Michelle Luis is one of our Design the Life You Love role models! Michelle works at ELLE Magazine as the Ad Services and Operations Manager. We love how Michelle manages to pursue her dreams while investing in and supporting the dreams of others, and she’s already accomplished so much at just 30 years old! Over the last few years, Michelle has become one of our most inspiring supporters. On several occasions, she hosted our campus community at Elle for our Design the Life You Love job shadow days, giving the students behind the scenes tours of the office as well as career advice and guidance to help them design the career they love! Michelle also participated in our Design the Life You Love Leadership Summit last fall and our #DesignHackathon where we invited fashion students and computer science students to design iPhone cases that will help girls learn how to code. What a rockstar she is, we are so thankful for her support!
Keep reading to hear more about the people that inspire her, how she heard about MSC, and her favorite dance party song!
1. What’s something you do to design a life you love every day?
I keep in touch with people, like friends from different points of my life and plan outings with them as often as possible. I understand that people are busy, but it is important to stop and “smell the roses,” you know? I love finding the time to hang out with my friends and family. From grabbing a coffee, wandering Bloomingdale’s on a Saturday morning, or trying out a new restaurant. Sharing moments and interacting with others is what makes me the happiest and makes me realize that life is a beautiful journey that goes by way too fast! You have to savor every moment.
2. We know you love to give back (and one non-profit you support is Charity: Water). Why are you passionate about supporting their work?
I LOVE Charity: Water. I cannot stop talking about it – that’s how Lisa and I actually met. I am passionate about nonprofit and volunteer work because I feel like I want and need to give back. Charity: Water’s mission is a simple one – to provide clean water to those who don’t have access to it. I love to share their mission to anyone who will listen, it’s a reachable goal if we donate and all of our proceeds go to their water projects. I volunteer through Catholic Charities in NYC as well, their Feed the Homeless Run is such a great way to give back and realize how fortunate one really is. I consider myself a conscious consumer, I love when I purchase products that help others in need. In addition to My Social Canvas and your Design for Her Edu collection of tees and products that support education for girls, I am also a huge fan of TOMS. I also love to rock my LOKAI bracelets every day!
3. What’s your favorite part about working at Elle Magazine?
I have been at ELLE Magazine for 3 and a half years and my favorite part of the job is the team! Everyone here is hard-working and respectful. I know this is cheesy to say, but I think I found my place. I feel appreciated here and that is what I sought out for in the workplace. The ELLE Tribe, as we like to call ourselves, is made up of smart, motivated and fun people – who wouldn’t want to work with and for people like that? Besides, the brand is amazing and resonates with me.
4. What made you want to host our My Social Canvas Job Shadow Day?
This answer is a blend of my answers from the above questions. I met Lisa while volunteering with Charity: Water, and we got to a lovely conversation about what we do and how we love the brand’s mission as well as our belief in giving back. She explained what My Social Canvas was about and I immediately thought about hosting some of the girls. “Why not?” is the first thing that pops into my head when a new opportunity pops up in my life. I figured that the girls who were part of My Social Canvas were going to inspire me and I hoped to do the same to them. It was a quiet Summer Friday afternoon in the office, but the questions were spot on and I was very proud to show them the Hearst Tower and the ELLE offices. Growing up has its perks, but I told them to enjoy every moment of high school and college because it goes by way too fast.
5. Favorite inspirational quote?
This is such a good question, I have a whole notes section on my phone dedicated to inspirational quotes. The most recent quote that I love is “Who decides what a meaningful life is?” I think this quote asks a very important question and can be answered in so many ways, depending on the person. Another phenomenal mantra of mine is: "Play with the world!"
6. How do you recharge?
I love to travel and try new things. When I buy a plane ticket to somewhere new, something happens to my mood – I can’t help it, I get so excited and happy! When I am away from my every day, I can’t help but feel relaxed and appreciative of the moment as well as my amazing life. I think having a great life takes work: it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it! Travel brings me this sense of freedom that I love to embrace and have fun with while I am out on adventures with my family, friends, and even on my own!
7. MSC is a big fan of the #OfficeDanceParty. What’s your favorite dance party song?
Too long of a list! My current obsession is Danza Kudoru – I absolutely love this song and it just makes me so happy. I will never forget when I played it constantly on my most recent trip to Brazil! This song brings the biggest smile to my face, and I immediately want to dance and sing (anyone who knows me, knows I shouldn’t sing with the voice I have).
8. Who do you consider your role model?
100% my mom, or as I like to call her, my "mommadukes Bels"– is that even a question? She is the ultimate woman—a fantastic role model! She is so funny and doesn’t even know it. She is so strong and has an unbelievable work ethic. She and my dad taught my brother and me the importance of family and that lesson is one that I will carry with me my whole life. She has always has given me solid advice and still loves me when I don’t take it, but as I get older, I do follow it and appreciate it so much because she really only wants the best life for me. She is my biggest supporter and I am her biggest fan—it works out for both of us. Her cheesy texts, emails, and Facebook messages keep me going. Okay, I need to stop, or I can write a whole essay on how amazing she is and how everyone who knows her and has her in their life is better off for it!
9. Could you share a project that you have been involved in at Elle that has made you most proud?
I get excited about working on our big annual issues – March & September! The whole team has this revived energy when these two issues come up. It is crazy to be part of such big projects! It really is “all hands on deck” type of feeling in the office. Everyone is working so hard, so fast! Hitting our goal in these big issues takes a village and when it’s all said and done, it feels really GOOD!
Michelle has been a huge inspiration, and we loved getting to hear from her. Thanks, Michelle, you are such a positive and fun influence on all of us here at MSC!