Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Here are 11 things that you may not have known about the Brave & Bold lead coaches
Where's your hometown?
Nina: Technically Tokyo, Japan, but I consider Portland, Oregon to be my hometown.
Kristy: Salinas, California, where John Steinbeck wrote his books about. But, Tatebayashi, Gunma feels like my Japan hometown.
What was your first job?
Nina: A marketing and fashion internship at a boutique garment shop in Portland. My first transformative job, however, was my role as an Office Assistant at Seattle University's Career Services Office during my Freshman and Sophomore years.
Kristy: Application Assistant at UCLA Extension (UNEX) school for the American Language Center.
What rituals or habits keep you going?
Nina: Waking up at the same time every morning. It sounds like such a simple thing, but it was something I struggled with when I first became self-employed and didn't have a set office schedule. Following my internal clock has helped me set good intentions daily. Also, Kristy and I have weekly check-in and work calls which is a ritual that I love and appreciate.
Kristy: Journaling has been a source of written therapy for me since 5th grade. More recently, saying YES to self care (nail appointments, massages, and celebrations), and writing monthly intentions with "I am" statements.
What do you like to do for fun?
Nina: I like to work for fun haha. Meaning, talking about identity, storytelling, and work on projects that uplift others. Otherwise, I enjoy watching films and emerging shows so I can deeply analyze them, dancing and attending live shows, trying out new foods and restaurants.
Kristy: Sports - beach/grass volleyball, cooking Japanese food and baking shokupan, celebrating others for their big or small wins, working with Nina on the Mastermind Program!
What - or who - inspires you to keep pushing?
Nina: The members of Hafu Ladies. Each and every one that I've been able to get to know inspire me with their personal journeys. Their support of the community helps me push forward, knowing that it's an important community to foster.
Kristy: This quote: "What would you do today, if you knew that you couldn't fail?" or What would it look like if you were to succeed? These mindset reframes are so crucial. We are the gatekeepers to our own limits.
What do you consider to be a brave thing to do?
Nina: To say YES - to opportunities that you may be afraid to jump in to. Just say yes and see what emerges. But, on the contrary, it is also just as brave to say NO to things that no longer serve purpose to you and your life. Sometimes, both of these options are scary and hard. So, whichever answer you are called to take, it's brave to be firm and confident in giving your answer.
Kristy: To take a risk on yourself, is a brave thing to do. To take a risk, is equivalent to trusting yourself, the process, and the universe, knowing that at the end of the day, you are making the right decision for you, with the knowledge that you have in that moment.
What is the boldest thing you have ever done?
Nina: I left a very cushy expat job and set out to sail around the world as an interpreter on Peace Boat. The rest is history. But more recently, I mountain climbed the deadliest route in the Japanese Northern Alps despite my absolute fear of heights. It was the scariest thing I have ever done mentally and physically, but I am proud of accomplishing it.
Kristy: I invested in myself, and applied for a year long $10,000 coaching certification program, where I worked on inner shadow work to start healing from job loss in Tokyo, repatriation during COVID-19, 3 year breakup, and business launch all within a year. I stared my parents in the eye and told them that I am going to create a business and generate an abundance of money to support my lifestyle, while growing a career that I love and that changes as I transition in my own life. I believe in that truth, to my core.
Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?
Nina: My life coach, Sarah Furuya. She is an inspiration for who I want to be in a decade or two - in terms of confidence, fashion, character, lifestyle, and friendship.
Kristy: I respect anyone who recognizes their own strengths within, and is not afraid to be vulnerable in leadership roles is an inspiration to me. My business coach Kristin Constable, is an example of someone who I look up to because in her leadership, she also shows her true colors and is super honest with her own journey. It takes so much strength to be vulnerable, and I love a coach who can lead with compassion.
How do your intersectional identities affect the way you interact with the world?
Nina: It makes me much more aware of my surroundings - for better or for worse. It keeps my curious mind sharp and allows me to question things in society, which can lead to inspiration and solutions.
Kristy: I am in transition from being a twinkie (Asian passing, American), to being a fully embodied global entrepreneur. As the great-great granddaughter of Japanese immigrants who came to America in the 1900s, built up huge businesses from nothing — only to be incarcerated during WWII and lose it all - the land, language, and money — I set out on a journey to discover my roots, learn a language that was never passed down, and define my Nikkei (Japanese American) identity for myself. On a personal level, I'm an empath, which makes me highly vulnerable to influences from my surrounding environment - the people I meet, places I live, and societal norms that exist, etc. I tread carefully yet take risks, because I know that no matter where I go, or who I meet, I have the power within myself to create, inspire, and lead.
Where do you see yourself, or the future of BBM in 5 years?
Nina: I see us holding in-person retreats for women in our community! I also see graduates of BBM as well as my independent program(s) going on to being confident and inspirational leaders and business owners themselves. My biggest goal in life is to help foster other women to become empowered and badass women themselves. To be able to hold space and witness such a transformation is so rewarding.
Kristy: In the next 5 years, Brave & Bold will host yearly VIP retreats in paradise (Hawaii, Guam, or Bali), we will have a 3-tier program for Brave & Bold alumni to join at different stages of their business milestones, and become beacons of leadership in their own communities. My vision with Kristy Mariko Coaching is to create a coaching certification for Asian women (and men too in the future) who are full-time in the coaching industry. It is a culturally informed, globally renowned, virtual certification program for people who identify with the Asian community, and who want to expand and support people across APAC via coaching practices, modules, and compassionate programs.
What's your word or phrase of the year?
Nina: For my professional aspirations, "Formation" to channel my inner-Beyoncé who is an empire-building queen and also my birthday twin. For my personal life, "Surrender" to be able to let go and let some things happen organically.
Kristy: In business, "Trust Your Intuition," because only you know how to create the path that will lead you to a successful life by your definition.
In life, "Be Compassionate," to yourself, because while the transitions we are all enduring and growing through are not always kind or easy, there is a beautiful lesson in every step of the journey.