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Jonathan Adler is an American potter, designer, and CEO of his eponymous design empire with over 25 retail stores in US, UK and Thailand, and over 1000 points of distribution around the globe.

Travel is a portal into the unknown.

When I go to Japan, I don’t feel like I’m just traveling across the world from New York. I feel like I’m traveling into an alternate reality, where everyone is punctual, everyone is nice, where everyone is focused on beauty and service. And to me, when I board a Japan Airlines flight, I don’t feel like I’m just stepping onto a plane — I feel like I’m stepping into Japan.

I first came to Japan when I was 21. I traveled around for three weeks, and it was probably the most mind-expanding trip in my entire life. It opened my world to possibilities. I’ve gone to Japan many many times... it’s where I go for inspiration.

As a potter by training, I am madly, eternally in love with Japanese ceramics. Every time I go, I feel like I am going to the “Mother Ship.” Perhaps this is why I love Japan very much.

My Jonathan Adler brand is about Modern American Glamour. Modern American Glamour is a global idea. I’m a global citizen. My mind is expanded by travel, and I feel like the only way to run a successful business in America is to really understand the rest of the world.

My business is a 24 hour-a-day endeavor. From our HQ in NYC to our store in Thailand and our distributor in Australia, we are always working — phone, email, Skype, in-person meetings, we do it all. And that’s just the logistics! Creativity and design is another 24 hour-a-day adventure. To make it all work, you have to hire people who are experts — creative, hard-working, fun experts — in their fields and give them the tools they need to succeed.

As a constant traveler, I’m looking for an airline that flies where I want, when I want; and captures the old school glamour of travel. I’m looking for an airline that offers very civilized experiences. I love it when the check-in is easy. I love it when the boarding is easy. I love it when the flight attendants are nice. I like great service, and it’s very rare. For me, especially on a long international flight, it’s one of my only chances just to chill, just watch my movies… At its best, a long plane ride becomes not a chore, but a pleasure.

Japan Airlines is the best. It’s like the gold standard of service and travel. When I travel from the US to cities throughout Asia, I love to stop in Tokyo too, via Japan Airlines, and then use Tokyo as my hub.

And to me, when I board a Japan Airlines flight,
I don’t feel like I’m just stepping onto a plane
- I feel like I’m stepping into Japan.

When in Japan, my biggest treat is shopping for clothing. I hate to shop, except for when I’m in Tokyo. I’m not the biggest guy on earth, you know… I’m a compact little fella; here, clothes fit me perfectly. My favorite neighborhoods are Ginza, Akasaka (particularly for dinner), Roppongi, and Aoyama.

And, when I walk into a Japanese store, and people greet me. They are attentive, and they are trying to figure out what I want. They are the gold standard of service and hospitality.

No one does customer service like the Japanese. I think every business owner needs to spend time in Japan to see how it’s done. When I’m in Japan, I study my experiences, and I see how I can bring impeccable Japanese service back home to my clients.

Japanese design is beautiful, because the passion comes through in their work. They have the same authenticity and pride as I have in my creations. Authenticity is everything. For me, I make what I want to make, and I think my customers see that. I care so much about what I create and design, and I really hope that comes through in my work.

I’ve spent most of my life thinking about how to make things look better, work better, feel better. Most importantly, I want my work to be life-enhancing.

When in Japan, my biggest treat is shopping for clothing. I hate to shop, except for when I’m in Tokyo. I’m not the biggest guy on earth, you know… I’m a compact little fella; here, clothes fit me perfectly. My favorite neighborhoods are Ginza, Akasaka (particularly for dinner), Roppongi, and Aoyama.

And, when I walk into a Japanese store, and people greet me. They are attentive, and they are trying to figure out what I want. They are the gold standard of service and hospitality.

No one does customer service like the Japanese. I think every business owner needs to spend time in Japan to see how it’s done. When I’m in Japan, I study my experiences, and I see how I can bring impeccable Japanese service back home to my clients.

Japanese design is beautiful, because the passion comes through in their work. They have the same authenticity and pride as I have in my creations. Authenticity is everything. For me, I make what I want to make, and I think my customers see that. I care so much about what I create and design, and I really hope that comes through in my work.

I’ve spent most of my life thinking about how to make things look better, work better, feel better. Most importantly, I want my work to be life-enhancing.

My mind is expanded by travel, and I feel like the only way to run a successful business in
America is to really understand
the rest of the world.
No one does customer service like the Japanese.
I think every business owner needs to spend time in Japan to see how it’s done.