Michelle Hanabusa // Ep 40 // The Future is Now

Welcome to Episode 40 of the Asian Hustle Network Podcast! We are very excited to have Michelle Hanabusa on this week's episode.

We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
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After a career-ending injury in figure skating, Michelle K. Hanabusa pivoted and dived into design and contemporary fashion. She worked for high-profile companies like BCBGMAXAZRIA and AEG. Following her time in the corporate world, she endured trial and error venture-backed experiences pioneering her own entrepreneurial narrative in 2016. As projects evolved, the name matured into WEAREUPRISERS, a community-driven streetwear brand. Since its start in 2019, the brand’s core DNA is rooted in valuing collaborations with activists, trendsetters, and warriors of change to amplify impactful and authentic stories to mobilize change.

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Transcript

Intro: (00:00:00) Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, My name is Bryan. 

And my name is Maggie 

And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals.

We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.

Maggie: (00:00:23) Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Asian hustle network podcast. Today, we have a very special guest. Her name is Michelle K Hanabusa after a career ending injury and figure skating. Michelle pivoted and dived into design and contemporary fashion. She worked for a high profile companies like BCBG, max Azria and AEG. Following her time in corporate world, she enjoyed trial and error, venture back experiences of pioneering her own entrepreneurial narrative in 2016 as projects evolved the name into we are appraisers, a community driven street wear brand since it started in 2019, the brand’s core DNA is rooted in valuing collaborations with activists, trendsetters. And warriors have changed to amplify impactful and authentic stories to mobilize change. Michelle, welcome to the show.

Michelle: (00:01:14)  Thanks Maggie and Brian for having me I’m super excited.

 

Bryan: (00:01:19) We are also very excited to have him in the show. So Michelle is hot on top, right into LA. We were. Where were you raised? Where were you? What was your upbringing like?

Michelle: (00:01:28) Where was I raised? Um, I was born and raised in Los Angeles Culver city to be exact. So. Been here all my life and never really left, which is kind of crazy. Uh, stayed, stayed in school here, um, all throughout college, um, pre COVID. I used to travel a lot, but other than that, I’ve actually never lived anywhere outside of LA.

 

Maggie: (00:01:53) Wow. That’s amazing. Yeah. We love LA. Exactly. And so we love to know more about your upbringing, you know, like what kind of family did you grow up in? Were they very traditional or did they kind of let you kind of explore what you wanted to do?

Michelle: (00:02:12) Yeah, that’s a really good question. Um, my dad is third generation Japanese American. My mom is first gen. And so I think it was a really interesting blend of having both of those worlds of really like seeing kind of like that American type of culture, but then also, um, At home, being able to communicate with my mom and Japanese learning Japanese, going to Japanese Saturday school and like really embracing that at home. Um, but I think that it also brought different aspects of not really knowing my true identity and how I want it to showcase that to my friends and to my peers. Um, and that’s definitely something I struggled with all throughout my youth.

 

Maggie: (00:02:57) And so, you know, we’d love to know you grew up in LA, how did that kind of shape your Asian identity growing up?

 

Bryan: (00:03:03) Yeah, because I know that you’re still involved with Japanese culture, Japanese heritage. And as you mentioned before, you struggled with that growing up at what part of your life that all blend in and you’re like, I’m proud to be Japanese American. I am Japanese.

 

