The Origin of the Brand Name TAKEMOTO
In 1999, Mr. Huang(Takemoto) met a talented and brilliant girl, Ms. Liu, in the eyewear company for which he worked. They fell in love with each other at first sight. One day the girl gave Mr. Huang a pen name竹本(Zhu Ben, literally meaning bamboo and stem) when joking with him. Actually this was just a mischievous joke between young lovers, simply because竹and本could form a Chinese character笨(ben, could mean silly).
Later the girl graduated and left that city, and they had never seen each other ever since. Takemoto has become Mr. Huang’s pen name from then on, no matter for writing or for drawing. When he started to design and make eyewear in 2008, without any hesitation, he decided to use it as the brand name, but it was impossible to directly translate it into English. While in Japanese, the corresponding character of surname TAKEMOTO is exactly竹本, and the pronunciation and the form are both nice. Therefore, TAKEMOTO has thus become the brand name.
Mr. Huang is kindly addressed as TAKE by his overseas friends, and this is the origin of the sub-brand TAKEBYTAKEMOTO. The biggest difference between TAKEMOTO and other Western handmade eyewear brand is that, it contains oriental aesthetics and ancient wits in craftsmanship, in spite the fact that the environment and the views of many people has been one of the biggest obstacles for brand development. However, with sincere love for Chinese culture, Mr. Takemoto named the highest-end collection as TAKEHUANG in 2018. By applying the Chinese surname in the logo, he also hopes that one day a symbol of Chinese character can appear as one of the worlds top brands in the future.
Timeline of Takemoto
Part I:A Farm Boy Who Loves Art and Craft
1977-Born into a farmers'family, and has been enthusiastic for art and craft since childhood.
1987-Began to learn Chinese painting and calligraphy.
1990-Began creative writing, tried to write poetry and essays, which were collected in 2018.
1992-Won the third prize of the National Art Competition.
1994-Began to study modern art and design.
Part II:A Young Man Who Have Worked in All Positions in the Optical Industry
1996-Entered the eyewear industry by drawing and making promotional posters for an eyeglasses company,
1997-Got a chance to work-study in the eyewear company, as an art designer and planner.
1998-Officially obtained part-time job in the field of glasses:sales clerk and maintenance apprentice. Preliminarily learnt the manual cutting and grinding technologies of the lenses(the oldest lens mounting technologies).
1999-Became assistant to the general manager, and manager of the planning department(22 years old), and met Mr.Takemoto.
2000-Learnt optometry, and accumulated a wealth of experience in optometry.
2001-Established training workshop and planning studio to provide professional training and marketing planning services for optical shops.
2002 Opened the first optical shop in his hometown and began writing the first novel.
2003-Opening second and third optical shops.
2004-Established an eyewear company, and began to operate eyewear e-commerce.
2005-Passed the national senior optometrist and optician examinations and obtained the according certifications.
Part III:The Man Began to Make Bamboo Glasses, and Sell Them all over the World
2007-Registered Hong Kong MJX International Trading Co. Ltd.
2008-*Started designing the first pair of glasses. LOVE-WOOD, and tried to make it from wood. *1#studio established(garage)...
2009-Through two years of arduous work, a set of completely self-designed bamboo and wood glasses manufacturing process was created.
2010-*ETSY store opened and officially began selling its own works worldwide.
*WALKER2010 and ANGEL2010 series were born.*Participated in the world's largest optical exhibition Milan MIDO exhibition, and received positive response and achived good sales performance.
2011-*PARISAUTUMN,THANKS,COVER-M, and ANGEL2011 series were born.
*Participated in the SILMO exhibition in Paris and meet French eyewear master Daniel.
*2#Studio was established the first natural wood crack prevention technology was completed, and *the world's first seashell glasses was born.
*The world's first cork-based glasses were born.*The world's first designer and craftsman who combined bamboo, wood and fabric.
2012-*Unexpectedly invited to participate in the Milan MIDO Design Gallery(DESIGNLAB, the world's top glasses exhibition hall), and got known by the most important person in the history of development: Italian celebrity Lapo Elkann, who offered to cooperate.
*KNIGHT, NEVER, BEGGERORKING, andWALKER2012 series were born.
*The world's first pair of glasses with bamboo-woven frame, and the mixed material of carbon fibre and bamboo was born.
2013-*Met Lapo Elkann once again at Shanghai Peace Hotel, who again offered to cooperate with the world's top brands.
*Another craft and design masterpiece was born:natural leave vein glasses making technology.
2014-Talked with CEO of the Independent Italian Glasses brand owned by Lapo Elkann for cooperation in Hong Kong; however, negotiations has been suspended due to objective reasons.
Part IV:Gradually Became a World-Renowned
Independent Designer Brand
2015-In spite the extreme loneliness and hardship, the brand TAKEMOTO began to rank among the top 5 in Google's natural search results, and became the world's top ten genuine handmade bamboo and wood glasses designer brand.
2016-Building4#studio in an impoverished mountain village, an art village under construction, where bamboo and wood resources were abundant and villagers needed employment opportunities; this provided the solid foundation for the production of TAKEBYTAKEMOTO low-end series, and the annual production capacity is expected to reach 3,000 pairs.
2017-*Was invited to participate in the World's Best 100 Craftsmen Exhibition held by the Toyama Prefecture in Japan, being an only optical designer and craftsman..
*The world's first pair of seashell-inlaid lacquer glasses and silk-based glasses were born.
2018-Visited Japan again, and visited the master of Japanese handmade glasses:Mr. Tai Hachiro. *The world's first fine bamboo-woven framed glasses box was born.
2019-*Officially launched "TAKEMOTO Customization System"to develop affiliation business with an innovative mode of zero inventory and zero pressure, and started global brand development plan.
The Monologue of the Founder
For 23 years I have been trekking alone,
through countless thorny wasteland.
More than often I was surrounded by enemies,
but I conquered all the need. welcome and indifference
Through the everlasting loneliness and nights.
I saw you standing in the library.
You seem to have been looking forward for a long time.
and together we can build a splent new kingdom
In 2010,I moved to 2#Studio after dismissing the trading company and putting an end to domestic business. This place belongs to the government's creative industry park. I left there with anger because I couldn't bear the corruption and malfeasance. In 2013,I started to build the 3#Studio on the top of my home of the 7th floor all by myself it took me two years and thousands of times going upstairs and downstails carrying things of almost 5tons in total it was two years of exhaustion In 2015, it was torn down fiercely by the government in ridicule. This was the most miserable memory in the development of the brand.
In 2016, I finally found an abandoned old house in an impoverished mountain village, and transformed it to the4# Studio. From then on, I do not have to drift about and have enough space for development steadily. It covers 200 square metres and has received visitors from Canada Germany, and the USA etc. Expanding the production capacity of low-end products has solved the employment problems of local people in need to some degree, and has driven the development of traditional local craftsmanship 108 Craftsmen Association was then established in 2017.
No one knows what I have endured in the past decades.For the development of career and pursuit of the dream, I have sold an apartment, two optical stores, and two online optical shops in China, and even sold my favourite Rolex watch in the most difficult time. However, my family did not recognize or support my career; they merely reluctantly supported me. The government has ignored a brand with outstanding position in the world and has never provided any help. Therefore, I would most like to thank you, every customer from North America, the Europe, and Australia… It was your trust and support that cultivated the brand through all the difficulties.
2010/Milan MIDO international optical fair
2011/Paris SILMO international optical fair
2012/Milan MIDO international optical fair (24# Design Hall)