Michelle Moises exuded lightness and confidence as she recounted how and why she began her jewelry brand, Live Inspired Jewelry. The certainty and tenacity she emanates coincides with her message to every aspiring small business owner—never give up. And as a mother to her son, a current graduate student, a part-time Graduate Assistant for the Office of Fellowships at Seattle University, a jewelry maker, and an entrepreneur, she absolutely does not quit.
Her journey toward becoming a jewelry maker began very early on. Growing up by the vast, blue ocean in Hawaii, traveling to tropical paradises like Tahiti, Fiji, and Samoa, experiencing stories from different lands, and bringing home with her pieces of these places through tangibles like bangles, she was prompted—inspired—to create handcrafted ocean-inspired jewelries.
Michelle taught herself how to make jewelries—acquiring supplies from merchants, re-utilizing old accessories, and piecing them all together for her to wear as her own. With no intention of selling her creations at first, she only made jewelries for herself, but as her friends recognized the beauty of these one-of-a-kind adornments and requested for orders, she started creating more.
For Michelle, this endeavor eventually became a creative outlet, and one that she delights in especially when she sees wide smiles across people’s faces. Clear in her voice, she beamed at the thought of making people happy through her work. Her drive to continue to create through this medium is evident as she eagerly says, “my ideas are evolving and to be able to physically see it, it makes me feel like I’m growing as an artist.” At the same time, she perceived jewelry making as an additional source of income which she could use to provide for her family, a priority in her life.
Her business continued to bloom organically when her friend suggested that she participate in a Polynesian event in Seattle for free (no application or rent fees whatsoever) and market her products to the attendees present. This turned out to be the stepping stone to her pop-up shops, which she launched last August 15, 2015, and continues to organize until today. Michelle finds great pleasure in selling at pop-ups as each day is never the same, riddled with distinct stories and anecdotes. She also joined the Women’s Business Center’s inaugural showcase, “Celebrating Dreams, Celebrating Success,” last September 2016 to broaden her horizon and expand her community reach, meeting other small business owners, investors, and consultants while simultaneously showcasing her products.
In the steps she has been taking, Michelle has consistently pursued to grow her craft and business amid the daily tasks that need tackling. Her dedication radiates as she faces each day, waking up at 4:30 am in the morning to study, accomplishing her part-time work five times a week, attending classes in university, taking care of her son, and creating jewelries—all these and more in her seemingly never-ending to-do list, but she is still able to balance everything, or as she says, finding to. It is admirable of her to admit her humanity by saying that even though she is still finding balance between different aspects of her life, she will always live inspired, and to always inspire others whether that is through her relationships with others, her studies, her work, or her business.
There is no doubt that her dreams and plans for the future will flourish as she strives for them. In five years, she hopes for her business to be established by then, having her own website up and running and managing her retail store and if possible, building bridges internationally and taking her brand across the North Pacific. Determined and passionate with the way she lives, Michelle is headed to greater pastures. Her heart is turned toward inspiring others to find their passions, being a role model in finishing the race every single day, and really using her full potential to be the best she can be. In all this, Michelle definitely does not give up.
About the author
Charissa Soriano is an Economics graduate from Ateneo de Manila University who passionately captures stories of people and places through photographs and words with the hope of sharing the beauty of life to the world. She intends to create an impact in her generation through her work, and one day, her very own social enterprise. She is also an avid traveler who enjoys immersing herself in different cultures and discovering unfamiliar territories; she marvels at the enormity and grandeur of the earth, the spontaneity of life, and the genuine, open hearts of humans. Currently, she is writing and contributing to the amazing work Business Impact NW has been doing in the community.