Michele Busch of Plano hung up her hairstyling scissors years ago, hoping to ease into retirement.
Michele Busch’s retirement hobby took on a life of its own.
Just for fun, she started selling handmade beaded napkin rings in an East Plano shop.
“I would go in there and check on them, and they’d be taken apart,” she says. “I told the owner, ‘I can’t believe women are letting their kids play with these.’ And she said, ‘No, Michele, women are trying them on as bracelets.’ ”
So bracelets it was, and necklaces and earrings. In the 12 years since, Busch’s jewelry-making skills have taken her from Dallas-area boutiques and apparel markets to a thriving business. Her work has been touted in magazines and worn by A-list actresses and singers.
In fact, the business was going too well. She hired three people to help her make the pieces, but the constant travel to Atlanta , Las Vegas and New York was keeping her away too much. She’s now back to making each piece by hand, including one-of-a-kind vintage-style pieces for Joni’s Boutique at the Shops at Legacy in Plano, and letting a sales rep travel to her out-of-state sellers. She still does sample sales and trunk shows, visits stores that carry her lines in Austin and Texarkana, and fills Internet sales orders.
Famous people who have worn my jewelry: Emma Roberts, Hilary Duff, Nicole Ritchie, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood , Mary J. Blige, Norah Jones.
Boutique shopping: There’s that vintage side to me, and I love to go to the square in downtown McKinney to buy things for my home and for clothes. There are really neat shops there. One of my favorites is Smitten. I even took a crochet class there. We crocheted a belt with vintage seam binding.
Favorite night on the town: My husband and I like to go to the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station. And we recently celebrated our 19th anniversary at Smoke (at the Belmont hotel in Oak Cliff). You can see the whole downtown skyline from there. They smoke all their meats, get their veggies from local growers and even have a garden on the hilltop.
Favorite girls’ night out: We like Maggiano’s Little Italy (in West Plano) because you can get a big group together, and we all have our favorite things we like to order.
Best place to shop for my hobby (scrapbooking and stamping): My favorite places are Stamp Asylum in Plano and Paper Source in NorthPark Center.
Best mall: My favorite overall is NorthPark. I love the Anthropologie there. I find that store to be inspiring. I like to see what colors they have. There’s such a diversity of stores at NorthPark, from Neiman’s to Forever 21. My favorite restaurant there is La Duni Latin Kitchen. They have the best desserts and mojitos.
Kathleen Green is a Plano freelance writer.
SEE MICHELE BUSCH’S jewelry. http://www.michelebusch.com.