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Michelle Purcell

This profile is the first of a series on the real women who wear Stella. Read below to find out more about Michelle: who she is, what inspires her, what's her style, and how she feels about Stella. If you love Stella and want to share your style and your statement, let us know at women@stellacarakasi.com!

Rest Assured Top & Timeless Pants

Express Yourself Top & Ready to Wear Leggings

Check it Out Shirt & Ready to Wear Leggings

Sandbar Tunic & Ready to Wear Leggings

Poetry in Motion Sweater & Provence Cropped Pants

Rest Assured Top & Timeless Pants

Meet Michelle

I’m 54, in love, smart and on fire. My “boyfriend” is a sexy and talented artist who I’ve been married to for 32 years. We’ve raised a great kid who’s also in love, smart and on fire. I was raised on the east coast and moved to California when I was 23, newly married, and recently graduated from Rutgers. I had a psychology degree that I did not intend to use for that profession, 7 years of waitressing experience, and $2,300 in the bank. The world was my oyster. At my first California waitressing job, I met a lifelong friend who propelled me into a 20-year advertising career. I had a ball, worked my ass off, and met some amazing people that are still my good friends. For the past 8 years, I’ve been working as a communications consultant. I’ve recently struck out on my own so I could have more control over my time, only work with people that I respect and admire, and never have to attend a regular Monday and Friday 9AM meeting unless I really wanted to. I credit my mom who made sure I always knew that I was capable of anything I wanted to do. To this day, she reminds me that I’m beautiful, smart and sexy. That gift of self-confidence is something that I’ve done my best to pass on to my daughter too. I’ve come to believe that if we do nothing else as parents, making sure our kid’s know that they are amazing humans, and that they’re loved unconditionally, is our responsibility.

What Inspires Me

I ask people this question in my work, and what I’m wanting to know is what things make them feel alive, what stirs their passion for action, what catalysts inspire change. For me, that catalyst can come from so many places. For my work, I’m inspired by my sense of duty. I know that what I do makes a difference in people’s lives, to our economy, and our societal values. For my home, I’m inspired by other spaces – curated images in magazines and catalogs, friend’s homes and beautiful parks. For my life, I’m inspired by the places I see, the people I meet, and the experiences I have as I travel through life. I’m inspired by my many loving friends, my co-celebrants on this planet. I’m inspired by the love of my family, by the talents of smart thinkers, innovative designers, dedicated artisans, and people who follow their passion and their dreams. I’m inspired by nature and the peaceful calm of the water and the sand.

My Style, My Statement

I’m not a fussy person. I like to look put together, stylish and youthful. I want to feel confident, comfortable and appropriate. I like to showcase my jewelry – and my mom made sure I have plenty of that – on a simple canvas of clothing. I want my clothes and my space to reflect my creativity, energy, my warmth, and my open mind and open heart.

What Stella Means to Me

Stella makes me feel fabulous. She designs beautiful clothing with a unique style that is thoughtfully made from fabrics that feel fantastic. I love having a wardrobe for the season that makes getting dressed fun. The pieces collaborate so easily together, and I always feel beautiful, put together, comfortable and stylish. And while I’m not dressing for anyone but me, it’s nice to get so many unsolicited compliments from friends and strangers who comment on my choice of clothing. I will tell you that my initial impression (okay my initial 150 impressions because I walked by the window of her store that many times noticing how beautiful the clothes looked) was that Stella’s designs would be fantastic on me if I were 20 pounds thinner and had a pocket full of money. After being coaxed into the store, I spent 1.5 hours trying on outfit after outfit brought to me by Yarra and Bethel (who both really know their stuff when it comes to what will accentuate my positives), and I was delighted with what I saw in the mirror as well as the quality and value for the price! My fun, eclectic, youthful self was staring back at me, and I was smiling like NEVER before in a dressing room. Every piece that I put on made me feel like I needed to be nothing more or less than me. That was an amazing experience. One outfit I put on, I emerged from the dressing room, swirling around like a dancer, saying I felt like Audrey Hepburn. (I’ll admit a Roman Holiday fantasy and just having returned from Rome – but still – I felt like Audrey!)

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