“My miso business was born from demand. When I was struggling, I just did what I do normally and so I made miso every year for myself. I took a photo of my miso and posted it on Facebook and one person asked if I could sell them some. That comment opened the door for me. I never thought people would buy my miso – it’s my life work, something I do anyway.

I started my life in Australia with no friends, no connections. I didn’t know anyone apart from my husband. The language barrier was a big issue for me. I just didn’t understand what was going on around me, I felt I wasn’t myself. I tried several jobs and tried my best but that was the Japanese way and it didn’t work in Australia. It was a very dark period.

I’ve always been a hard worker but Global Sisters made my business possible. They are such a strong support, they are there for me when I need them. I recently had competitor issues and I got so panicked, but I know I can be very honest with them. The other sisters are facing similar challenges and they give me a place where I can express my feelings, I can show the vulnerable part of myself. It’s important to understand that business is not always good and to be able to express that.

This miso business solved a lot of the issues I had before. It’s given me such an opportunity to meet people and rebuild my confidence. People ask me about my product and I have real knowledge and interest in it and I can answer them. I have brilliant feedback from my customers. And, also, I earn money. That was all I needed to become myself again.

I now have lots of loyal, regular customers and my stock is getting low because of that! I am trying to make as much miso as possible, but I find it very challenging to plan a year or two ahead.

I recently gave a talk about my business journey and a lot of people in that room told me that I was an inspiration. It’s powerful to hear. I just want this business to work and grow so that I can contribute to Australia’s healthy diet.

Global Sisters is such a powerful community, a team that all aims to do better and make a real social impact. The energy they make is amazing – I’m very proud to be part of it. It makes me feel very strong, like I am not alone, I have other sisters by my side. I feel like I am so loved, this is such a valuable thing, you can’t buy it with money.”

Click here to find out more about Yoko’s business.

Global Sisters is all about making business possible for women who face barriers to mainstream employment due to their circumstances … women who are seeking financial independence. Sister School is a real world business education program that aims to equip women with the practical knowledge, skills and support needed to start a business or grow an early stage business.  Click Here to find out more