The Making of a Designer

I have three treasures in my life; my husband Mike, my scrumptious toy red poodle Piccolina and my passion for designing.

I am also incredibly fortunate to have amazing friends, a family I love and an addiction to art and spaghetti and meatballs. And gelato. And strawberry shortcake. And wine. And traveling. And sushi. Well, you get the point. I love food, especially sweets, so word to the wise, do not get between my sweets and me!

My entire life I have been inspired by designing things. My favorite day of the week was when my mom would take me to the library after having dropped off my brothers and sisters at school. My eagerness to get lost in all the books would be there well before we arrived. I loved to get lost in all the images I saw, using them to let my imagination roam. I would then go back home and using the inspiration from the library spend my days designing handcraft gifts and letters and cards for my family. Cultivating my love of design from an early age, I made hundreds of cards and drawings for my family. It was my favorite pastime. Well, that, reading, eating sweets (and meatballs), playing practical jokes and listening to music.

Wanting to expand my horizons from designing for my family to designing for others, when I was ten, I wrote a letter to Calvin Klein asking them if they were looking for a designer. Apparently they didn’t but they responded by sending me this encouraging letter to apply when I was a little older, accompanied by a beautiful, glossy catalog. I treasured that catalog. I would spend countless hours looking at all the images, running my hands over the pages and getting so excited at the thought of designing my own things. As an adult, I’ve designed jewelry, bath products, toys, yoga apparel, home accessories, novelty and wedding related items.

Blog#6-2

Eventually, with determination and annoying everyone and anyone I could to look at my designs, they eventually made it onto the shelves of such retailers as Toys “R” Us, Babies R Us, Origins, FAO Schwarz, Bed Bath and Beyond, K-Mart, Walgreens, Buy Buy Baby, Equinox and Hudson News. I’ve even licensed products to companies such as Hasbro, Cra-Z-Art, Horizon Group, Delta Children’s Furnishings and I just had my Infinity Heart collection launched at Zale’s. But the journey has been filled not only with successes but with lots of “not right now” letters as well.

Every time I couldn’t get someone to return my calls or someone wasn’t interested in my designs, I put it aside while I found a way to keep plugging away, determined to succeed. I credit my passion for designing as the reason I stay motivated. And it is the unconditional support of my husband Mike and the never-ending kisses from Piccolina that continues to fill my life with love, every day.

I’m Dana Michele and I invite you to join me as I share the ups and downs of my journey. Sometimes you will laugh. Sometimes you will be moved. Sometimes you will want to run out immediately to your nearest gelato store to indulge yourself or open up an account at wine.com! Whatever the experience is for you, it is my utmost wish to inspire others to follow their passions because in my experience, doing so brings the most delicious rewards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *