So honored and excited to have been featured with an interview on Boho Daily—a source of non-stop inspiration and beauty. I was asked to discuss the ways I try to inspire my community and live a life of intention, which resulted in a pretty open look into my world.
We had the chance to chat with native New Yorker, writer and yogi, Michelle about her experiences with gemstones, writing and how she gets inspired. Here is what this uber boho goddess had to share with us!
What do you do to inspire your community?
Through my blog, Hey Mishka, I explore the various ways life can be illuminated with creativity and aesthetics. I’m a big believer in the little things: moments where the universe funnels beauty right down in front of you. I believe this is translated physically into things like beautiful design, songs that make you want to cry (or dance), a chance meeting on the subway with a soul mate…
I often refer to this as “festivity”, which I feel is an undervalued term many of us associate with dollar store holiday décor and birthday cakes. Really, festivity is a way of life. It’s about gratitude and infusing love into everything you touch. Life is a holiday, isn’t it?
Who and what inspires you?
As an overtly romantic Libra, I’m inspired by emotions and dreams and little moments that feel special. It might be a performance I’m watching, an incredible conversation, or sitting front row at NYFW (I freelance as a fashion writer). Life is constantly giving us gifts in the form of inspiration.
Immediately my recent trip to Peru comes to mind. I traveled between three cities and I honestly felt like I was going to short circuit from all the beauty.
How do you set intentions in your life?
I dig deep! When an idea sets my soul on fire or scares the crap out of me, I know I’m onto something. As an aesthetic person who falls for the “idea” of things pretty often, I have to do some investigating inside my heart to stay true. I’ll be browsing Instagram, see a pretty photo, and restructure my whole life in my mind. Then I’m like, “Woah, slow down, tiger.”
What advice do you have for all the boho yogis out there?
Life is a DIY project! None of us are ever “complete”. We keep collaging, keep adjusting, keep adding layers and taking them off again. Accepting evolution on both physical and spiritual levels is a must for staying sane and letting your creativity shine.
Last year around this time, I was recovering from an emotionally difficult moment in my life. Working from home, I spent an excessive amount of time alone, and just as much time dwelling in my own head (which can be emotionally counterproductive when life has gone awry). One afternoon as spring just began blowing its first kisses over Brooklyn, I was walking aimlessly, replaying this turmoil in my mind, wondering if my life would ever be lighthearted and joyous again.
Of course, my life did become lighthearted and joyous again, and if you’re going through dark times right now, rest assured yours will too, even if you find it nearly impossible to believe at the moment.
Anyway, my train of self-defeating thought was interrupted at the sight of a small Tibetan shop, its window exploding with embroidered tapestries, beaded curtains, harem pants, jewelry, and sequined knickknacks. I’m a Libra, ever romanced by the world around me after all, so I wandered in with sparkling eyes and my nose was met with the comforting smell of incense. I knew at once this detour on my route was meant to sooth me.
Once inside, I found myself browsing beaded gemstone bracelets, in awe of their colors and texture. Below each variation of gem there was a piece of paper stating the special property of that bead. Some inspired fertility, others good health. I instinctively picked up three and tried them on my wrist: a clear quartz (which opens the heart to higher guidance), a black onyx (which inspires self discipline), and a turquoise (protection against evil).
Was I magically enlightened, invincible, or pure by handing over my cash and calling these beauties my own? Of course not. But the moment I chose these three little pieces of magic, I declared my intentions to the universe. I do believe gems have “magic” properties, and while there’s no smoke and glittery POOF, there certainly is the enigmatic power of manifestation and intention.
I wore these bracelets in a certain order, daily. In the morning, I pulled them over my hand onto my wrist and felt peace wash over me. I couldn’t leave the house without them. It was all at once a reminder of the emotional journey I was facing, and the actual changes I wanted to put into motion in my life. Without uttering a sound, they kept me aware of my personal truth throughout the day. It was a powerful feeling, because I had intentionally chosen to adorn myself in symbols of change.
