|Much like how the secret ingredients of authentic Ramen broth is kept secret and perfected over time by family businesses in Japan, our unique leather crafting technique as our family trade makes us stand out. In fact, think about this for a second: When you think of the words figurines and keychains, which raw materials come into mind? clay? die cast metal? wood? glass? plastic/resin? Now, did leather cross your mind?
We are VANCA. The Japanese kanji of our name literally means “we make everything.”
Since our early beginnings, our craftspeople continue to produce every single one of our leather products tediously and painstakingly with careful attention to minute details.
Vanca Craft, Inc.
【Shop in Japan】
Mitsukoshi Isetan Department Store, Tokyo Disneyland, Hankyu Hanshin Department Store, Tenmaya Department Store, Yamagataya Department Store, Maruzen Book Store, Tokyu Hands, Izumi Kagu Interior (Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse),Nagasawa Stationery Store, Tokyu Resort Service, and other Hotel Shops, Museums, Theme Park, Pet Boutiques, etc.
|We also have a physical store next to our craft studio in Chiba, Japan. Please come and visit us!|
|1890||Kinnosuke Tanaka pioneered in manufacturing artificial flowers, essentially brooches, for western-style clothing (called kamikazarizoka) in Japan. He oversaw production by himself. The company name Yorozuya Honpo was chosen. Apprentice artificial flowers craftsmen were trained. Began selling wholesale to retailers in Asakusa Kuramae in Tokyo. Products were delivered to department stores.|
|1919||Kotaro Tanaka, the eldest son, took over the family business Yorozuya Honpo.
From wholesale, the idea to devote more efforts into the manufacturing business emerged.
|1943||Business was interrupted due to World War II|
|1947||Business resumes after the war.
The company name was changed to Yorozuka Kenkyujo (Institute). Without being limited to the production of artificial flowers, plans were made to produce clothing accessories in creative ways.
|1948||The company aimed to ship 50% of its products as exports. This was a time when facing bankruptcy was a common hardship for many businesses relying heavily on exports.|
|1952||After two difficult years, new plans were made to adopt the use of wool to create “sunflower brooches”, which was a big fad at the time nationwide|
|1954||Established as Yorozuya Kougei (Crafts) Co., Ltd.
Plans were made to create unique accessories with the careful selection of fabrics, especially the use of nylon stocking material.
We exported a product called “Nylon Flower Accessory”
Domestic Market: 20%
|1958||Hat material was introduced as a new material.
“Fruit Pep” (Miniature Fruit) as a shoe accessory was exported.
|1962||Leather was introduced as a new material.
Plans were made to use leather to create artificial flowers.
|1964||Room accessories were gradually added to the portfolio of manufactured items.|
|1965||To adopt an English name, our company name was changed to Vanca Craft, Inc. from Yorozuka Kougei (Craft).
The Japanese Kanji reading of 萬家 (BAN-KA) means “We make everything.”Although it was difficult to continue exporting products at low prices due to the unfavorable exchange rate, accessories for interior decorating were in their early developmental stages.
A lot of concentrated efforts were put into the production plans of the new products.
|1970||Desktop accessories made from fabric, resin, metal, and paper were all were gaining popularity.|
|1972||Shigeo – the eldest son of the third generation of the family business – took over the business.
Desktop accessories made from denim (called “Jeans Crafts”) were a popular item. These comprised the majority of manufactured items.
Exports were revived but only to Europe.
|1975||Leather and vinyl fabric were actively introduced as new materials.
Animal and shoe-shaped pen stands and tabletop smoking sets were big hits.
Exports to Europe: 30%
Domestic Market: 70%
|1977||A new sewing technique was introduced which involved squeezing product materials in leather.
Out of playful creativity, a leather cigarette lighter case was in development. Each part of the cigarette container of the case was supplied by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).
|1980||Practical accessory bags and figurines as three-dimensional leather goods were displayed thrice in Messe Frankfurt exhibitions in Germany.
Our exports no longer catered exclusively to European culture and taste.
|1982||We did not limit ourselves to the traditional, ordinary use of leather. Instead, we focused our efforts on the development of fun accessories through trial and error.|
|1983||Three-dimensional leather figurines were mass produced. We succeeded in reducing our retail prices.
The company entered the tourism industry as a manufacturer of small three-dimensional leather goods.
Among these were fish novelty keychains which were a big hit nationwide.
|1993||As we entered the “bubble economy” era, we produced better quality products. As we continued to push the limits of playful creativity, we ventured into the variety goods industry and began actively showcasing our products in trade shows.|
|1995||The company developed a special technique in making leather figurines. We aimed to give all our hand-crafted products an elaborate finish.
We received requests from famous retails stores nationwide to supply all of our products. Each item was painstakingly handmade in our company workshop. We began labeling all our products with the slogan,”The Leather Story”.
|2002||We established an affiliate company: Vanca Design Co., Ltd.
Shigeo Tanaka became theRepresentative Director and Designer: Michiko Tanaka, Shigeo’s wife, was appointed as Representative Director. We received requests from famous retails stores nationwide to supply all of our products.
|2004||We adopted the “The Leather Story” as a registered trademark slogan.|
|2008||We started our own website and online shop: vancashop.com.
We launched a U.S.-based “The Leather Story” branch.
|2012||The company began expanding its online presence by sequentially opening online shops on Rakuten, Amazon Japan, Amazon U.S.A., Amazon E.U., eBay, Etsy, and many more.|
|2015||We continue to uphold our legacy in all our services as “The Leather Story” continues up to the present.|