Michele started sewing when she was a young child, making doll clothes with a hand crank toy machine. With a neighborhood reputation as a “tomboy” and embarrassed to tell her family and friends that she liked to sew, she eventually gave in and pretty much did nothing else through her school years. After graduating from high school Michele worked at a large department store in the alterations department, using the time to learn everything she could about sewing and alterations from her senior co-workers. During and after attending college in New York, she started her own home decorating business where she went to the client’s home, designed all fabric treatments and then went back to her shop and made the curtains, shades, bedspreads, canopies, pillows, wall hangings, etc. This went on for 4 years until she moved back to the Seattle area. After raising a family with a special-needs kid, she went to work for a friend in Olympia, WA in a sewing machine store and worked there over a span of 15 years as lead salesperson selling 6 different brands of machines and teaching project classes.