interview: i live to create

I’m very blessed. I have a great life, good health, and a stellar family. We’re close, we love to spend time together, and we share many of the same passions. My family is also extremely creative, the artistic gene running deep within our veins. We’ve got architects, painters, photographers, musicians…you name it, we’ve got a desire to create it! When my brother got married back in December of 2005, he brought into our family a woman with a deep love for the arts. Michelle, or Mish as she is affectionately referred as, is a wonderfully creative, artistic being, whose designs have touched not only our family, but friends and strangers alike. Presently, Mish owns her own graphic design company, i live to create, as well as a jewelry line on Etsy with the same name. One thing about passionate people is that they love to share their joy…which is why I’m sharing Mish with you today! She is a joy in my life, a fantastically talented woman, and I want all the best for her in the world. Please enjoy this little glimpse into the life of my beautiful Mish!

  • Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a creative heart living in inner SE Portland who loves finding old things & making them new. I design jewelry, cards and printed media (i.e. logos, brochures, conference displays, posters, etc.)

  •  How/when did you decide you wanted to be your own boss?

After working for a non-profit in Austin, Texas for two years after college, I quickly came to realization that design was my passion and so was my autonomy, so I found a way to start my own business which involved leaving the city I loved and purchasing a lovely Apple product. I started my own graphic design business based out of my parent’s house. My passion for design has morphed itself into creating uplifting greeting cards and vintage jewelry too.

  •  What are some of the challenges of small business ownership?

 Challenges. Sometimes, my challenge is motivation. Other times, it’s finding good health benefits at a reasonable price (this may be everyone’s challenge). The most reoccurring issue is probably the one of work flow. I can go a couple of months of being so busy to a quarter of absolute slowness like one of a snail on a salt cube. Working for yourself always involves risk, but it’s a risk I take with faith. And, the perks aren’t so bad either.

  •  What are some of the perks?

 Autonomy. Creativity. Life. I love being my own boss and being able to schedule my day. I love being creative whether that’s in my graphic design business, my jewelry making, or crafty weekends with friends. Being creative gives me a lot of fulfillment and joy. Hence, my DBA…I live to create. 🙂

  •  What would you say to someone who is trying to start their own line? What should be some first steps?

 First steps. I would say find what you love to do and create it. People can tell if you don’t like what you do or make, and who wants something that isn’t loved by its designer?! Second steps. Make it and share it with others whether that’s friends, family, social media, etc. Get the word out about your creations….blog about it, tweet about it, talk about it…and contact stores who may be interested in your line. Don’t get bogged down with rejection. Press on. If you love what you are making, chances are there are some others out there that will love them too and want to buy them.  

  • What is the overall concept behind your line? Do you have a motto or mantra that you flow through your work?

 Obviously, my mantra is I live to create, but I’m trying to focus that in my jewelry line by making old things, new again. My focus is to find vintage pieces and repurpose them with a fresh, modern look and feel.

  •  Do you have any favorite pieces or designs?

 My favorite pieces, right now, are my vintage heart necklaces made of multi-colored enamel heart pendants from the 70’s on 16” antinqued brass chain finished with a  heart-shaped lobster clasp. Love them! I wear mine all the time, and I’m more of an earring person.

  •  Where do you find your inspiration?

 My inspiration comes from a lot of sources: nature, people, fashion, architecture, urban decay, art work, the world of bloggers, photography, vintage stores. I can find inspiration from a piece of a decayed building to Monet’s Water Lilies series…inspiration is truly everywhere.

  •  Just for fun, what is something that most people don’t know about you?

 That my dad coached my 4th grade basketball team and we lost every game, but I always felt good about them because I played my hardest and did my best. My nickname was the Knat because I was annoyingly good at defense.

 Check out my blog at your leisure:

Want to wear some of Mish’s pieces? Here’s a snapshot of some of her newest creations…

And if you want to find out more about Mish and her work, check out her website, facebook and etsy page:

Thanks so much Mishy!

hearts and heart-shaped hugs,




  1. Love it! I love her greeting cards, simple yet so very straight to the point! I wish I had more creative people in my life. Everyone I know is in business, finance, or engineering. Those aren’t as fun of skills to take advantage of when you need it. Tho my baby sister is doing her undergrad in interior design, so we shall see… my dad wouldn’t agree, but that’s a useful skill I could use help with!

    • yeah, I love her cards too! Especially the “i’m thinking about you…maybe too much” one…always love the little sarcastic humor 🙂

      you know, though, having friends and family in business and finance is really helpful! especially when buying houses, doing taxes, trying to start a business,etc…those are good people to have around!!

      you should have your sis do a project for school where she decorates a room for you…for free 😉 it a family discount!!

      • Yeah true it is helpful, but those are such boring things! But you are right. I love the interior design project idea!! I might save the guest bedroom (aka her room most of the time) for her!

    • very good idea! tell her you are trying to help her design career 🙂

  2. Thanks for the interview, Becca Boo. I love you so.

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