Hometown: Orange Park Acres (Orange County), California
Major: Business Marketing
Class year: Junior
Never underestimate Michelle Dao. At age 20, she’s already had three successful internships and helps run a boutique business. She works thirty hours a week, clocks in twenty hours a week for her current internship, and alternates between New York City and Los Angeles on most weekends attending designer showrooms and fashion events. From styling Chloe King, interviewing Mr. Big from Sex and the City, and designing her own line, Michelle is a businesswoman determined to have her name known in the fashion world.
How did the idea of A Bubbles Boutique come about?
My boss from Lux Delux, Erika Petersen approached me with the idea to get back into fashion world, combining the idea of the ultimate shopping experience with fashion and bubbles! We wanted to create a one of kind shopping experience. At A Bubbles Boutique, you can talk to specialized vendors and create business connections. I’m also kind of like your personal stylist for the evening. If you have an event coming up, I’m there for you.
How do you prepare for each event?
The whole purpose of Bubbles is to recreate the feeling of shopping in your girlfriend’s closet. We go through the closets from our very own Bubbles Beauties, while mixing it with current fashion finds!
How long have you been having events?
It’s a once-a-month event. We had our first launch event October 15, 2011. We’ve been talking about it since September. So yeah, we made it happen relatively quickly.
What internships have you done?
Teen Vogue, Lux Delux, and Orco Block Paving Stones.
I was a styling intern at Teen Vogue. My tasks ranged from assisting photographers to helping with the magazine spreads. I did a lot of social media content.
Lux Delux is a luxury concierge company that provides it members with one of a kind experiences in Las Vegas. Anything from Louis Vuitton to Hermés to Balenciaga. They help with events at the Belagio and the Cosmopolitan. Lux Delux is your ultimate concierge for everything Las Veags: Restaurants, Night Life, and Lifestyle.
With Orco Block, I worked with architectures to do interior decorating and create sustainability with future projects. So I was still in the design field even if I wasn’t directly dealing with fashion.
You are like the spokeswoman for internships. Do you have any coming up for summer?
I will be interning with CBS mainly working with the Craig Ferguson Late Night Show."
What was a memorable internship moment?
I styled Chloe King for the July issue of Teen Vogue. I also attended LA and NYC fashion week. Then with E! I interviewed Mr. Big from Sex and the City!
Tell me something that no one would know about you. Something that’s not on your résumé.
I have been doing pageants since I was five years old. I was a cheerleader my entire life. Those were my favorite activities. I’m interested in getting back to these activities in the near future.
What do you do for fun?
I like to go shopping! Haha. I like going to leadership conferences. It’s not only important for resume building but also important for you. Every leader starts somewhere. I think as a businesswoman and an entrepreneur it’s important to go to these events and put myself out there. I never think, “Oh I’m only 20 and those things are only for men.”
I love traveling. I recently went to Cape Town, South Africa. It really opened my eyes to philanthropy and giving back. So in the future, I want to donate proceeds to the less fortunate.
Do you have a favorite organization?
My favorite organization is the Princess Project. They give dresses to girls who can’t afford to go to Prom. Every girl deserves her moment to shine.
Who are your personal favorite designers?
Diane von Furstenberg, Vince, Chanel, and Elizabeth and James.
Are there any fashion icons that you follow?
Kate moss. She’s petite like me.
Least Favorite Trend?
Probably 70’s bell bottoms. I am 4’11 1/2” and I cannot rock them even if I wear six-inch heels. It’s not flattering unless you are six feet tall.
You have a lot going on outside of school. Are you involved with any on-campus activities?
I am a charter member of Kappa Alpha Theta, a member of Delta Sigma Pi, and part of the Student Philanthropy Council. I work in the department of Annual and Special Giving at USF. In the past semester, I have hosted events with Alumni educating them on the importance of giving back to current USF students through Edge on College Mentorship Program and scholarships with donations.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love for A Bubbles Boutique to become bigger and better! Maybe even move it to LA. I think it has a bigger audience and better appreciation of fashion. I love NYC but it’s too hostile for me. Not my cup of tea. I like San Francisco but the weather can be cold. The weather also hardly changes up here. It’s always on the cool side and I like to wear summery clothes every now and then. I also want to expand my clothing line. I want to stick with fashion and stay in the loop of LA.
You have your own clothing line too? Tell me a little more about it.
Right now, I’m not designing but my models vary in height and size. I think it’s important because short people can rock it too! They can wear that shirt as a dress. It’s important for your items to be available to everyone; make it the best you can make it.
Be sure to like A Bubbles Boutique on facebook. Their next event is on February 28 and will be hosted at A Beauty Co. in the Marina. Michelle says, “It’s going to be an appreciation day for shoppers.”