Michelle Winters

Fifteen years ago, after a career in the fashion industry, I made the decision to pursue a change, I decided to study Graphic Design at Parsons School of Design and open a Graphic Design business.

After seeing the style of my work, my  teachers advised me to take some illustration classes. I was extremely hesitant, as I did not see many career opportunities in illustration. Regardless, something inside of me, told me to pursue the class. I wound up with a body of work of New York scenes, and created a little book of them.

One of my friends, suggested that I print them, and make them into holiday cards. I had no idea if they would sell, and it would be very expensive to print the cards.While I was thinking about what to do, my friend went to a restaurant in NYC. She was at a telephone booth (this was pre-cell phone). making a call. She had the little book in her hands, and a woman from a paper company spotted the book. She asked if she could see it. The woman loved the illustrations, said that her company would print the cards free of cost, if they could have permission to use them for a paper promotion.

How One Thing Lead to the Next

The paper company printed the cards, and I had the cards that I needed to show the stores! I had eight cards. I decided to  present them to Bergdorf Goodman first. (my first job was there  when I first moved to New York). I knew that they were a leader in the industry, and that if they bought them, others would follow. They DID buy them, and many others followed. Her cards have bee in some  of the finest stores in the country, and consist of many styles in many cities. I have  been commissioned to create custom cards for World Yacht Cruises/Circle Line, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and many others.

At the time, I had no idea that taking an illustration class would lead to all these cards! When asked advise to give others I say, “Go with your intuition! Don’t stop yourself from pursuing something, just  because you don’t know were you are going. Enjoy the journey!”

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