Michel Design Works began in 1980. The company was birthed from a trip to the medieval city of Provence, France. Future founders Bruce and Deborah went to see their son who was studying art for a semester at the time. Deborah’s own account of this visit and how it led to their successful company is best:
“When our son decided to spend a semester abroad, studying art in a medieval city in Provence, my husband, Bruce, and I knew we would visit him. We wanted to see him, of course, but we also wanted to see the countryside. I’d never been to southern France before, and I can honestly say that it lives up to its legendary charm. Everywhere I looked, I found beauty and abundance: orchards and farms laden with fruits and vegetables, huge fields of sunflowers and lavender, and gorgeous gardens full of roses.
I soaked up the sights, sounds, and scents, and they became the inspiration for the lush floral and memorable fragrances of our spring and summer lines. Then I layered botanical and natural history art, antique written material, and other elements to create new designs that capture my feelings about the French countryside”
The very first product was a “memory book” called Our Country Diary, which they still sell today. It was and is a book where one captures daily events and it becomes a beautiful record of family life.
Michel Design Works pays attention to every detail of their product, from formulation to packaging. The formulation of their lotion is Shea butter, aloe and other botanical ingredients which make this silky, luxurious lotion perfect for quenching the dry skin. The packaging is so beautiful, perfect for gift giving or making a wonderful gift basket.
Each season, Deborah starts to think about new collections and products. Her creative process involves assembling an idea wall in her office. Deborah places postcards and ephemera alongside favorite paintings, juxtaposes photos of her garden against antique botanical prints, and adds color swatches, fabric samples, and even textures she finds interesting, then she lives with it for a time, getting a feel for the different combinations of tone and texture. All this creates an inspirational backdrop for the new lines she designs.
You can have an entire theme in your home, from kitchen, living, to bath. Michel Design Works has aprons, potholders, table runners, room sprays, soaps and lotions. We know you will find something that perfectly captures the essence of a place you have once been, long to go to, or keep in your heart.
Authored and edited by
Sandee Chase and Erika Chase