Squish Stars: Michelle Gage

photo of michelle gage sitting on a couch
The past number of months have been a whirlwind. Yet, there are some women entrepreneurs that are continuing to break the mold and shine like the stars they are! We're proud to introduce our Squish Stars campaign, highlighting incredible women entrepreneurs!

We were lucky to talk to Michelle Gage, Founder of Michelle Gage Interiorsand ask her some questions. 

Tell us about your business? How did you get started?
We are a residential interior design firm specializing in creating colorful and comfortable homes for our busy clients. I got started after leaving a corporate job in buying for a whimsical home retailer.

What measures have you been forced to take since COVID started? What is the biggest pivot you had to make with your business? 
Michelle: It’s hard to run a business that is so personal and requires being in someone’s home during Covid. Our entire team practices safe measures outside of work and then wears masks and even latex gloves if needed while in our client’s homes.

What have you learned from this experience thus far? Both on a professional and personal level. 
Michelle: We’ve honestly learned just how wonderful our clients are. We’re grateful that there’s now a safe way to be in their home, as it was all so unknown before masks were being seen as a solution. I’ve learned that if you treat your clients well, they not only stick around but also come back for more work right when you need it. We had to pause some projects but no clients walked away and some old ones even came back with new work to keep us going.

Have any businesses or individuals helped to inspire you through this time? What do you admire most about them? 
Michelle:  I’ve been inspired by any small business owner who “keeps going.” It’s been hard to stay motivated at times but it’s great to look to others who are up when you’re down.

What are the biggest issues for running your company right now? What areas do you need help with? 
Michelle:  It’s hard to manage timelines and expectations when everything is so uncertain. The whole industry is dealing with a lot of shipping delays for furniture, which we can brace clients for, but don’t really know what the length will be. Same with hiring contractors, they’re all booked up, so if we need them for a job it’s hard to say when they can get started.

What's been your biggest win since starting your company? 
Michelle:  Building a business that is worthy of my husband leaving his engineering position to join.

Are there any special or new self-care practices that have helped you stay grounded? 
Michelle:  Honestly having less on my weekend calendar is the best kind of self care. That and lots of ice cream.

Favorite show you've been watching/book you're reading/podcast you're listening to? 
Michelle: Loving Domino Magazine’s new podcast. Enjoyed reading Everything is Figuroutable by Marie Forleo. Shameless and Ozark for TV, wish I didn’t finish them so early into quarantine.

If you could be any of our marshmallow flavors, which one would you be? 
Michelle:  S’mores for sure!

To learn more about Michelle and her business:
Instagram:  @michellecgage