Undergraduate Ewhaian Weaves Her Passion Into A business Prospect
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Undergraduate Ewhaian Weaves Her Passion Into A business Prospect
  • 김주희
  • 승인 2003.04.07 00:00
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"Would you like to take a look?" asks Kim Mee-young, and from her purse she produces a small black chamois bag with the logo "Michelle" printed across it. With a little shake of the bag with the tips of her fingers, pairs of beaded earrings slide down in the palm of her hand: light pinkish and bluish colors of shining little round beads, elegantly sewn together. The colors instantly show that spring is at hand.

The customized earrings are only some of the many handmade accessories that Kim (Advertising, 3) produces, surprisingly, as the owner of the Michelle label. With about 200 items ready to be exported to Vancouver and Toronto, Canada this May, Michelle (named after Kim"s English name) promises to be one of the successful venture companies run by one of our Ewhaians.

Michelle secured many actresses as its clients and so far has sponsored a few television dramas. Regarding her recent business successes, Kim humbly added that they were made possible through her "Connections," shying away from acknowledging that these successful results might have actually been foretold by her hard work and talent.

It all started with her passion in manufacturing works of art. She recalls that as a little girl she could not sit still, but had to make something. She attributes this to her creativity, and believes this to be the reason why she enjoys manufacturing accessories so much.

Finding college life unexciting, Kim decided to start a business of her own. "Come to think of it now, I was a bit naive back then because I went straight up to my dad asking for money to start my own company," says Kim. "I was serious and cautious about the business plans I made; however, it was not enough to convince him."

Kim knew, however, that she could not just give up on her dreams. Her passion eventually drew up attention from others. Kim attended a small institution that taught students how to make hand-made accessories. Seeing Kim"s talent and her passion for this work, her teacher decided to close down her accessory shop to invest in Michelle.

This happened just last semester, and now, Michelle supplies accessories to a shop called "Mango" in Apgujeong. Internet webpage (www.michelle.co.kr) with "Party" and "Wedding" as its theme is under construction, and is planned to open sometime in April.

That she managed to do all this in such a short period of time seems unbelievable, but what is even more surprising is that Michelle has no experience in attending any design school. At one point she thought of changing her major to design. However, she decided to simply not do it because she could not stand the wait any longer. "I wanted to start the business as soon as possible," she explains.

Kim gets inspiration from people: "I just imagine what that person would look good in, and this helps me to come up with new designs."

Although it takes about 40 minutes to an hour to finish one item, Kim finds the work delightful. This labor of love motivates her in school as well.

Kim has heard warnings of how difficult it can be for a woman to open up a business in Korea. She is also aware of the negative public views towards young women jumping into the work field without even graduating college. To all the critics Kim might say: "From the start, I knew I could do this because I was confident in my abilities, and I think my vision was kept alive through my experiences at Ewha, where I learned that women too can make anything possible."

0169006@ewha.ac.kr

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