Michelle: (00:03:17) Yeah. Um, all throughout my youth, you know, going to Japanese school, learning the language, hearing it all the time at home, it always stuck with me, but I never like proudly wore it, you know, out in public as soon as I walked out of the door. Um, and even, you know, my. My lunch at school, it was always like, mom, don’t put it in my cute little hello, kitty bag. Put it in a Brown plastic. I mean, Brown paper bag. And please give me a PB and JS, even though I hate peanut butter, you know, it was those types of things that, um, I th that’s the kind of things that I used to do growing up. Um, but it wasn’t until after college, when I really started to dive deep into my roots, which were already there. And I used to always experience that throughout like the cultural moments of my grandmother, you know, participating in a weekly and weekly, yearly festival here in Los Angeles, in the little Tokyo community. Um, and I. I applied to this festival it’s called Nisei week, which is, um, it started a annual festival in downtown every year. pre-World war two. So it was a very like, Cultural moment. And if you are Japanese American, whether you grew up in Los Angeles or not, you know exactly what you say week is, and it’s kind of like an honor to represent your community that way for an entire year. And you become a brand ambassador essentially, and you travel to San Francisco, Hawaii, Japan, and you meet all these different like politicians, business owners, and you build relationships that way. And, you know, The cap is at 24, 25. And I was nearing that. And so I was like, man, like, Oh, my grandma has talked to me about this every year to participate. And I’ve always just ignored that. But I think this is one going to be a good chance for me to refine my voice and my identity through Japanese-American history and culture, but also, um, you know, see what little Tokyo is about and like, All of that. It almost like making up the time that I lost, um, as a child, because I like ignored that side of my, my upbringing. Um, so that year long program really kind of reshaped my path and my journey and what I actually cared about. Um, and so a lot of the things that I do today is, you know, I want to think and like shout out that the Japanese American community here, because they’re the ones that really helped me find my voice.

 

Bryan: (00:05:57) I love that a lot. Yeah. I’ve been to how you got into, we are apprised various too. I was like, what’d you major in, back in college? Where did you go to college? You know, and how did that lead you down this path of entrepreneurship and design and fashion want to learn like.

 

Maggie: (00:06:16) Yeah. Yeah. And we know that ice skating has been such a big part of your childhood, you know, would love to also know, you know, were there any, like things as part of that childhood that kind of shaped you to the person you are today?

 

Michelle: (00:06:29) Yeah. Um, figure skating. That was like 14, 15 years of my life. And. When I look back, I think the, the drive and the determination, and just the persistency of being in such a dedicated sport and a competitive sport like that has carried on throughout, like my entrepreneur journey. Um, and. Even back then. Right. I had some sort of like affinity to clothing and like designing. So I would sketch all of my like costumes then, and then my mom would stay up until like the middle of the night, trying to figure out the sewing machine and create my competition, dresses that way. Um, And her first costume she actually made for me and that I designed, I got, um, I won like the regional competition. So that was, we’re like, woo. Mom continued to make my costumes for me. Um, but you know, aside from that, I think I always had this affinity for like designing and like. You know, using fabrics to like express myself, um, words are not really my strength. And I’ve always recognized that since I was little. So, um, public speaking, all those things, it’s really hard for me to voice my true opinions and my feelings that way. And so I’ve really utilized, like whether it’s through sports and like dance or design and clothing, where I can really, um, be my truest self. So. Um, after I, I was injured and I just couldn’t compete anymore. It was just not a thing. You know? Um, my dream was to go to the Olympics, but I was not a thing anymore. Um, I started to really dive into graphic design. And so in high school, there was a graphic design program. And so I rolled in that and really did like the nitty gritty, you know, really learning how to use illustrator and Photoshop. Like I can do everything in my sleep. And that was my goal was by the time I went to college that I didn’t have to learn the basics. Um, and. I applied to different design programs, but at the end of the day one, I wanted a true college experience. Um, so that meant like going to like the football games and, and doing all that stuff because I couldn’t experience that growing up as a competitive figure skater, you know, I didn’t have a lot of like the childhood upbringing that a lot of people had. Cause I was always out on the ice. Um, I wanted to college experience. I wanted to do design and being in the creative, like art world. But then I knew that I wanted to be my own boss in the future, whatever that meant either freelance or owning my own small business. So I knew I had to have like marketing and business background as well. So. Um, got into USC and they had a very special program, uh, which integrated the fine arts school Roski with Annenberg, which is communications and then Marshall, which is business. So I was able to really like explore all three in college.

 

Bryan: (00:09:34) That’s awesome. Yeah. I mean, so out of college, did you go immediately immediately to entrepreneurship? Did you work the corporate job verus and what was that transition like from like, let’s say, for example, you went to your corporate job first and he transitioned to entrepreneurship. What is your parents?

