April 16, 2020
M. Hisae Ethos
The foundational and the continually evolving aspects of our mission and purpose.
We hope to discover shared values that connect us on a deeper level.
We hope to ignite sparks of creativity and leadership between us that inspire
and are inspired by your uniquely visionary life.
Merce Drawings by Nancy Brooks Brody
Line drawing on photo, 2013
There's been a lot more time for reflection and growth as of late. I've been able to challenge my bench skills, revisit projects (see: LIBRARY highlight), and dive into initiatives that I started and didn't finish. Growth has meant embracing the opportunity for a certain someone to join the MH team - to assist and support and inspire the expansion of M. Hisae's offerings as well as impact. Everyone say hi to Zoë, we love her!!
Photo by Dana Jensen. Porto Covo, Portugal
Today, I get to announce an impactful initiative that Zoë and I resurfaced. It's near and dear to my heart, and it's needed to happen for a very long time.
Inclusivity, as a whole, is a weighty topic for me. My maternal grandparents were Nisei: the first generation of children born in the country to which their Japanese-born parents immigrated. My grandparents were forced into relocation camps at the onset of World War II. They and 120,000 citizens of Japanese ancestry were perceived as threats in response to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. American citizens imprisoned based on race and race alone. Suspicion poisoned the American mindset.
My grandfather was placed into multiple camps and then enlisted to train in the Military Intelligence Agency (MIA) as a way to evade the camps. He served as a linguist and translator (Japanese/English) for his home country, the United States, who had just committed (and was still committing) an incredibly violent act of bigotry against his friends, neighbors, and family. These linguists were instrumental in bridging cultural differences, and they helped to establish the foundations for postwar relations between Japan and the United States.
He and my grandmother died before I was old enough to learn about the camps, let alone ask questions. And the humility instilled in Japanese culture is so sustaining that I'm not even sure I would have gotten the chance to see them get angry about it. I do get angry, and I do get sad. I do believe in generational trauma. It is a complex history with a lot that has been forgotten or gone unsaid. But after a decade of wading through a lot of mislabeled emotions, I choose to use them productively.
Michelle’s grandmother, Helen. Her Japanese name was Hisae
I wish that this type of pervasive fear was not still present in our communities, but it is. And while I exist in circles of people who are caring, open, and inquisitive, I was reminded recently that it's important to state the obvious. It's obvious to me that everyone should get the benefit of the doubt, that everyone's truth is worth hearing, and that all are welcome and considered under the umbrella of respect and equal value. That is worth reminding
Inclusivity. It's core to the M. Hisae ethos. All ethnicities, gender identities, sexualities, faiths, and people with disabilities are welcome and embraced. M. Hisae is for everyone, and that means every body. Size inclusivity has always been a given for me.
Hands by Horst P. Horst
This collection has evolved dramatically over the past 4 years, and I've been self-funded the entire time. My production decisions have been fueled by practicality and minimal resources, in all honesty. With even greater honesty, I will admit that I can do so much better.
Body Language I by Caroline Walls
One size does not fit all. I've sized a 2.5 ring finger and a 10.5 ring finger on two perfect and radiant ladies. They're both rocking the heck out of MH pieces and making me proud! Here's what I want you to know - whether you order a size 3 or a size 10, everyone pays the same. This is not a heroic effort, this is fairness. I price each style out in the middle size range and watch it all even out.
Figure Drawing by Sheila Skemp
Charcoal and pastel
Charcoal and pastel
M. Hisae does not discriminate based on weight, height, or build. (Nor do those factors directly correlate with finger size, anyway.) I've accommodated requests for a whole range of ring sizes via email and direct message for years now. It was all behind the scenes because of a website roadblock with variant limits in my Shopify theme...pause here, I won't get into the technicalities. What's important is that we found a solution that is opening up some major web-based doors for us.
Blue Nudes by Henri Matisse
The newness! All ring styles are now available in sizes 3 through 14, including quarter and half sizes. Instead of a dropdown menu, you'll now type your size choice into the text box provided. Necklaces and bracelets have been updated to reflect a range of lengths. You get to decide how you want it to fit. And because we freed up all those precious variants, we'll be able to add in other customizable options for you in the coming months.
Untitled (Surrealist hands) by Claude Cahun
Head over to the rings page to explore your new options.
Michelle & Zoë