“Be your shiny self and you make the world brighter” tm
Mikelle Terson believes in beauty—as a guiding principle and as the expression of who we are. Her appreciation, embodied by her jewelry, began long ago and has developed over the course of a personal journey so wide and winding that it arguably could be seen as many incarnations.
Mikelle's artistic life began early when at the age of 7, her father took her to an oil painting class. She loved connecting with the subjects she was painting and felt most at home in the magical world of creativity.
Mikelle became a gymnast at the age of 9. She began experiencing what athletes call “flow” through flips, flying leaps, and dance and later competed for the University of Florida. Her experience of beauty became visceral through the balance of power, flexibility, and control. After an injury ended her gymnastics career she transferred to Cornell University and studied biology. She was enamored by life’s beauty on a microscopic level—the colors, the shapes, the patterns, and motion of life at its most essential.
Mikelle says that she has never experienced a separation between science and art, and that "science is merely a study to understand aspects of the greatest artist of all." Mikelle's love of science, beauty, movement and looking into the deeper meaning of things, led her to a career as a full-time yoga teacher and, to date, she has been practicing this ancient healing art for more than twenty five years.
Mikelle is trained in Gestalt Therapy, Reiki, Energy Balancing and Sound & Music Healing; and has traveled extensively with private clients throughout the world. She is the author of How to Draw Yoga Stick Figures and several other yoga educational products. She has been dubbed affectionately the "Queen of Yoga Stick Figures" and her products are a staple of many yoga training programs.
Her travels took her to India, where she was awed by the culture and art—especially the beauty she found in ancient paintings depicting Indian goddesses bedecked in elaborate jewelry. In Africa, she stayed with an organization called UBUNTU (the Zulu word for human kindness or “humanness” or “humanity toward others”). No matter where she traveled, she marveled at the beauty of the people and their cultures. She collected antique jewelry pieces and began experimenting with reworking them into contemporary works of art as jewelry. Soon she found herself exploring street markets, on an instinctual hunt for unusual stones, talismans, and pendants that she then incorporated into contemporary designs—jewelry that began attracting so much attention that people stopped her on the streets of New York City and literally bought it off her body.
“Women put on necklaces, and I saw a transformation,” says Mikelle, still awed by the memory. “I decided to bring a box of jewelry to a yoga conference and nearly all of it sold.” ....And Mikelle Design was born.
Mikelle’s philosophy is “inspiration through beauty.” With an intuitive skill for knowing which designs are best suited for each woman, she delights in seeing women’s energy lift when they try on a piece of jewelry that is right for them.
Mikelle Design is committed not only to empowering and inspiring women, but to become a platform for humanitarian efforts. The company has donated funds to help South Africans affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis. Mikelle sells select items made by African artists, which helps them directly support their families; and her “Happy Planet” collection gives a portion of proceeds to various organizations such as the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Elephant Sanctuary, and Big Life Foundation, who are each committed to protecting Elephants and to ASPCA Equine which is working to end the cruelty of horse slaughter.
Like her artistic endeavors (which also include writing and performing poetry), Mikelle’s life journey is ongoing and ever-evolving. When asked to qualify her aspirations, she smiles and says she’d like to be a combination of Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Wonder Woman. “I want women to be reminded of how incredible they are, how beautiful life is, and how we can choose to live with joy and appreciation. We can celebrate ourselves while supporting each other and our planet at the same time.”
Mikelle’s designs have been carried by the ABC Home, the Rubin Museum and the Naked Egg Gallery in New York and have been featured in Avenue and Breathe magazines. She shows her jewelry at the esteemed Hampton Classic Horse Show each summer and holds various trunk shows throughout the year.
For information about Mikelle’s other activities, go to:
You can reach Mikelle here
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profile photos by Niki Berg