 

Maggie: (00:09:49) We know you were working at a BCBG message area and AEG. And so when did you actually know, like, okay, this is the time to make the jump. And were you like scared what was going through your mind at that time too?

 

Bryan: (00:10:00) You want to capture that moment, Michelle?

 

Michelle: (00:10:02) Yeah, it’s not like I woke up one day and I was like, Oh my gosh, I have to quit. But it was just years of grinding and just feeling like, okay, I’m climbing this ladder. This all looks great on my resume. Um, you know, I’m meeting a lot of cool people, but I’m just so unhappy. And I think, you know, going to college and doing graphic design, which is kind of like an art major that like back then, you’re like, okay, I guess you could make some kind of money. Right. It was like a way to tell my parents that like, Hey, don’t worry about me, cause I’m going to be able to get a job. So that was like, check one and then. Having a Nandi five job, good paying job with 401k health benefits, all of those things that like our parents want us to have. Right. All of those check marks. Like as my first job, I was like, this is awesome. And then climbing that ladder, like working right underneath the creative director. So. Quickly, um, and exploring more than just graphic design, um, was this eye opening experience of like, wow, like this might be my path. I might be an art director or creative director sooner than I, I can see it, but I was just so unhappy, happy, and I couldn’t figure out why that was. And I think it was hindsight. It was because I, it was like time and time again. I was losing my voice. And I was just getting like sucked into that world and not being able to do what I truly wanted to do. And I was just same thing day after day. Um, and I’m like, what’s the purpose of doing this? Like, am I actually helping the world in some sort of way? Um, and that’s, that’s why I decided to leave fashion and then try out music and entertainment. And I found the same thing. It was just. Feeling stuck, not having a voice. And I just needed to leave that situation by all means

 

Bryan: (00:12:06) so relatable to a lot of us, you know, especially our generation, the millennial generation is like, we feel like we need to have more purpose in life and we have to do things that mean more than just working a job, you know, money, money. It’s actually not that important. It’s actually purpose and vision. And creating a difference is more important. And it’s funny too, because I think Maggie kind of speaks to this because she left her job like three months ago, feeling the same.

 

Maggie: (00:12:35)  Yeah. I absolutely resonate with your story, Michelle. I like felt like it was kind of like a trench that’s going to work because yes, like I did study what I went to work for, but at the same time, like I just felt like there was no passion in it and it was just so much more enjoyable doing something that I love. Yeah, no matter like what those benefits were or, you know, pay time off, those are all nice things. But at the end of the day, like what you really want is to do something that you actually love. Yeah. And so when you had this idea of, we are appraisers, like how did that all come about? Like, what was that first. Point in time where you’re like, I have this idea and you know, it’s going to be, we are appraisers. What was going through your mind at that time?

 

Bryan: (00:13:20) Did you bootstrap, did you raise money? Did you, um, I don’t know, like how how’d you how’d you make it happen?

 

