New Jersey is home to many ambitious and talented women who juggle family, career, and home. A select few of these women are also extremely busy building their own companies to help better manage the balance of work and family. At NJMOM, we want to highlight these extraordinary women who build businesses in New Jersey, and learn the secret to their success.
Owner of Hunt & Orchard and NJMOMpreneur:
Even though Michel Bezoza considers herself a true “tee and jeans kind of girl,” she knows that eclectic vintage jewelry can tell a story and help your personality shine through. That’s why she created Hunt & Orchard to offer her unique finds to others, while keeping affordability in mind. As a true New Jersey adventurer, Michel hits the road to seek out the necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings (& more) that are featured on her site. To sweeten the deal, she adds new products to the site on a weekly basis so you’ll find something new with each visit. Fans of the popular North Jersey-based fashion brand Gypsy Warrior will already know about Michel’s style; she was founder and creator of the wildly successful boutique. Today, she has used the skills she developed at Gypsy Warrior to bring her followers a new way to express themselves, through Hunt & Orchard.
NJMOM was able to learn about Michel’s view on personal style, why she believes New Jersey is such a great state to reside and explore, plus why “Good vibes only,” is more than just a quote you find on the Internet.
NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Michel: I am influenced by fashion and fashion trends, but I stay true to my unique personal style that is influenced by music and tattoos. I am able to mix this together to create timeless, unique, eclectic, fun jewelry pieces for everyone that has a little edge, or wants a little edge.
NJMOM: What inspired you to get into your line of work?
Michel: I love jewelry. At my core, I am truly a tee and jeans kind of girl. I believe that jewelry can take any outfit to the next level – especially a tee and jeans. I have always enjoyed hunting and finding new, unique, or vintage jewelry. I also find it hard to find great affordable pieces; all of these things are the foundation for starting Hunt & Orchard.
\NJMOM: What is your favorite part about your business?
Michel: Creativity is my favorite part of the business. I have so many ideas and concepts in the jewelry space and I love being able to create new pieces. It’s the most exciting part of my business.
NJMOM: What is your background in your business expertise?
Michel: I am the co-founder and creator of Gypsy Warrior, a North Jersey-based young contemporary women’s fashion brand and boutique. I learned so much about the fashion space, styling, and curating during my time with Gypsy Warrior. I was able to take the area I was most passionate about – creating and styling jewelry – and make something great!
NJMOM: What are you most proud of in your career?
Michel: I’m most proud of creating a network of young moms and new friends that I have had the opportunity to meet and connect with through the growth and support of my business.
NJMOM: What is something few people know about you?
Michel: Being at home is my favorite place to be. I am very social and really enjoy meeting new people, traveling and adventure. But at the end of the day, being home with my husband and 16-month-old son is the best thing ever!
NJMOM: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2017?
Michel: You can expect a ton of holiday pieces that I have been working hard on and I am so excited to release. And time with my family and son. Last year’s Fall and holiday season was very hectic, so I am excited for quality family time this year.
NJMOM: Who is your role model?
Michel: I went to school for fine arts and art history, and I am very influenced by the women and people that shaped our art world. Two of my biggest influences are Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger.
NJMOM: What is the best piece of advice your mom ever gave to you?
Michel: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” My mom is really great at reminding me not to sweat the small stuff. Life can be challenging, but it is important to remember to move forward and be grateful everyday.
NJMOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by?
Michel: “Good vibes only.” This is currently very cliche, but I think it’s so true. You need to surround yourself and create a world filled with good vibes; the world needs all the good vibes.
NJMOM: What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey with your family?
Michel: I feel like we live in New Jersey because we love every season. The best part of New Jersey is getting to enjoy the seasons and what it brings. We spend a lot of the summer with friends and family in Point Pleasant. Fall is for apple picking, pumpkin everything, street fairs and wineries. We love trying them all. In the winter we like to cook a lot and spend time in the snow, plus any excuse to make hot chocolate! And Spring is for shopping in small downtown areas and brunches.
NJMOM: What is the best part about being a mom for you?
Michel: The best part of being a mom is seeing the world through his eyes and sharing what I enjoy so much with him, such as all the cheesy things previously mentioned. He is starting to draw and paint, show interest in cooking and being in the kitchen, chasing him outside – all the interactions as he grows.
NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Michel: I love the new place in Park Ridge called Beets Juice Bar, and so does my son, Hunter. Demarest Farms has local pumpkin and apple picking. I love Sook Pastry in Ridgewood for a cappuccino and snack, and Ani Ramen in Montclair for a great big bowl of soup now that its getting cold. Go to The Originals Salon in Ridgewood for the best haircut, color, or blowouts and try Great Sushi Hanami in Westwood – it’s a great lunch spot.
NJMOM: Where do you reside and vacation in New Jersey?
Michel: I live in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. We are right near the lake, and the light and scenery in this area is amazing. It makes you feel like you are away from it all, when really you are right around the corner from everything. Our summers we spend between Montauk, New York and Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
NJMOM: What advice might you have for a fellow NJMOMpreneur who is just starting out?
Follow your gut. Use your own intuition to guide the way, and it will. Never give up. If you want it, keep going for it.