I remember being in Shinjuku walking behind a group of young salarymen. Without exception, they had cool bags: briefcases, hold-alls, backpacks. It wasn’t much of a stretch to dream about a future where one of them would want to carry an Arcido backpack. Japan is one of the world’s largest markets for high-quality backpacks and accessories; to be a part of it would be incredible.

It’s difficult to know where to start in a market as large and impenetrable as Japan’s. Clearly, there are a lot of savvy consumers who might be interested in lightweight travel gear; Japanese consumers are known for their spending on accessories. But there’s also a lot of competition. And then there’s that language barrier. Oh, and the logistical challenge of getting stock there without being a Japanese company.

So when the opportunity came up to do a Japanese version of our Kickstarter campaign, we were ready to jump at the chance. Crowdfunding is something we’re pretty familiar with, having launched two successful campaigns on Kickstarter previously. Machi-ya approached us to help with translation and campaign management and we agreed to launch a project together.

We got off to a fairly slow start, with only enough pledges to meet 75% of our goal for several weeks. Thankfully things picked up and in the end, we raised over 1.7 million Yen. We’re really happy with the result as it allows us a foot in the door to this market. We already have some customers in Japan, so moving some stock there will make it easier for us to deliver products to them as well as grow our audience there.

We’re really happy with the way it’s turned out and we're looking forward to delivering the Akra and Vaga backpacks to our newest Japanese customers very soon.

Are you a backer? As always you can chat to us to discuss anything Arcido related on our Messenger channel.

Written by: Will Ford, Cofounder at Arcido