Michelle: (00:13:29) Yeah. Um, so that again, it’s, it’s not like it happened overnight. Um, I was still working my nine to five needed to find an outlet, um, outside of my job. And so I started a e-commerce site, um, which really honed in on the Japanese American experience and inspiration. Um, and, and through that experience, um, Several people within the fashion industry, I reached out who were investors and were like, why don’t you start your own brand? We love this direction. And, um, it was months of conversation while I still had a nine to five. And, um, I definitely saw those red flags and I always also young and naive, but. I was in such a desperate state of getting out of my corporate life, that I ignored all of those red flags. And I was just like, I’m going to do it. I don’t really care. And at that time I just thought, like, if I worked hard enough and I did all the right steps, I can make it work, you know? And that’s such a young and naive thing to think about, but like that’s, that’s kind of where I was at that time. Um, I wouldn’t say it was all about experience because it really showed me the ins and outs of like starting a company, all the different moving parts, you know? Um, I actually saw a, uh, someone shared on age and on your guys’s feed of like, okay, being a CEO is not all that glamorous because you’re gonna be like an HR, um, your team members, like therapist and like all of these things, right. That you don’t think about, um, which is so true. Um, but it gave me a first like head start at it. And throughout that experience, I was able to work on really like different projects. And one of them was called American made. And what we did is it was like a mini grassroots movement of. Showcasing the diversity of what makes up America. So we photographed over 650 people across the United States. We just held open houses and, um, got Airbnbs. And we just started DM-ing people being like, Hey, we want to feature you. We feel like you have a cool story. Come by between nine to 11:00 PM and we’ll photograph you and you can share our story. And it was. Quite amazing to see how many people rolled through some were like, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get murdered tonight because I don’t know you guys, but, um, you know, your guys’ projects seem awesome. So we wanted to be a part and we were able to photograph 650 people across the U S and, um, that was the start of, for me. Thinking that clothing can be more than just a fashion statement, but a way to express yourself and create a transformation within your community. Um, that was back in 2018 or something. I, I had to leave that situation for various reasons and I haven’t spoken about it because. Maybe just one day I’ll be able to be more vocal on it. Um, but it’s just a, it’s a space that I don’t feel comfortable, like really sharing just yet. But I left that situation, um, which was a very scary thing for me because I was like, man, I just left a cushy job a couple years back and people were so supportive of this new journey that I was heading. And then I felt like I was disappointing them. Um, you know, um, so I really had to take some time off and just regroup and like, not think about like, what other people think of me. I’m like, Michelle, why are you doing this? You know, what is your purpose here? Like, um, What, what, what is it that you want to share with the world and taking that time off and like regrouping, um, allowed me to focus in on like, you know what I’m going to create this streetwear and like activism with a purpose type of. Uh, space and I don’t see it out there right now. And it might be risky because it’s not like activism back in 2019 was this like gun-ho thing. And everyone had it on their bios, you know? Um, but I was like, this is what I feel and I’m just going to trust and go for it. So. Started at the beginning of 2019. And, um, that’s when we S we hosted community events, um, in my backyard. And we had representatives from different organizations come in and speak about the different causes, um, things that were happening right here locally and also nationally. Right. So addressing LA homelessness, addressing things were happening at the border. Um, It was so impactful seeing our community come together from like influencers to business owners, to, to artists, musicians, to chefs, like all across the board, coming into one space. Yeah. Some can see it as a networking opportunity. Some can come in for like the good food and the shopping that they can do, but then you’re also learning something about it and how you can give back to your community. Um, and. And that was something that we were really proud of in 2019. And that’s that I feel like really crafted whatever risers is today.

 

Bryan: (00:19:01) I love it.

 

Maggie: (00:19:02) That’s amazing. What I really love about appraisers. It’s like, if you find anything about, we are risers on media, like I always see that you’re all about community and it’s never just about like one person. I always say, like, we have a spotlight video of YouTube Michelle, which we did like about a year ago, maybe a little bit less than that. And you know, a lot of those clips aren’t like of your customers or of your community. And that’s what I really love about it because it shows that you’re allowing everyone to have a voice. And to speak about, you know, the social issues that we’re experiencing right now. And that the fact that you’re like, you know, pushing for a good social impact is just so amazing.

 

Bryan: (00:19:40) Yeah. I’m like a proud friend right now. Michelle is so awesome, you know? Um, but what I really liked about we appraisers too, is that there’s a heart and soul behind this organization, you know, and that heart and soul is you. Like you’re pushing this forward because you believe in this, that you want to do this and that vision kind of overflow to a lot of different things that affects the community in a very positive way. You know, so I do want to touch base upon Hades the virus too, and how they came about. And what’s the mission statement I hate of Hades the virus.

