E: What was your purpose in creating Studio Cue and GOLDA products?
K: I first created Studio Cue 休 as a wellness studio in Los Angeles back in 1995, but the name, 'Studio Cue' has been with me since 1986 as part of my profession in body work and healing. I wanted to create a space in Los Angeles for people to rest - people who felt like their life was moving too fast. The hiba mist, our first aromatherapy product, was initially something we gave to regular healing clients as a gift. I discovered the oil when I visited Tsugu's hometown in Aomori, which is where the oil is from! Eventually the popularity of this mist and its growing demand led to GOLDA and we made it available to the public.
E: How has daily life changed since Covid?
K/T: Covid-19 definitely has made us more clean, care more about our environment than we ever have, which is of course, part of leading a happier life. But there's so much heart break surrounding the news. Our hope is that it makes us stronger in time.
K/T: It's definitely hard surviving now. Everyone feels it. But we must never give up...that’s what we tell ourselves everyday.
E: How important is wellness and taking care of your mind, spirit and health during this uncertain time? As wellness experts, what advice do you have for people who are having a hard time dealing with Covid-19?
K/T: It seems like some Japanese lifestyle habits are working well to defend against Covid. Wearing a mask, of course, is really important. Gargle and wash hands when you come back from going outside. Also, it's important to take off your shoes at the entrance - this is a Japanese tradition. You won’t bring the virus inside. Stay clean indoors, this helps you relax in addition to being safe. We alway spray our hiba mist because this is an antibacterial mist that can catch bacteria in the air, not have it fly around you. And breathing is so important. Deep inhale through the nose and exhale by mouth at least 10 times a day for anxiety. Drink "dokudami", which is a Japanese herb tea that helps make your immune system stronger. To stay strong mentally, please don’t think to yourself: “what should I do today...”, instead try to think: “what do I want to do today...” . Staying happy is part of staying healthy.
E: What is the biggest lesson you've learned from people in your industry and your community since Covid-19 began?
K/T: To feel the voice of nature more than anything else. Always stay in appreciation, and appreciate our medical workers.
K/T: Ah, growing Dahlia flowers... flowers are helping our life a lot. The beauty is great and it opens our senses! New designs, creating things that we love. Drawing, painting, sewing, also making ceramics. We have so much fun with each other, which is good. Also we do socially distant lunches outside with a few sweet friends. We are into fruits salad lately :)
K/T: Hug you! And our friends and family.
We're so happy to check-in with our friends, Keiko and Tsugu. Thank you both for your advice and caring words. We can't wait to hug you too!