Maker Michelle Bonfils is a creator of a different stripe: she’s not crafty with her hands so much as she is brilliant with her mind. Michelle co-created and co-hosts Lustre Salon, a super-unique event in Los Angeles which features vendors, crafters, and artisans convening all at once. I was stoked to have the opportunity to pick Michelle’s brain about her very creative business and how she operates.
please introduce yourself!
Hi I’m Michelle Bonfils. I grew up in Arcadia, CA and in Northern Mexico. I lived in NYC for many years and now live in Los Angeles, CA.
what do you make or do?
I’m a vintage clothing merchant (Two if by Sea Vintage) and I host a pop up shopping event called Lustre Salon with another vintage clothing merchant named Jillian Cainhug (::SHOPfraiche::). Lustre Salon is inspired by the Parisian literary and art salons of the early 20th century and was created to bring people who enjoy vintage, art, music, and design together in an intimate setting to discuss, share, and provoke collaboration.
where can we find your creations?
how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
I’ve been selling vintage clothing professionally for under 3 years and have been hosting Lustre Salon for a year. I do both part time, but I think about it full time.
when you’re not making things, what do you do?
I work on my day job business. I have a bespoke personal assisting and home organization business.
what obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?
I spent most of my life trying to be an actress, an art that’s looked upon as a struggle in itself. I had more struggles trying to do that then resell clothing. Before when I said I was an actress, people would ask what restaurant I worked in. Now when I say I’m a vintage seller, people wanna know if I carry their size or when my next sale is.
where do you find inspiration?
Quick inspiration, I like Instagram. I love to see what my peers are doing as well as discovering new people in my field. I also find inspiration from going to artisan markets and flea markets, looking through old fashion magazines.
what’s on the horizon for you and what you do?
Taking Lustre Salon on the road is a goal that’s in the works.
what would be your perfect day off?
My perfect day off is taking a day trip to a surrounding city and spending all day shopping!
what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?
Find what you’re good at and become an expert at it. Find the niche in your expertise and set your art apart from everyone else. In other words… know the shit out of what you’re good at.