 

Michelle: (00:20:12) Yeah. Yeah. And that’s how we met Bryan. Oh yeah. I know. That’s, what’s so crazy. I feel like I know you so well, but at the same time, I’m like, but I don’t know. You guys, it’s not ugly. Yeah. Um, Ooh. So 2020, um, we had as appraisers, we had a lot plan when we were going to do different activations pop-ups, um, out in, you know, Austin, Hawaii, uh, New York, all these things. We booked our flights and had it all planned out and it just came, crashing all at once, right. Because of. The pandemic. Um, and at that time it was just a small team of mine. So it was me, Carrie and Savile, and we’re like, damn it. We thought that 2020 was going to be our year. We figure it out kind of like the angle that we were taking up risers, and now it’s all off to the wayside. So, um, I think there was four. I had a panic for split second. Cause I was like, man, I just like bootstrapped this company. And now I feel like there’s no future for it. But at the same time, I was starting to see all of my friends and family, um, being affected by xenophobia and what was going on in little Tokyo and other Asian communities and Los Angeles. And I told Carrie and several, I was like, Let’s just not think about our risers for a second. Like, we need to do something about this because I’m not seeing other people speak up about it. So, um, you know, my office was my living room at the apartment that I used to live in. And so Carrie and  came over and we just had like a full day brainstorming session of like what this means to us. How can we utilize our skills to like, Speak up about the racism happening in the hate crimes. Um, and let’s just do it. And it started so Kerry Cote coined the term hit is a virus. And then we called up some of our friends being like, Hey, we’re going to do a food crawl and do a weekly thing where we support businesses that are suffering. Um, and we did one. And that quickly shut down because two days later it was like mandated lockdown. So I think, I can’t remember if it was like right before that or right after that, when I started to post on like age and, and, um, my Instagram just being like, yo, this is what I’m doing. I don’t know what the future is going to look like, but if anyone’s down to hop on, let me know. And then Brian, you reached out and then Tammy reached out as well. So. We quickly as a collective team, um, that made it into a digital movement. And they think the, you know, we started off with just sending off t-shirts to people to start just speaking up about it on online, because the only format that we had was digitally. Right. But it did remind me of what we did back in the day with American made. And I think that also solidified like kind of how appraisers, like addresses things is going through that type of like campaign.

 

Maggie: (00:23:38) Right. Amazing. You guys have done it. Incredible work with hay as a virus. And, you know, I just wanted to throw that out there, you know, like Pat yourselves on the shoulders, because you guys have just created such an incredible movement for everyone, for, you know, Asians all over us to actually like seek inspiration and, you know, just follow the movement. And so just wanted to say thank you to, for that. I’m very, yeah, I’m very curious, like with the movement of hate, hate is a virus after starting it. What is that one thing that you learned about yourself, Michelle and your culture after starting the movement?

 

Jay: (00:24:16) Hm. What is one thing that I learned, um, that I know how to activate really quickly, um, Brian, Brian has seen this too. It’s like when I get fiery, I get real fiery and that’s something that I have been learning throughout 2020. And this year too, is to kind of turn that notch a little bit down, um, and kind of be a little bit more level headed. But I think that there are really good aspects that when it needs to be activated, I can turn that knowledge on and just go and not really think so. Um, That’s one thing I learned about myself, but as a community, I just see the power in power and knowledge and power when people come together and unite. And I think that’s where like H and two, right? The, both of you guys created this platform and you can see where it takes when you guys provide that base for people and what community does when it comes together. So, um, That’s that’s one thing that like I really saw happen in 2020.

 

Bryan: (00:25:26) I’m going to ask you a very loaded question, Michelle. Very hard question. Sorry about this.

 

Michelle: (00:25:31) I’m scared

 

Bryan: (00:25:33) being Asian-American and especially in 2020 and 2021, where it’s a topic it’s like, do we really bond this country? What is the reputation like to you? What does Asian-American mean right now? Who would,

 

Michelle: (00:25:48) that is a really loaded question.

 

Bryan: (00:25:54) I asked that because I know you can do well.

