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SJ Mercury News:Getting Ahead - Tuesday, March 10, 1998

Former cubicle dweller redirected her energy to harnessing your home's chi


AGE: 44


TITLE: Owner of Feng Shui by Reiko

EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree in anthropology from Stanford University;
master's degree in business administration from Cal State Hayward;
certified public accountant.

CAREER TURNING POINT: Nakayama was tired of cubicle-dwelling in the
accounting and finance departments of high-tech firms. She wanted an
occupation that was fun and creative. So after 15 years in the corporate
world, she decided to leave the cubicle for good. A layoff in October from
her job as senior financial analyst at start-up 0. R. Technology in Campbell
helped her take the plunge.

WHAT SHE DID: For the past 4 1/2 years, Nakayama has been practicing
the Japanese martial art of aikido, which is based on redirecting the chi,
or energy, of an attacker. In November 1996, Nakayama picked up a book
on the ancient Chinese art of feng shui (pronounced fung shway), whose
principles revolve around energy flow in the home. While reading the book,
she realized she had been unknowingly practicing feng shui in her own home
for several years. In June, she took a weeklong practitioner's course to
learn more about the practical applications of feng shui principles.

You walk into a home, and in some you feel good, and in others you feel sad.
- Reiko Nakayama

Shortly after she lost her job at O.R., Nakayama launched Feng Shui by
Reiko (408-871-9164) out of her Campbell home. She spent several
thousand dollars to get the consulting business off the ground.

During her consultations, Nakayama analyzes a home's floor plan and
assesses the energy flow throughout the dwelling. She discusses clients'
concerns about money, personal relationships and career to see how
those areas relate to energy in the home. Nakayama said it is her job to
harness the chi, which generally flows in a straight line, in clients' homes.
She uses existing home furnishings to redirect the energy by moving plants,
mirrors, fish tanks, lighting fixtures, etc. to specific areas of the house.

"You walk into a home, and in some you feel good, and in others you feel sad,"
Nakayama said. "It's the chi that makes you feel good." Nakayama spends
one to two hours on each home. She charges $90 an hour and up, depending
on the size of the home.

AMBITION: Nakayama hopes to implement feng shui principles into the
corporate environment. "It can help attract new clients and improve
employee morale, " she said.

IN HER OWN WORDS: "This (business) has really given me a lift. When
you've been doing the same thing for a long time, it's hard to think of
doing something different. But it gives you a lot of energy once you
decide what you really want to do and then you do it."

- Sherri Eng

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Write Go-Getters, care of Getting Ahead, Mercury News,
750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, Calif 95190;
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