Inspirational Women | Interview | Kristine Upesleja
Updated: Mar 11
Country | USA & Germany
Kristine is and Educator, International Lecturer and Associate Professor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena California and Researcher, Founder and Director of Innovative Textiles & Materials Department at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising). She is also the Founder of consulting firm MADISONS - Innovative Materials, and Guest Teacher at UEDA College of Fashion in Osaka, Japan.
What was your "ah-ha" moment in life, where you "made-it" and how did you feel?
My ah-ha moment was when I was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer 19 years ago. The doctors gave me 6 months to 2 years. I made it to the 5 year remission, then it came back. I took this challenge, too and fought it. I lived without cancer for 13 years! yay! Unfortunately, a new cancer, this time in the breast is back. Again, I'm taking the bait and will make it through the tough challenge and will come out at the end of the tunnel and will say: YES! I made it again!
What are your favourite jewellery pieces that have special value to you?
I have a beautiful pair of Claude Montana earrings that was gifted to me by my best friend at my wedding, a long time ago. I wore them at the ceremony. Unfortunately, the marriage fell apart, but I still have these earrings and wear them on special occasions. They are radiant orange, edged with silver. Sooo Montana, who was at the top in the 1980's. Bittersweet memories on one hand, but good.
What is your definition of success?
Recognition, acknowledgement, to see that I inspire people and young students. I enjoy it for being acknowledged that I had an impact. I love when people approach me after a lecture and tell me that they've learned a lot. Power of knowledge!
What is something important you would like future generations to grow up knowing?
I wish I'd have known how important education, learning is. Knowledge gives you power. Knowledge of many things on a broader range. Everything is related to each other, interlaced. Body, mind, spirit. don't limit yourself on one item. We are multitalented, spiritual beings. I would like to tell my younger self: be confident, connect with people who appreciate you and don't want to take you down. Learn, be inspired, listen into your deep, deep inner self. Don't limit yourself to a relationship if it's not working....become CONSCIOUS of what gives you power!
A fabulous quote you love?
Everyday is a new beginning.
A favourite song of the moment?
Stevie Wonder - Es Una Historia - I am singing