Tell us about your business.I started Michelle Vale with my son on my lap. I desired a bag that offered versatility, one that could take me from mommy to date night, day to night. Other women did too. Our bags have been featured in the likes of Elle, Instyle and Lucky and have been spotted on fashion A-list celebrities including SJP and Cate Blanchett. This year, the collection was chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Fashion Group International Rising Star Awards and we are fortunate at the recent release of our collaboration with luxury automobile maker, Audi.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.Our collections are created at our factory in New York's famed Garment Center. This allows us the ability to inspect every piece for quality control and helps us reduce our carbon footprint. Manufacturing locally means we avoid air travel back and forth overseas during our sample making and production cycles. Also being close to our production, we are able to catch errors before they carry on, which in return avoids unnecessary waste.
What inspires you?New York City is a great source of inspiration for me... I am often taken aback by the textural facades and imagery surrounding me at every corner.
What makes your business stand out?We offer modern, yet timeless distinct designs paired with innovation. We are the only brand to offer women custom hardware options in select finishes and made to measure chain lengths... all produced in the great fashion capitol... New York! Our commitment to locally made runs deep. So much that I often contribute on the Huffington Post on American made related topics. I have also written about various American made brands on my own blog www.makeitinmanhattan.tumblr.com as we at Michelle Vale believe in the idea of local supporting local. And we are thrilled to announce the premiere of the documnetary I have been working on for the last three years, "Make it in America" which will be released at the upcoming New York Fashion Week which includes various designers, brands and talent who are behind the idea of American made.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Be Steadfast... slow and steady wins the race!
What does American Made mean to you?American made means creating jobs and stimulating the economy, while reinvigorating innovation... the very core of what America was once known for being about.
Mark Your Calendar
NOMINATIONS ENDAug. 31, 2015
Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.
VOTING ENDSOct. 19, 2015
Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.Discover the American Made Summit