 

Michelle: (00:25:59) And this is just my perspective. I think Asian American, it really kind of, it buckets us in one. And I think that I see this all the time on Ted talk to everyone just thinks that we’re Chinese or that we have the same exact upbringing or whatnot. And I think it there’s a lot of work that needs to be done as Asian Americans to really hone in on each of our stories and to be able to celebrate that. Um, because if we don’t understand, or we don’t even know how to communicate that, like how is anyone else going to be able to see and learn from it? Right. Um, so given the fact that we are pretty new to this country, and there’s not a ton of history, or like, you know, backing of like centuries of us being here. There’s a lot of learning that we need to do and an internalizing for ourselves in order to see that type of representation that we’re asking for. Um, I also believe that we can learn a lot from the black community and, you know, models of, of things that they’ve been doing within their community, um, over many, many years that we can learn from, and also figure out how we can like work with them as well.

 

Bryan: (00:27:22) Spoken like a true up riser. That’s the answer I expected

 

Michelle: (00:27:26) really? Oh my gosh. I was getting nervous.

 

Maggie: (00:27:29) No, that was a beautiful answer.

 

Bryan: (00:27:32) And the reason why I have to ask the question too, to every near noon, you know, we are up risers, Hades a virus. What does it mean to be Asian-American? And I just want to make sure that our audience can hear that point of view and to understand that what you’ve been working on. But to move it back a step. What does the future hold for weeds up rises? What are you currently working on and where do you see yourself taking this organization in 2021?

 

Michelle: (00:27:55) Yes. So, um, we’re working on a lot of different things. We’re actually, I’m going to be releasing some new collaborate, collaborative, um, merchandise collections, um, with, uh, Change-makers that we’ve already collabed with in the past, but also new ones. So there is a amazing Vietnamese chef that we’ll be releasing a collection with as well. So can’t really give too much details, but I had to tell you, Brian, um, to just give you a little sneak peek that, that, that is coming up in the works. Um, And most recently, which I’m so, so, so, so, so excited about, it’s been a long time in the works, um, is that we are releasing our first collection with PAC sun. Um, and I believe it’s dropping this week. I don’t know when the podcast is coming out, but, um, it will be dropping to 11. So February 11th. Um, and I’m just, you know, we’ve been talking about this with. PacSun for over a year now. And the pandemic has really like pushed back the date. But I do think that this is the right time to release it and be able to share what a risers is about.

 

Bryan: (00:29:06)  Congratulations.

 

Maggie: (00:29:08) Anything, lots of good and exciting news coming up for you. So we’re very excited for that. And I’m very curious, you know, after, you know, all of these years of being your own entrepreneur and throughout your entrepreneurial journey, is there something that you would tell your younger self as you were starting out? Like, what does that one thing that you would tell your younger self?

 

Bryan: (00:29:29) It hasn’t been a big moment of doubt where you’re like, I don’t know if I can do this. Should I quit? Should I go back to a corporate job? How’d you overcome that too?   

 

Michelle: (00:29:39) Yeah, I, we have those thoughts frequently not to go back to corporate life, but I’m like, because I don’t think I could ever do that. I’m like, wow. Like the amount of just stress and anxiety that I like get as just running my own business. Um, sometimes I’m like, Do I have to work this hard for the rest of my life. Um, so I hope that won’t be the case. Uh, you know, cause I am getting older, but what I would tell my younger self is, is patience. Um, and that things are going to come when it needs to come. Um, I I’ve, I think my personality is always impatient and I like to make things. Go super fast. Right. And there were these, I feel like society also places, a certain expectation that if you’re not successful by a certain age, that you’re kind of just done for, you know, or like this pressure that you have to be successful at 21, you know, your early twenties. Um, and you know, I’m, I’m nearing my thirties now and I. I couldn’t be more pleased of like how things are happening now because I’m older. I have experienced a ton of stuff that I have matured and am able to critically think and, and figure out what the best moves are for not only myself, but for my team and having those experiences. And those years of like failing over and over again has allowed me to make better decisions now. Yeah. Um, so I would tell myself patients,

 

Maggie: (00:31:27) yeah, that’s a really good point. I think, especially in Asian culture, a lot of us want to follow a specific timeline because maybe our parents had told us too, like, you have to do this by 21, et cetera. Yeah. But in reality, like everyone is on their own path. You know, and that’s why, like, we read so many books and, you know, a lot of these successful people, they don’t get successful until like they’re 40 or 50. And it’s because they put in like so many years worth of effort and hard work. Yeah. Awesome. And so Michelle, what one advice could you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