I’m telling you this story today because it was an important turning point in my life, but also because it was a stepping stone in my spiritual evolution and belief in manifestation. You don’t need anything physical to manifest good in your life, but aesthetically beautiful reminders help. For this reason, I want to share one of my personal favorite brands with you: Tiny Devotions.
Tiny Devotions is a beautiful company that exudes positivity and pure boho-bliss. They offer a wide range of stylized mala beads (prayer beads originally used by Buddhist monks, but worn around the world for thousands of years) with variations of gemstones, tassels, and materials. The beads are intended to bring specific energies into the life of the user, from beads that bring sweet dreams or improved communication to relaxation and serenity.
I immediately identified with this brand due to their beautiful mission. Their manifesto features inspired phrases and words that called to the very center of my being (“take the ocean with you, rule the world in your moccasins, floral prints and boyfriend blazers”), and I think after reading my story above, you know why.
If his gives you happy-chills, we’re on the same page:
“We are the chai drinkers, the adventurers who worship the sun, play in the ocean, wear their hair in beach waves (even if they live in the city) and set intentions every step of the way.
The Tiny Devotions girl is free spirited and connected but is also driven to leave her mark on the world while turning heads as she does it. Her ballerina bun in place (maybe a few stray hairs) she creates her own path, sets daring goals, always follows her intuition and does not sweat the small things.” ( △)
On Tiny Devotions you’ll be encouraged to set intentions for your life: to live mindfully, spiritually, gratefully, and in such a way that you never forget you’re alive.
So much of our modern existential dilemma is that we spend our waking hours obsessing over tasks and to-do lists, and we forget how crucial it is to connect to ourselves on a spiritual level. Mala beads may look like pretty jewelry, but they are a physical reminder of this basic human need as well.
Inspired to develop or receive unconditional love? Rose quartz is the stone for you. It carries the energy of intimacy, peace, and love. Craving or anticipating a new beginning? There are mala beads dedicated to break-ups, creation, and centering. Mom-to-be (or want to be?) Check out mala beads dedicated to motherhood energy. If your intention is prayer, shop 108 mala beads. Traditional mala beads come in strands of 108, used for keeping count while reciting mantras and prayers.
To learn more the mission behind this beautiful company, watch their video here. Once you’ve set your intentions, you can shop a huge variety of mala beads at Tiny Devotions. I hope something calls to you the same way my beaded gem bracelets did in the Tibetan shop last March.
Let’s live vibrantly, violets! Thank you for letting me share my story with you.
All my love…
It’s a cool Saturday morning and I woke up in the Hudson Valley at my parent’s house: a sanctuary in the middle of the woods. We’re here visiting baby Otto and fam, who moved to New York from San Francisco this week!
I just did a green tea face mask, made some coastal blend coffee and was inspired to put together another retrospective photo diary! I really loved sharing my photos of the end of last summer, so this time I pulled together some snaps from last fall. I took my hiatus right around that time, so much went un-posted.
Fall 2013—specifically October—was extremely creative. I was constantly sewing, DIYing, and decorating our apartment. Halloween always means making several costumes, and I also had showed my designs for Bombay Mermaid Trading Co. on the runway. I hauled back so many treasures from Peru that inspired the heck out of everything I was doing. It was my birthday, too!
Historically, October is almost the most festive month of the year in Mishka-land. See some of my favorite photos below.
Passionate about neons, geometric jewels, reflective fabrics and pineapple prints? Bullet Media just opened a pop-up shop at 47 Walker Street in Tribeca, and you’re going to love it. You’ll find designer sweatshirts, baseball caps with printed brims, pastel jewels and a the occasional South Western print amidst the offerings. It’s a healthy combination of ultra-modern and ultra-90s, making it, as Racked so accurately noted, the retail dream of any Tumblr princess.
It opens Tuesday through Sunday, so you’ll have plenty of time to stock up on things to make your life more trendy than it probably should be.
During the NYFW Fall 2011 season I braved the cold with a photographer at my side as we made our way from a remotely located runway show near the NYC waterfront. I was freelancing for Refinery29, exhausted from zero sleep (the trance I slipped into while editing photos had to suffice), and spotted Scott Schuman and Garance Doré walking ahead of me, chatting about the show we’d just seen while photographers ran around them snapping photos.
