We had the good fortune of connecting with Hana Tanaka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hana, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was adopted from China when I was just 6 months old because of the one-child policy. My Parents brought me to Colorado where I was raised. Because I was Chinese in a Japanese/ Spanish household, growing up I learned about many cultural traditions that have formed me into the person that I am today. I went to Columbine Highschool which gave me a true sense of community. I have never met a tighter-knit community than Columbine. It has taught me that tragedy is terrible but there will always be people around to help and support. I value having a community of people and believe that everyone deserves to feel like they belong and that they are loved.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am just 25-year-old trying to my life together, live life as authentically as possible while pursuing my dream of becoming a professional dancer, and navigating the pressures of Los Angeles social scene on a major budget. I am a Dancer, Dog Mom, Digital Marketer, Discoverer and so much more. It was hard for me to figure out what exactly I wanted to do in life because I felt the pressure that society has on young adults to go get a job and “be successful” by this checkpoint etc.
I created the concept for Sincerely Extra last year after the Covid Lockdown. I was struggling with my mental health and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life… Then I had the thought “There’s no way I’m the only one who is struggling with this.” I’m not perfect and I don’t want to be perfect. I felt like everything I was looking up/ reading was so perfect and planned and that is the exact opposite of what I wanted to put out there so I created Sincerely Extra. I decided to create a platform to put all of myself out there and see if people resonated. Ive always been the person to go against the grain and not completely fit in so I wanted to make my platform a place where everyone could come and feel like they can relate and belong.
I created my Blog Sincerely Extra as all-inclusive brand designed for anyone who feels like they have a calling to do more in life and be whom they want to be without the shame of being judged by the outer world. Sincerely Extra is a product of my deepest pain and also my greatest strength combined: not feeling accepted + knowing how to bring people together. Sincerely Extra is a mindset, community, adjective verb… Whatever you want it to be. This is the place to come and be yourself. A place where you’re not only welcomed but celebrated!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
OMG! This is the perfect question for me!
First I would take them to Slones in Valley Village. They have the best bottomless mimosas and everyone who works there is extremely welcoming and overall a great person… and the food is delicious! They cater to all diets as well.
After that I would take them to Venice- my favorite place ever! there’s just something about Venice that makes it feel super authentic and real. On Sunday nights right when the sunsets, people gather (safely) for a drum circle where you can go in and dance, yell, cry, do whatever you want to do and everyone is so loving and supportive!
A few other places that I LOVE taking people is:
Lake Hollywood park- it’s great because there are a lot of dogs there and you get to see the Hollywood sign if you’re not in the mood for a whole hike!
Cliftons- This is one of the most fun bars I’ve ever been to! Not to mention that I met my boyfriend here 2 years ago and we’ve been together ever since but it has 3 stories and every story is a different theme. Pre- Covid it was my go-to spot to hang out on Friday or Saturday night!
The Now – This is the most vibey place to get a massage! I’m super particular when it comes to getting massages but this place has always made me feel safe and welcomed! They have locations in Studio City, WeHo, Silverlake and Santa Monica!
Hamburger Marys- Their Drag Brunches are so fun! Everyone that I take here loves it! its a different experience especially if they’ve never been to a drag brunch before!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are a few people that deserve recognition in my story. First and foremost, my family. My Mom and Dad have always supported me no matter what. My dad has always said to me, “you have to do what you think is right to do.” That saying has been my guiding compass throughout whatever life brings me. His voice is always in the back of my head when making decisions. My Brothers have also been a huge pillar of support for me, seeing as I’m the youngest and only girl!
The other group that has supported me to where I am today is a program that i did 2 years ago. LA establishment, a commercial dance training program run by my friend and mentor Erin Marino. The friends that I’ve made in this program have become family and have inspired me to not only be a better dancer and artist but a better person.
Youtube: Hana Tanaka