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Tao Miller came to Hawaii on vacation in 1985 and stayed to pursue his entrepreneurial fervor, bent on becoming one of Hawaii's top young businessmen.
Miller's first retail stint in Hawaii was with Louis Vuitton. A job transition to Raku Leather gave him added insight into doing business on the Islands, knowledge of traditional Japanese client-service, and the intricate marketing techniques of a well respected Japanese company.
In 1991, Miller launched Tri-Star Trading, an upstart export company. Within a year, Tri-Star Trading was exporting vintage denim and apparel in the thousands of units, and Miller got his first but firm foothold in the fashion industry.
In 1992, armed with his life savings, Miller opened his first Body & Soul Boutique specializing in men's and women's prÃªt a porter. Although Body & Soul had the niche on Hawaii's high-end fashion market, Miller was relentless in keeping his image as the fashion forward store. In 1994, while on a buying trip in New York, he started negotiating with trendy and chic cosmetics lines that were taking the East and West coasts by storm. In 1995, Body & Soul was named the exclusive Hawaii retailer for one of the top makeup artist lines, and became the first retailer to offer hip makeup lines in Hawaii. In his first year with cosmetics, Miller's operation reported revenues of $2.3 million.
In 1998, Miller launched his own cosmetics line - Body & Soul Cosmetics. The vintage-style inspired line became an instant success. The 40s and 50s style packaging brought back the romance of makeup, at a time when the market was flooded with artist-inspired lines with the minimalist look.
Today, Tao Miller serves as president of T.M. Pacific USA Co., Ltd., the parent company of Tri-Star Trading and Body & Soul. Body & Soul Cosmetics are sold in the Body & Soul Boutique in Hawaii, and at Sephora stores and select boutiques and spas nationwide. In 2001, Miller brought Body & Soul Cosmetics to Japan and created a stir with the young and the trendy. In 2002, Korea got its first Body & Soul counters, and in 2003 the line launched in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
Miller is an active member of YEO (Young Entrepreneurs' Organization), and a current Director of the Hawaii Chapter of YEO. He is also a Birthing of Giants MIT graduate. In 1996 Miller was recognized by the City & County of Honolulu's Small Business Special Award Committee as Young Entrepreneur of the Year . He was also presented with the Hawaii Governor's Exporter of the Year Award in 2001.
What is unique that's not in your bio?
My parents where married in a Tibetan temple hence my name is Tao and I speak fluent Japanese.
What's your favorite accomplishment?
Building and launching the brand Body and Soul Cosmetics
How do you define cool?
Simple and clean
What is your secret to uncovering trends?
Traveling the world, friends everywhere, constantly in tune and information overload
What do you enjoy most about Trend Hunter?
I love sharing my discoveries. It allows me to share about random cool and interesting stuff that I come across. I wish I had more time to write because there is so much.
What is your favorite trend?
What are your tips for writing a juicy post?
SEX and more SEX! Humans are so predictable. Sorry just being honest
How do you reset to be creative?
Various ways, could be simple as taking a walk on the beach and going for a swim but the all time best is to travel to a foreign place and submerge yourself completely into the unknown. It forces you to look at things in a complete organic way and most of all different way than my typical daily life.