Hi! I'm glad you're here!
I'm Michelle and the owner of Shyla Moon. I've been a US military spouse living in Okinawa, Japan with my husband and 6 year old daughter, Shyla, for the past three years, but just landed in Australia at the beginning of the year! I know, very timely with the wildfires and now Covid-19. But, hey, allow me to introduce myself if we haven't met before.
The first time I moved to Okinawa (in 2007), I had to leave my dental hygiene career behind, so started a few "hobbies" to stay busy. I taught sewing lessons at the craft shop on base and started making hair flower accessories for my friends. With only 1 place to shop for clothing and accessories on the military base, I was able to fill a need so my friends could have something totally unique.
Then I moved back to America in 2010 where this 'hobby' slowly turned into a small business. My accessories were in small boutiques on consignment and I was learning the ropes of running a small business while doing local market and vendor events, but I was always looking for something bigger. Creating had always been my passion, but what was my purpose?
After I had my daughter in 2013, my twin sister and I started making hand stamped jewelry and a year later, I took the plunge and made being a "Maker" a full-time business, and thus, Shyla Moon was created (and the hair flowers were out and bracelets were IN!). Making one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry that are filled with so much emotion makes my heart bound! And to hear the stories of the receiver and how blessed, happy or hilarious it makes them feel... that's why I do what I do!
So move on three more years and I moved back to Okinawa, Japan, and the military community kept my business growing. I had a blast creating custom, heartfelt pieces of jewelry for military spouses to keep or gift to sweet friends and family and made a lot of great customers and friends there.
Now, here we are another three years later, and I've uprooted my business once again for my husband's job (this time in the civilian sector working with the RAAF), and we are planting some roots here in Australia as permanent residents :o)
When I'm not hammering out new jewelry designs (or overhauling my website and signage and packaging from one currency to another), I'm busy [now] doing online school and keeping my year 1 kiddo alive and happy with a coffee or tea in hand! Thank goodness for backyards, no matter how small! This #coronavirus has definitely changed our image of what we thought we would be doing during our first months in Australia and board games, dance parties and creative projects inside have become the new norm, along with many FaceTime playdates.
I'm a huge advocate for supporting other Makers and am excited to meet other handmade artisans here in Australia, so please give me a shout! I firmly believe in community over competition. You can always sit at my table and I'm always willing to share business advice or help new Makers out with Instagram or FB or whatever! I remember how things were when I first started out and I want to help others get a fresh start, too.
For my customers, I am always happy to make custom, personalized, hand stamped jewelry pieces for you! And I've got these really special kimono wrap bracelets sourced straight from vintage Japanese kimonos. They are limited edition right now because I don't know when we will ever be able to transit things back and forth across the borders in bulk. I've also got a ton (well maybe not a ton, but enough for you to pick something special) of sea glass that I've hand collected from my time spent in Okinawa. It's just waiting to be hand drilled into an authentic Sea Glass necklace. Please, just ask! Whether it be glass or metal, I can make something heartfelt that will be a treasured gift.
*To get an idea of the past custom pieces I've made, please head to @shylamoonmade on Facebook or Instagram. For Custom Orders, please click on the Design Your Own Jewelry link at the top of the page under the SHOP tab.*
For all other questions, comments or concerns or to send a happy note: firstname.lastname@example.org or just comment below.