"Frankly, I'm just blown away by it," says Heather Russell, CEO of Rinkya Inc. about Rinkya's third appearance in a row as a member of INC Magazine's 5000 fastest growing American companies.
"The INC 5000 is a measure of a company's growth, not it's size, and the exponential growth necessary to three-peat is amazing to me. You work through day-by-day and you don't really perceive it happening until you stop and take a look. It's sort of like being a parent, you watch as your child grows, but it never really strikes you just how fast they are growing, or how big they've gotten. Recently I took a trip to see my relatives in Philadelphia and was amazed at how much bigger my nieces and nephews had become. I guess it's sort of like that. It all happens slowly enough that you don't notice it day-by-day, but fast enough that, looking at it a year later, it amazes you," continues Heather.
Over the past year, Rinkya (rinkya.com) has expanded their market in Italy, which led to an invitation to exhibit at one of Europe's most prestigious museums and Switzerland's premier film festival, as part of "Manga Impact."
"Part of growing," says Heather, "is to understand that you have to be a part of the expansion of your market, not just hitch a ride. Japanese products, art, and culture have a place in international commerce, and life in general on a worldwide scale. Rinkya is a part of that, but part of Rinkya's business is to expand it. That's why we exhibit our cels in the National Cinema Museum in Turin and why we chose to be a part of the Locarno International Film Festival.
"Growth, in the best of times, isn't easy. And let's be frank, these aren't the best of times. I grew up with American football. Between my father and my brother, Sunday was a ritual. No NFL team has ever won three Super Bowls in a row. Well, right now, I feel like my company, the people around me who have given their hearts and minds to it, have done something like that. As I started with, it just blows me away."