Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Harvey.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Michelle. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I have been making jewelry in one form or another for over 35 years. When starting out, I experimented in different materials; such as computer parts; paper, and mini-CDs. My parents supported my artistic creativity by inviting friends/family to the house where I got the chance to sell my jewelry.
About twenty years ago, I began working with sterling silver and gemstones although mainly selling to family and friends. About ten years ago, I was approached by a member of the costume department from the ABC show “Desperate Housewives.” A variety of pieces were purchased and featured on the show. So exciting!!
In 2013, I opened a store at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, which is home to over 40 artisans offering everything from Jewelry to specialty foods to fine art. It is a wonderful place to shop for gifts and one of a kind items.
I moved to San Pedro in 2014 to be closer to my store and the ocean. The move has brought a new sense of creativity and inspiration. I have expanded my techniques to include off-loom bead weaving, wire wrapping beach glass and cabochon stones, as well as having fun with other materials, such as leather, glass, and wood.
Working at Crafted, I was fortunate to meet Carmen & David Moen from “Beadwork by CGM.” We became good friends fast, due to our common interests, and in 2015 we decided to combine stores, creating a larger space with a wider variety of jewelry.
One of my latest designs is a “Bracelet Buddy.” It is a third hand to help put on a bracelet. Relying on someone to help is no longer needed. It has been a big seller.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Designing and making the jewelry has always been easy for me, it’s a passion of mine.
Turning a hobby into a business has proved to be challenging; having to learn new skills, such as bookkeeping and becoming more tech-savvy (still not my forte).
Adding an online presence adds its own kind of challenges; I am extremely fortunate to have a loving husband willing to take on most of the “business” duties and teaching me along the way. I thank him a million times over.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about MLH Designs – what should we know?
I design and create jewelry using many different materials, but I specialize in sterling silver and gemstones.
For the past year and a half, I have been teaching jewelry classes at my store including wire wrapping, bead stringing and crimping, bead weaving, like peyote stitch and square stitch, and macramé. Teaching classes is a big part of my life and my business; I feel very proud that I am able to impart knowledge to my students who are learning how to make their own jewelry.
Being face-to-face with my customers is also important to me. I believe the personal interaction allows me to better understand what my customers want.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The saying “It takes a village,” is so true. Take a look at my village. One of my biggest mentors is Carmen Moen, my store mate. She has taught me so much and been there to support me through every step. My biggest cheerleaders have been my family.
They call me often to see how business is going and purchase from me frequently. My mom keeps pictures of all my pieces to show people and has one of the largest collections of my jewelry. My aunt has the second largest collection and comes to me for all her gift-giving needs. My two dads proudly wear my men’s collection and enjoy showing my pieces to their friends.
Since opening my store at Crafted, I have established a number of repeat customers and students who have supported me through all my endeavors. Cynthia Nicolella and David Moen have played an instrumental part in helping me with photography. Without Carmen Moen, I would not have the amazing store that I (we) have now.
Without a doubt, most of the credit in my village goes to my husband, Neil Harvey. Not only does he take care of most of the business side of things, but he’s there to bounce ideas off of and give me ideas and opinions. Not to mention all the jewelry he wants is his. I love you, babe!
I want to thank every person in my village including my customers who keep me alive.
- Prices range from about $20 to over $100.
- Address: 112 East 22nd St, #149-#150 San Pedro CA 90731
- Website: www.mlhdesignsjewelry.com COMING SOON!!!
- Phone: 818.521.2994
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mlhdesignsjewelry/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MLHDesignsJewelry
Michelle Harvey. Fleur de Lis Photography