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Interview with Michelle Hanabusa

Michelle is the founder of UPRISERS. Based in Los Angeles, CA., UPRISERS is a community-driven fashion brand inspired by the founder’s Japanese-American roots. As a female and women of color, Michelle grew up not seeing many influential figures who looked like her to whom she could look up to; therefore, UPRISERS aims to bring together a diverse community and creative culture into one space.

UPRISERS consists of a diverse group of individuals who use fashion as a form of expression to empower and unite the community of creatives leaders and doers. We engage with local and international organizations and individuals to tell a story; to give voice to who we feel is underrepresented. UPRISERS has been supported by many celebrities and influencers such as Shaun Ross, Larsen Thompson, KEMIO, and Carmen Carrera to name a few.

  1. What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment? 

    Having confidence to leave corporate job. It was something that was really tough for me, and I am proud that I gave myself that extra boost of confidence to leave 

  2. What is something not many people know about you? 

    I was a competitive figure skater for fourteen years! I went into figure skating partly because of Michelle Kwan: I felt so connected to her. 

  3. If you could ask yourself any question, what would it be and what is the answer? 

    Where would I want to travel next? It’s my goal to travel to a new country every year. Two years ago, I went to Cuba, last year, I went to South Korea, so this year maybe Thailand or Iceland. 

  4. How do you unwind? 

    I have a pretty strict morning routine- I meditate, try to find time for yoga, and engage with and be in nature. 

  5. Who inspires you? 

    Definitely Michelle Kwan! And also my grandma, she lives with family, and she’s like my second mom, and has an impeccable fashion sense. inpsired by different cultures (HER NOT GRAMMA) lots of poise and grace 

  6. What do you do to get motivated? 

    I’m very involved with the Japanese American community, and supporting their organizations motivates me to feel like I’m doing something bigger than myself. 

  7. How does your heritage influence your career? 

    I bring a lot of Japanese-American influence into my design, my mom was born and raised in Japan and came to the US for college, and my dad is third generation Japanese-American. I grew up speaking Japanese, and celebrating Japanese holidays- my mom really embraced Japanese culture and kept it in our house. 

  8. Describe yourself in three words. 

    Creative, intuitive, and dedicated

  9. What is your go-to coffee order? 

    A matcha latte with almond milk 

  10. What, in your opinion, is the biggest problem facing Asian women today? 

    The struggle of not being heard. From personal experience, when I was first starting my brand, people thought it was a hobby, and it took over a year for people to realize how serious I am! 

Instagram: @weareuprisers

One Comment

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