses in 30 days at 30

At 30, I product designed a dress called Little Bamboo Dress with 5 pockets that packs into itself. I invented it from a personal frustration of clothing options for my carry-on after traveling to over 50 countries. I sourced material (bamboo rayon hence the dress name), established relationships with manufacturers, and managed the entire production process including guerrilla marketing research by surveying my target demographic on the streets, in coffee shops and subways to determine product colors and price points.


I learned about appreciating the process.   

Let's connect and chat about changing our world

say hello

view kay's career journey