Established 2017 in Santa Monica, CA, 1-81 Agency (formerly Tortoise Agency) is a wholesale distributer specializing in PR and strategy for makers seeking design- informed retailers in the U.S. market. 1-81 Agency Director Herbert Johnson has worked as the buyer and store manager for Japanese design institution Tortoise General Store and quickly established himself as a well-respected voice for artisans and businesses across Japan. Based in Los Angeles since 2003 but born in Aichi prefecture to a Japanese mother and American father, Johnson sees through bicultural and bilingual lenses that give him a vision of how Japanese design traditions can shape the U.S. market. Through T1-81 Agency and his personalized guidance, Johnson is bridging the gap between Japanese producers and U.S. buyers, creating in its place, intimate relationships where innovation and collaboration can truly blossom.