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

Hi Michele, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
In 2010, my then boyfriend proposed to me and I didn’t love it. When I asked him why he proposed to me that way, he mentioned that there were no resources out there to help him propose. A lightbulb went off for me and I thought, wow, what if I could help people plan their proposal? I had always been an entrepreneur and I also had event planning experience so I thought it was the perfect idea. Fast forward 10 years and now there is TOO MUCH information for the proposer. You could go down a rabbit hole on Instagram searching for proposal ideas for hours. We help them sort through the noise and create a perfect proposal with a lot of meaning.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I own one of the world’s first marriage proposal planning companies, The Heart Bandits. I started this business a decade ago and have received hundreds of emails from people around the world asking me to help them start their own proposal planning company. This year, I am so incredibly proud to have launched The Heart Bandits Academy. My academy teaches entrepreneurs how to start their own proposal planning business and I am most proud of this because a little idea that I thought of 10 years ago has been a part of creating jobs around the world. My husband and I also invented the first patented thin engagement ring box, Ring Stash. My business is extremely profitable now and is a result of working extremely hard and making my business a priority. I have never worked so hard in my life but when I look back at what I did I couldn’t be more proud.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a momma now so most of my life revolves around family life. We like to go to the beach, The Grove, Grand Park, the mall, and Disneyland. We like to show our children culture as well so we like to go to restaurants and experience different cuisines.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shotout to my Grandpa Randazzo. Sadly he passed last year but he was my entrepreneurial inspiration. He is the first person I ever knew that had his own business. I used to visit him as a little girl and was enamored by the fact that he was his own boss, made his own schedule, and I just looked up to him in every way. Because he was able to have his own successful business, it didn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that I could do it too and that gave me the confidence in myself to follow my dreams.

Website: www.theheartbandits.com, www.theheartbanditsacademy.com, www.ringstash.com
Instagram: @theheartbandits @theheartbanditsacademy @ringstash
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/theheartbandits
Twitter: @theheartbandits
Facebook: /theheartbandits /theheartbanditsacademy /ringstash
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-heart-bandits-los-angeles-2
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/theheartbandits

Image Credits
Petronella Photography, McFarlands Photography, Bryan Tan Photography, M Place Photography

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