When speaking to Michelle Kim you get two things: great conversation and a great motivational aptitude for life. Recently graduating from UCI, Michelle Kim has been one of the lucky ones who has found her passion in jewelry design and has managed to make it her occupation.
Since her freshman year of high school, Michelle has always had a strong work ethic. She worked in retail as soon as she was of age to acquire a work permit. Along with this new found responsibility at such a young age she also developed her love for fashion. “I have always loved wearing jewelry and different types of accessories,” Michelle says, and playing around with her jewelry has always been something she was used to. “I would often adjust my jewelry pieces to fit my size,” Michelle stated.
Like most of us fashion lovers know, the fashion industry is one of the hardest most difficult to become successful in. For those of us who don’t know how to hem a dress, but still dream of fashion week, I’d recommend going to college and getting a degree in something that will actually increase your chances of making a good living while trying to figure out how to harness your passion for fashion.
For Michelle, she came to UCI to major in Cognitive Psychology. Michelle stayed involved in school and made sure to make her college years worthwhile. She joined a sorority, worked at Tory Burch, was the Vice President of UCI’s Fashion Interest Group, and had an impressive summer internship at Harper’s Bazaar when they launched their new website feature ShopBazzar. She had the experience that most of us yearn for. But her senior year was when things really began to take off.
Michelle had begun exploring her creative side in designing jewelry. Since she had always had trouble finding the right size of jewelry that fit her, she began making her own. Family members and friends began noticing her talent and often asked her if she could customize jewelry for them; that is when it started. Michelle’s boyfriend Stephen Davis launched the company The Hatters, and Michelle soon joined as the jewelry designer. Since the launch of their website in January, Michelle’s creative jewelry pieces have become popular not only on campus but to the fashion world.
The Hatters is said on their website to be “a campaign about bringing together artists each versed in their own medium of expression…and create something that someone somewhere will find a smile in.” These words are not only very moving but are also what fashion is all about; the freedom to express ourselves and make ourselves feel good by what we wear.
Michelle Kim prides herself on making delicate, custom handcrafted jewelry at the best price. With the customized necklaces being her most popular item, she averages about an hour a necklace, making sure to dedicate as much time to making it absolutely perfect for every costumer. She averages 10-15 orders daily, and makes them all on her own. What is so great about the jewelry is it each piece is so unique, personal, great quality, and available in all sizes. The Hatters jewelry has received attention all through word of mouth by bloggers, the European market, and even big names like Seventeen Magazine’s Instagram, MTV Buzzworthy blog, various music artists, and Norways KK Magazine, which has only increased the company’s popularity.
As the company grows, Stephen Davis plans to launch The Hatters apparel line by this summer, which excites everyone who is already a big fan of the jewelry. With hopes of Stephen’s apparel line also becoming a big success in the future, Michelle wants to learn more techniques in making her jewelry and prosper as an artist.
To all aspiring artists trying to launch their own businesses out there, Michelle’s advice is to, “find a career in something that you love to do, and you will never work a day in your life.”
To check out The Hatter’s jewelry line visit:
Instagram/ Twitter: @wethehatters