We had the good fortune of connecting with Deborah Michelle and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Deborah, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I don’t feel I chose it, I feel it chose me. At age three I started designing my own Halloween costumes and playing the piano. At age 18 a friend asked me to design a line of handbags while I was in design school. I have an insatiable curiosity for all things design, art, culture, music, fashion, film, etc. If I’m not creating, I’m not happy. It’s really that simple.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a designer. I recently launched a new accessory company – Maison D. I started with handbags and plan to launch home goods and mens next. My life has been very colorful to say the least and it hasn’t been a straight path. I’ve decorated homes for years which I fell into unintentionally. Earlier this year I did a place in Nashville and hope to open a store out there one day. Owning a business has different challenges every single day. I formed this new company in 2020 during lockdown and worked with a factory for nearly a year before having to find a new factory to work with and start all over. The development process takes time as does building the right working relationships with people. I deeply value craftsmanship and working with experts to create products that are substantially built by hand, using quality materials, and creating jobs / work here locally. There are literally lessons to be learned everyday as an entrepreneur, but the most important ones are probably to believe in your vision, surround yourself with people who know more than you that you can learn from, and keep going no matter how hard it feels at times. I was in a meeting recently with a big factory that works with some world renown brands and they were incredibly impressed with the quality of my bags. To me, that was a quite a compliment. I love connecting with people who are all about artistry. I get to see one of my designs worn by a brilliant actress on the best show on television this fall!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In my experience when friends come to town they want to be by the beach and outside as much as possible. So Cora’s Coffee Shop or Shutters for breakfast after a walk on the beach. Groundworks coffee off the Venice Boardwalk for their fresh cashew milk latte. Wallys for the wine list, Batlaire, Venice Beach Wines, or the rooftop at Hotel Irwin. If I had to go into town Dan Tanas and The Polo Lounge. Fahey Klein and M & B galleries. Hiking is always a good option and Hollywood Bowl of course.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Parisian godmother and godbrother most importantly. They have literally been there since day one. Being raised in part by a Frenchie has had a big impact on me – hence Maison D. I”m very lucky to have wonderful friends / mentors who guide me, inspire me, teach me, support me, challenge me, and push me constantly. The book that has resonated with me the deepest thru the years is “Leadership And The New Science by Margaret Wheatley. It’s very profound in unexpected ways and was given to me years ago by a brilliant friend.

Website: Maisonddesign.com

Instagram: @maisond.design

Image Credits
Maison D

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