 

Michelle: (00:32:01) I thought this was going to come, What I would say is find, I think it’s so important to find that purpose and really dig deep as to why you want to do this and be an entrepreneur entrepreneur and, and push whatever it is that you are selling or doing, because. Being at the very top or like being the founder, it’s a very lonely space and you are going to wake up many times or fall asleep at night being like, I don’t know if I can wake up tomorrow morning and continue this. And if you don’t have that true passion or goal as to why you’re doing it, You know, there’s not going to be cheerleaders around you being like, you’ve got this, you got this like, keep on going. You have to have that in yourself. Um, and if you’re just doing this for money, or if you’re just doing this for us, kind of like the superficial stuff, like I think that there needs to be more purpose to that to really get you past. That those, those blows that you’re going to experience losing. That’s what we’re going to find.

 

Bryan: (00:33:22) It’s really relatable too, because you’re going to hit a lot of these lows throughout your entrepreneur journey. And sometimes you wonder if it’s just, you are just human nature, but you have to set up the systems and process and belief system in place in order to get past these loads, because the best part of entrepreneurship is the highs and the lows. It makes it more worthwhile.

 

Michelle: (00:33:45) Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Just, um, um, Brian, I feel like we’ve talked about this too, right? Like the mental health and all of that is so important. And as small business owners, like I think that there there’s really value to having resources specifically for entrepreneurs and small businesses, because it’s. Mental health and our like Sandy’s real. Um, and it’s a whole different experience than, than other industries. So,

 

Maggie: (00:34:14) exactly. Okay. And so I guess we can, you know, go into our last question. How are you making sure that you are managing your mental health on a daily basis, Michelle, and you know, any healthy coping mechanisms that you have on a daily basis?

 

Michelle: (00:34:28) I’m still figuring out that I’ve definitely made some strides over the last couple of months. Um, I do ma uh, spend time to meditate. Um, and I think that really helps me, um, in the mornings. Um, I’m still trying to get on this exercise routine that I’ve neglected since 2020, but what has really helped me is, um, Going through my day to day. And I have buckets of exactly what I’m doing every hour. This might seem a little bit insane, but, um, having that schedule really helps me keep my sanity. Um, and even to the point where Fridays, I just don’t take calls anymore. You know, I really spend that time. I’m still working. Like, it’s not like I’m lying on the beach tanning or anything. Like I’m still working, but I’m not being distracted. And I think that allows me to kind of calm down a little bit and really think critically about like the next week or like, you know, future. Um, things that we’re working on. So, um, with that said, it’s like I did bring on a part-time project manager and being able to allocate all of that. So I’m not being my own project manager anymore for my team, um, has really kept me sanity. So, yeah.

 

Maggie: (00:35:47) Awesome.

 

Michelle: (00:35:49) That was a long answer, but.

 

Bryan: (00:35:50) Love it. Shout out to Michelle for recording his podcast for the Friday meeting with us.

 

Maggie: (00:36:00) So special was amazing. Hearing your story today, Michelle, thank you so much for being on the show. How can our listeners find out more about you and we are appraisers online.

 

Michelle: (00:36:09) Yeah. Uh, you can find me online and Kay, Hanabusa across all the social platforms, um, with appraisers it’s we are appraisers on Instagram. We just started Tik TOK, um, and all the other platforms as well. And I do just want to, um, I do want to say that we are releasing with PAC sign. So if you can check it out or just share on your stories tomorrow, when we launch just creating that hype and that energy around it will be so, so, so helpful. Um, and you know, we’re going to be, we’re going to be online and at 47 stores across the nation. So this is just the beginning and, um, appreciate all the support.

 

Bryan: (00:36:53) Awesome. Um, this is just the beginning. 

 

Maggie: (00:36:56) Thank you so much, Michelle.

 

Michelle: (00:36:59) Thank you. You two are awesome.

 

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