Name of Your Business: The Love, Mich Collection
The Love, Mich Collection is a handmade line of women’s accessories designed and sewn by owner, Michelle Provencher. Beginning in 2008 with the best selling Iced Coffee Cozy, the line has grown to include wristlets, tote bags, and more. The collection has recently expanded to include a children’s line of accessories called Mini Mich Boutique which features its debut item, the Snuggle People.
How did you get started?
I had always dreamed of owning a fashion line. I had taught myself how to sew and throughout college I began making and selling purses. I went on to graduate and become a paralegal. The idea of owning my own business started with the Iced Coffee Cozy in June, 2008 and the need for a creative outlet. I wanted something to put on my cup to make it stop sweating on my desk during the summer and it needed to be cute. I went through a few prototypes, ended up with one I loved and had my co-workers test them out. They loved them! One of my co-workers was headed to a scrapbooking weekend event and I made several for her to take and try to sell. She sold almost all of them and that’s when the light bulb went off. From there after I started adding items to the line like tote bags and wristlets. I opened up a shop on Etsy and began selling at home parties as well. As the years and the collection progressed I have had some great opportunities that continue to spread the word about my line and the support for handmade! In September 2013 my Tri-Gray Square Zippy Pouches were included in the celebrity gift bags atGBK’s 2013 NY Fashion Week Gift Lounge and in April 2014 my Blush Dot Makeup Bags will be gifted to members of the press at GBK’s 2014 MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge.
What inspires you?
What inspires me in running a business are the real stories of other business owners. I love to read about how they overcame certain obstacles and their successes. It helps me keep going when things are tough. What inspires me in designing my line is anything and everything. I am a visual person and mostly inspired by colors and textures. One of my favorite new items, the Blush Dot Makeup Bag was inspired by a pale pink peony flower. I loved the soft romantic feel of it and kept that in mind while designing and searching for fabric.
What’s the best part of owning your own business?
The best part about owning my own business is being the one who makes the decisions. The items, supplies and production are all up to me and I love that. Working for myself is so satisfying. Everything begins and ends with me.
How do you keep your business current?
I keep my business current by making sure that my collection is on trend and modern. I listen to what customers are saying and what they are desiring from their accessories and try to work that into the line.
What is your most popular product?
My most popular product is the Iced Coffee Cozy. The line began with the item and it continues to be the most popular. It fits perfectly on the Dunkin Donuts Iced Medium and Large Coffees as well as the Starbucks Venti Iced Coffee. There are three layers or premium batting inside the awesome cotton prints to keep your coffee from sweating in those hot summer months and keep your hands from freezing in the cold winter months. Us New Englanders love Iced Coffee in the winter! The second most popular item is the Ruffle Wristlet. It is truly the perfect size for your essentials and easily transitions from day to evening wear.
What is the one tool you couldn’t live without?
The one tool I could not live without is my seam ripper! I am a perfectionist and if something is even slightly off I take it apart and start over.
How do you relax?
Relaxing does not happen often around here but when I need to decompress I usually snuggle up with my husband and puppy and watch Netflix! I also love to flip through magazines at Barnes and Noble with a Starbucks Cinnamon Dulce Latte!
What is your motto or theme song?
My motto is – “Good things come to those who HUSTLE.” It is so true. A business will not work itself, you have to get up, work harder than you ever thought and just keep going.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I taught myself how to sew in high school. I have a Bachelors degree in Legal Studies and a Paralegal Certificate from Elms College and I had one semester as a Fashion Design major at Framingham State College in the middle of my Legal Studies degree.
What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received about your business?
The best compliment I have gotten is people being surprised that I actually make the items myself. When someone thinks they are factory made and then find out I’ve made it and are shocked, it’s awesome.
What do you do when you’re having a bad day?
When I am having a bad day, I walk away, close the sewing room door and put on a movie. I swear my sewing machine can sense if I am tense and then things just start going wrong. The best way to deal with it is to do something totally unrelated to the business and the sewing. Entrepreneurs in general have a hard time turning off the business-mind but sometimes you have to clear your head!
CONNECT WITH MICHELLE
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