Hi! I'm glad you're here!
I'm Michelle and the owner of Shyla Moon. I've been a US military spouse living abroad with my husband and 8 year old daughter, Shyla, for the past five years, but just landed back in Japan at the end of 2020. 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 to accessorize with.
Then I moved back to America in 2010 where this 'hobby' 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 sentiment 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's where it gets a little crazy. Sometimes things don't work out how you think they will. I uprooted my business, once again, for my husband's job (this time in the civilian sector working with the RAAF in Australia) at the tail end of 2019. We had permanent resident visas for his job, yet God had a different plan, and 10 months later we uprooted our family once again and landed ourselves back in Japan (again!) :o). Thank goodness this job travels with me!
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 keeping my daughter, Shyla, alive and happy with a coffee or tea in my hand.
I'm a huge advocate for supporting other Makers and am excited to collaborate with other handmade artisans, 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. 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 on the beach both in Okinawa and mainland Japan. 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.