Name: Michelle Reeves
Lives In: Portland, Oregon
About Me: I was born to tell business stories. I can write a 5 minute pitch in under 45 minutes (gives me such a high!). I love learning about other businesses and figuring out the most compelling way to tell their story, distill everything down to one core idea or business proposition. I believe many business owners should be aware of two things: what they’re selling vs the business they’re in. Often these are two very different things.
Hire me for/I'm Good at: Strangely, the skill I’m most proud of… I manage the hours in my day like a drill sergeant manages his army – with precision and not a minute to spare. I don’t know if it’s because I can’t sit still or because there’s just so much I want to accomplish, work, fun with the kids, time with my husband, time for myself. Maybe that’s just being a mama, however I take real pride in how I can unstack the dishwasher while cooking dinner, paying bills online, dancing in the kitchen with my son, and negotiating a contract for work.
Interested In: I love to mentor and collaborate. There’s something very powerful and inspiring about creating energy together in business - all parties walk away feeling supported and motivated to charge ahead.
Mama Likes: That’s a great question and something I haven’t asked myself in a long time. Some mamas and I were talking about this very thing at The Great Jane. The idea that we could have our own interests feels like such a luxury these days. We’re so focused on building our business, nurturing our families, taking care of the household, our wants and desires were put on a shelf years ago and in the meantime, our wants and desires have changed. Honestly, I don’t know what they are. Rediscovering that part of myself might take a little time.
Brands that most reflect your style or that you’d want to work with: June Oven (kitchens will never be the same), Juicero (game changer), MyIntent.org, Sarahs Bags, SurfAir, The Ouai, Yes Way Rose, White Girl Wine, IvyPark (taking fashion/merchandising photography to the next level), Perrin Handbags, Sun Basket/Blue Apron, WeWork, ah so many!
Words you live by/quotes you love: I have lived my life by this rule for the past 30 years. “If you want to discover new oceans, you must be prepared to lose sight of the shore”.
Best advice you’ve ever been given: “You can always make more money, you can never make more time”. My father told me this when I was 30 and going through a divorce. Stuck in the middle of a year long battle, he asked me what my goals were.
“Kids, build my company (David Family Wines), time with my friends who live so spread out across the world…”. None of those were things I was fighting for in the divorce, all of those things were already within my reach – I had the power to enjoy, build, and act on those things. Why then was I wasting so much energy and time on things I didn’t need or could replicate myself. I signed my divorce papers a week later.
Best advice you’d give to someone starting out: The goal as a business owner is to make money, not raise it. There’s a misconception with so many entrepreneurs that they need to go raise millions. No. Build your customer base, build your idea, build your sales. If you need money to scale, THEN go raise the $ you need and not a penny more.
ALSO - Don’t compare your life today as your hustle through work and raise your babies to the “perfect” lives of others on instagram. Behind the scenes, they’re all hustling too (but with a better hair and make up team ;).
What are three things people would be surprised to know about you?
1. I love to make new friends but I get nervous - I’m in constant search of hearing everyone’s stories, opening my friendship circle as wide as possible, but there’s this little shy kid inside me. It’s kind of like the first day of school and I get so nervous!
2. I eat chocolate every day. Like every single day. It’s usually followed by a kale, banana and basil smoothie.
3. I grew up helping my parents clean homes – we came from very humble beginnings and while other families spent the weekend or the summer on vacation, my brother and I were cleaning ovens, bathrooms, gutters, grouting tile, watering gardens. When we weren’t doing that, we were in daycare. Looking back I see now it’s what really cemented our relationship. My brother and I figured we better get along, look out for each other and have fun together during those times. So we did. To this day, we are extremely close.