Kenny Okagaki

Store Owner headshot in store

“With Amex, it’s been totally smooth, which is the best thing you want as a small business.”

Kenny Okagaki

Real American Express® Business Checking customer who was aware that their testimonial may be featured by American Express.

Firsthand experience: How a trendy secondhand boutique found financial support with American Express® Business Checking

In the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown, culture and fashion converge at Chameleon Vintage, a store specializing in Japanese vintage and designer clothing. Founder Kenny Okagaki represents not only the modern face of entrepreneurship but also the resilient spirit of a fourth-generation Japanese American.

Okagaki fondly recalls the deep-rooted history of his family’s immigrant experience. For generations, they’ve made the Bay Area their home, witnessing the challenges faced by Japanese Americans, but excited by the pursuit of the American dream. The hardships faced by previous generations instilled a sense of tightly knit belonging, and Okagaki’s business reflects this kinship.

“I’d always kind of had a dream of opening a business one day,” reflects Okagaki. “I thought it’d be really cool to contribute to this to this community.”

In April 2020, Okagaki debuted his first shop in San Francisco’s Japantown Mall, leading to a second location on Haight Street, a mecca for vintage aficionados. Today, Chameleon Vintage stands out in San Francisco’s flashy vintage scene for its collection half of which is sourced directly from Japan. Still, Okagaki’s vision for Chameleon Vintage goes beyond its curated wares. More than just a clothing empire, his two locations boast a team of part-time employees ranging from aspiring fashionists to DJs, musicians, and visual artists – a free-form, spontaneous collective of passionate individuals.

Still, hitting the ground running required focus and meticulous planning, and for Okagaki, clarity in finances was paramount. “It’s been crucial to separate the business from the personal,” he emphasizes, “to get a clear picture of both and make smarter decisions.” Yet while he understood the importance of streamlined financial tools, finding the right business bank account wasn’t always so straightforward.

“I had first tried to go into the branch of a local bank,” Okagaki explains. “But I found it hard to schedule a consultation and get someone real on the phone. It wasn’t an easy experience.”

Finding banking built for business

The real game-changer occurred when he stumbled upon American Express® Business Checking. “I went with the Amex Business Checking account and just really love it. American Express has really become the centerpiece of our back office through our Business Gold and Platinum Card® and our Business Checking. Everything is seamless, always up-to-date, and I’ve never had a problem.”

So, what made the American Express Business Checking account enticing? It is branchless, so business owners can manage their bank account on their own time. By simply using the app, you can easily oversee your accounts, make mobile deposits, pay vendors and bills with one click, and access specialist support – anytime, anywhere.

With accounts offered by American Express National Bank (Member FDIC), American Express® Business Checking features no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements, so you can keep more money in your account, where it belongs. You’ll also earn a competitive APY on balances up to $500k.

The Business Debit Card that comes with the account makes your everyday purchases and ATM withdrawals straightforward and seamless. Convert the eligible Membership Rewards® points you earn on your Business Debit Card into deposits directly into your American Express® Business Checking account.*

A need for ease and integration

Moreover, Okagaki’s experience with the American Express Business Blueprint™ cash flow management platform epitomizes seamlessness. All his financial activities, from his Business Gold and Platinum Cards to his Business Checking account balances, converge in one place, granting him the convenience he so deeply values.

These features are tangible benefits that entrepreneurs like Okagaki can incorporate into their operational strategies. “I’ve redeemed Membership Rewards(R) points for travel,” the store owner explains. “Which has really come in handy for my business trips to Japan to source for our collection. The Membership Rewards(R) program has been an awesome part of our business story.”

With American Express by his side, Okagaki has been able to keep his customers fashion-forward and create a legacy for his broader community – whether in Japantown, Haight-Ashbury, or Japan itself.

*Membership Rewards® Program – Redeem for Deposits 

When you open an American Express® Business Checking Account, you will also receive a Membership Rewards® Account, in which you will earn one Membership Rewards point for every two dollars of eligible Debit Card purchases. Eligible purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. For more information on eligible purchases, visit You can redeem Membership Rewards points for a deposit into your checking account. Click here to learn what other redemption options may also be available. If you also have a Rewards Account in connection with a Card Account, your Rewards Accounts can be linked, and you will have access to all redemption options offered with that Card Account. For more information, visit

You may redeem Membership Rewards® points for deposits into your American Express® Business Checking Account at the standard rate of 1000 points for an $8 deposit. If you have a Business Platinum Card® and an American Express Business Checking Account linked to the same Membership Rewards Account, you can redeem points for a deposit at a rate of 1000 points for $10 for up to 1,000,000 points per calendar year, after which you may continue to redeem points at the standard rate. There is no minimum number of points needed to use Redeem for Deposits. American Express will deduct the number of points you select from your Membership Rewards Account and deposit a corresponding dollar amount into your checking account. Generally, deposits will post to your account within 48 hours of redemption. For more information, visit

Business Facts

Year Established: 2022

Industry Type: Fashion Retail

Location: San Francisco

Number of Employees: 8

American Express® Business Checking Customer Since: 2022

American Express® Member Since: 2022

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