Tortoise Agency Brings Japanese Brands to U.S. Audience: A Tortoise Affiliated Wholesale Wing

Posted by Emma Tsuchida on

Leading Tortoise Agency is Herbert Johnson, former buyer and General Manager of Tortoise General Store.

As an affiliated wholesale division, Tortoise Agency maintains a roster of companies that share the ‘slow and steady’ Tortoise philosophy. Drawing on traditional Japanese craft to guide their manufacturing processes, their client companies maintain small production lines with focused attention on quality and detail.

The Agency is a one-stop-shop for Japanese brands seeking entry into the U.S. market. Assisting those that require marketing direction or a leg up on social media platforms or help translating Japanese literature for the American market, Tortoise Agency is more than just a standard wholesaler, it's a whole creative house.

Tortoise Agency takes extra steps to find retailers and brands that complement one another, providing a sophisticated matching service where an alignment in philosophy between the two parties is prioritized so that the integrity of the brands are preserved when products reach the consumer. The agency navigates both the creative and business world expertly; organizing pop-up events to spread brand awareness, setting up graphic design teams with bi-cultural sensitivity to create crossover literature, even assisting in product design and development in some cases. These tailored services separate Tortoise Agency from other wholesale companies, allowing the agency to be a direct bridge between Japan and the U.S.

Brands currently handled by the Agency include Moonstar Shoes, a leader in street footwear from Kurume  Japan, that vulcanizes their rubber-soled shoes by cooking them in kilns meant for pottery.  The Agency also represents smaller ateliers like Rhythmos, a leather goods house in Osaka led by a husband and wife team focusing on handmade saddle stitching, as well as large established companies like Hirota Glass, which has been producing amazing handblown glassware for over a century.  The Agency represents a wide range of brands for a wide range of interested retailers.

If you are interested in the Agency and its services, please contact Herbert Johnson ( for more information.



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