Travel, Jewelry & Inspiration: Q&A with designer Erin Michele
I've been following Erin Michele on instagram for a few months, and have been so inspired by her work. From the perfectly minimalist designs, to the on-point branding. I'm excited to be on board for the launch of her new travel inspired jewelry line: Charmed Traveler. Photos by Kelsey Schroeder.
1. What was the turning point (or the "aha" moment) when you realized that designing jewelry & running your line was exactly what you needed to be doing?
It all started the summer of 2013 when I went to my local bead shop and started played around with making different pieces. It continued as a fun hobby for me through out my last two years of college. I got a job relating to my major weeks after college graduation but I quickly realized it wasn’t the right place for me to express my creativity. I felt trapped and had to conform to other’s creative standards. I quickly got tired of the monotonous 9-5 routine. Quitting my job made me determined to turn my hobby into something successful and fulfilling and that is how Erin Michele was born. Becoming my own boss is the best decision I’ve ever made and I am now able to channel my creativity in my own way, which has led to another venture called Charmed Traveler.
2. What inspires your designs? A person, a place, an experience?
I’ve always preferred delicate and simple pieces that you can wear everyday and with any outfit. I get inspired by the current looks and trends that my favorite celebrities are wearing and following. My simple yet classy personal style has translated to the look of Erin Michele.
3. Your branding is ON POINT. Have you always had a streamlined vision for Erin Michele or is it something that came together more gradually?
I went to college for graphic design and I’ve been an artistic person my whole life. I went through several styles for my brand until I found something that truly represents me - classy and simple.
4. Any branding/marketing/start-up tips for girls (and guys alike) who might be the creative type but not sure how to turn their hobby into a business?
Kinda cliche but Nike got it right. Just do it. If you don’t even start, you’ll never see how far you can get. If you are truly passionate enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
5. How did Charmed Traveler spark? Why start a new venture?
My best friend Nathalie had just returned from a solo backpacking trip throughout Europe. She was so impassioned by her experiences there that she wanted to start a travel blog to help women plan their own insta-worthy adventure. We decided to combine our passions and create a travel inspired jewelry line that would be featured on the blog. The simple and delicate style of Erin Michele is reflected in the Charmed Traveler jewelry brand.
6. What are your goals/plans for 2016?
Nathalie and I are hoping to grow the Charmed Traveler brand and blog. As for Erin Michele, I hope to continue to add new collections and styles. We’re also excited to travel more and create more content for our fellow wanderlusters!
1. Fave place to travel?
I’m Californian born and bred so I love the diverse nature of my home state, but this summer I am traveling to Ireland with my boyfriend and meeting up with Nathalie, who will be on a two-month backpacking adventure. Planning for my first international trip has sparked future ideas for the Charmed Traveler line.
2. Fave music to listen to when designing/creating?
A little mix of Taylor Swift, Lana del Rey, and Miranda Lambert.
3. The celeb you'd love to have wear your designs:
No contest, Reese Witherspoon!