FN: Why call your line "Radioactive Mushrooms in the Forest?"
Wiji: The line began as a series of scarves that featured photographs from my travels that I was trying to sell at an art fair. I was looking for a name for the scarves and stumbled onto the book with the same name: Radioactive Mushrooms in the Forest. It featured photographs of mushrooms in Japan that were affected by the nuclear meltdown.
FN: How do you begin creating your scents? Is the idea for each based on a specific memory, a certain fragrance you've always wanted to catch, or something suggested by friends or customers?
All of the above and more. There is no clear process—one day it’s a childhood memory I want to capture, next it’s the feeling a movie or a book gave me that I want to capture in the olfactive sense.
On business VS passion
FN: What was the hardest thing you had to go through in setting up your business, and how did you overcome it?
Wiji: I always loved creating, developing a brand but never did enjoy paperwork—and so that’s a struggle I have to deal with. And the math, too! Also, as a full-time mom without househelp, time is a crucial struggle. I still don’t view Radioactive Mushrooms as a business, more of a passion project, and so I think that really helps in not burning out.
FN: You incorporate cruelty-free inks and ingredients into your art and perfumes. What would be your tips to other budding entrepreneurs who want to have an environmentally-friendly and sustainable business like yours?
Wiji: Research is very very important—it will help you in the other thing, which I value the most: authenticity. Question the sincerity of your motives.
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FN: What would be your advice to women who want to pursue multiple passions but don't know where to begin?
Wiji: Start with the one that is most natural to you. Also, surround yourself with empowered women and cultivate a community wherein you can support, learn, and inspire one another. I’m happy to be part of the Levi’s #IShapeMyWorld campaign for their 300 Shaping Jeans. I hope that through this initiative, more women would be inspired to go after their passions, break barriers, and succeed.