That day I’d also run into Anna Wintour and Waris Ahluwalia—but it was Garance who left the biggest impression on me. Despite the awful weather and madness of Fashion Week, Garance was the very picture of cool elegance. She was wearing a massive fur collar coat (which inspired me to run out and buy my own shortly after) skinny jeans, and a smile on her face.
I felt immediately that she had discovered some secret about life that, once you know it, just makes you the coolest, most curated woman in town.
Fast-forward to November 2013. I had the supreme pleasure of taking part in an intimate gathering organized by the IFB where we were treated to a panel discussion on the “business of blogging”, followed by a conversation with the impeccable, adorable Garance Doré. Garance is someone whose personal style radiates from every line of her illustration work, and every word she speaks.
When I wasn’t getting lost in her stories, I was frantically scribbling lines of advice she bestowed upon us with transparent honesty. She didn’t credit herself with being much of a “teacher” but she definitely taught me a few things that I try to keep in mind at all times. I’ll share 5 of those things with you below.
5 Things I Learned From Garance Doré
1. Fake it ’till you make it.
When elaborating on her beginning as an illustrator, Garance spoke of proudly parading through the streets of Paris, searching out potential mentors as if she was already a well known artist. She had grown up in a small town, but she held her head high, and confidently knocked on the doors of the people she admired.
Once she began to catch on, people would phone her for meetings in Paris, so she would postpone until she could catch a plane. She refused to let her small town status stop her.
2. Write with honesty.
As the blog began to gain traction, some readers were perturbed when Garance would mention expensive designer items or link to them. She debated whether it would be a mistake to keep speaking about her tastes in designer items honestly. Would she lose readers?
In the end, she kept true to her tastes and spoke only about the things she truly admired. She may have lost some bargain-hunting readers, but her core audience stuck around, and she gained followers that were a perfect fit for her reader base.
3. Showcase only the parts of your life that you want to share.
A lot of people wanted to know the inside story into the ultra-chic Garance’s life. After all, on her blog, her life appears to be a non-stop parade of fashion, macaroons, and fun projects. She laughed when being accused of living this dream life, reminding us that the internet is a fantastic way to showcase only the parts of your story that you want to. She encouraged us to curate our online presence accordingly, with our readers in mind.
4. Having a vision is more important than having a business plan.
Deciding everything about your venture in the beginning and then bullishly surging forward isn’t always the right tactic. Garance warned against attempting to stick to specific formulas that are “fail-proof”. Instead, develop a clear vision, and make all decisions based on that vision.
This advice is applicable not only to business plans but also to things like which social platforms you use regularly, who you hire as your assistant, where you take your photos, and of course, what your content looks like.
5. Stay true to yourself.
Garance was offered a prestigious position at a major magazine just as her blog was taking off. When she spoke to her soon-to-be boss over the phone, she received an alarming ultimatum: if she took dream job, she would have to shut down her blog. She thought about it for a short time, before declining the job. Looking back, you can bet she’s glad she stayed true.
I hope some of these things resonated with you. I was so glad to have the chance to hear Garance speak in person, and to scribble down so much of her advice in my little purple notebook last November.
She was also recently interviewed by Scott Schuman at the French Institute Alliance Française last week in case you want some more of her charm and wit! ;}
I remember viewing the Mara Hoffman line in the People’s Revolution showroom a few years ago (the era of the Egyptian Pharaoh one piece bathing suit, as I see vividly in my mind’s eye), and leafing through the racks of epic resortwear and bohemian glory. Mara has long since moved her magical collection to an exclusive showroom, and R29 profiled Athena Calderone’s recent visit.
The post is basically eye candy from beginning to end, complete with a printed tipi, neon, and geometric explosions of color.
See more pics at Refinery29.
Athena also took a weekend trip to Amagansett with her photographer pal to shoot some whimsical photos, and Mara gave her a bag of clothes to play with. The results are super girly and pretty inspiring—check it!