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RISE Stories | Southern California Flower Market (SCFM)
Feb 27, 2020
Flowers on flowers on flowers, the Southern California Flower Market has been one of Downtown Los Angeles’s historical gems. Started by Japanese immigrants in 1912, the flower market has seen many changes over the course of a century. From shifts in ownership during World War II when the Japanese were moved into internment camps as mandated by Executive Order 9066, to the integration of other cultures in the flower market, there has been a consistent theme of resilience in times of change.
At Uprisers, we resonated with the concept of building a passion from the ground up. The core of our brand is based on the desire to create something greater than ourselves and to hone in on the culture that shaped our life stories. In the SCFM x UPRS collaboration, we wanted to pursue this shared vision in a campaign that provided educational avenues and an opportunity to highlight the stories of the community that made the flower market what it is today.
Did You Know? | Mamo Yamaoka
A living and breathing example of the Southern California Flower Market’s history, Mamo Yamaoka is one of the last few Japanese American florists that work at the flower market. Being a third-generation florist, Mamo has dedicated many hours and many miles to continue his practice.
Did You Know? | Flowers
The Southern California Flower Market has beauty in every shape, size, color, and culture. With over 30+ countries represented, the flower market has not only been a place to enjoy freshly picked floral arrangements but also a venue of cultural exchange on an international level. While this change in organizational culture did not occur overnight, the Southern California Flower Market’s history of staying relevant to the times and American ways has been a constant theme that makes it a site of cultivating diversity and celebrating the art of floristry.
Did You Know? | Francis Uyematsu
Francis Uyematsu is a name well-respected and widely recognized in the Japanese American community. Immigrating from Japan in 1904, Uyematsu, like many other Japanese, found a love for the Camellia flower and purchased a great amount of Camellia trees before the U.S. placed an embargo on foreign trees in 1915. Matched with his ability to conduct business well, he became a leading Camellia contractor and sold them at the Southern California Flower Market. In 1942, he was one of the many Japanese immigrants relocated to an internment camp during World War II and in turn, was forced to sell his Camellia flowers which were planted in what is now Descanso Gardens. Does the name sound familiar? Francis Uyematsu was a grandfather to Mary Uyematsu, the leader of the Gidra Sisterhood, the Asian American publication that our brand was inspired by.
Our mission as UPRISERS is to uplift and empower stories that have been overlooked and underrepresented. Through over a century of history, we hope to share the story of the SoCal Flower Market through this collection.