noun || yəNG ˈhefā
Michelle is the founder of Innovative Aesthetics.
TA: What’s your current hustle?
M: My current hustle is running an online platform dedicated to interior design, art, architecture, and photography. Innovative Aesthetics was made to inspire and educate our peers, as well as children through short articles, interviews and creative projects.
TA: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest?
M: Yes, I've always had a passion for design and art from an early age but I didn't think it was what I wanted to pursue a career in. My second year of college I wanted to be a sports anchor for the NBA but that fell short once I dropped out of school and started focusing on public relations in fashion. I grew to hate the fashion business because of superficiality and a constant struggle to fit in. I decided to take time off from school to figure out what I loved the most in life and what came naturally to me. I love architecture and taking photos of beautiful homes and interiors. I enjoy decorating, shopping for furniture and visiting local galleries and museums. It made sense for me to turn my hobbies into a career and focus on what actually didn't feel like work.
TA: Who gave you the most memorable career advice?
M: There have been a few people in my life who has given me great advice stepping into the art and design industry but the one person who has influenced me the most was Paul Johnson from the Johnson Trading Gallery. He was really the first person at helping me understand the art market. I met him while visiting Art Basel Miami in 2015 while he presented his furniture at Design Miami. He's a furniture dealer whose made a huge impact in my life because he was the only person who gave me a break down of the in's and out's of the industry, the people I should know, and how to push a business in the art world. I couldn't ask for a better mentor/friend.
TA: What was your first “big job?”
M: My first big job was representing LECLAIREUR's art and furniture gallery in Los Angeles. They are a well-known lifestyle brand based in Paris with four different concept stores dedicated to avant-garde fashion and design.
TA: Did you ever think you wouldn't make it to this point in your career?
M: I never had the thought that I wouldn't make it to this point but I've realized that as I continue to grow within my career, I seek bigger opportunities which then changes my title within the industry.
TA: If you could tell your younger self one thing about work ethic, what would it be?
M: Do something every day that scares you.
TA: What inspires you most?
M: Seeing women of color gracefully changing and shaping the world.
TA: What has been the best moment in your career so far?
M: I had a sponsorship with the Good Shepard Center in Los Angeles which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women and children living in homelessness build for a better future. I created a yoga workshop in collaboration with Rebirth called 'Conscious Woman' which guided women living at the shelter through a one-hour yoga workshop on meditation and flow exercises. This workshop was designed to teach women the importance of self-control, self-love, and woman empowerment.
TA: What are you still looking to achieve?
M: I'm looking to achieve a full-time business working for myself and having the power to inspire men and women of all ages and color about design and why it influences the world that we live in. I also look forward to traveling to different countries to help impact and inspire young children living in poverty by helping them shape their future for a better tomorrow. I hope to inspire these young individuals by securing a healthy environment that encourages them to follow their dreams.
TA: Closing statements...
M: Check out Innovative Aesthetics and follow us on Instagram.