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Michou has been turning inspiration into art for over 35 years. Calling its jewelry “Art to Wear”, Michou has created a distinctive collection that speaks to women all over the world.
It is nearly impossible to separate Michou from its creator, Michele Sonner. The name “Michou” itself, a derivation of the French endearment mon petit chou, is the childhood nickname of the artist behind Michou’s unique designs. The name, like the jewelry Michou creates, is a keepsake of Michele’s childhood and part of her history.
Michele’s love of art and antiques first drew her into jewelry design when, by chance, she discovered a tiny collection of rings during a ski trip in the Swiss Alps. The rings were created in Bali using a very special technique called granulation, an ancient art form of creating patterns by fusing granules of silver or gold onto an object. Michele was so inspired that months later the New York City native found herself on the faraway tropical island of Bali to apprentice with the artisans, learning skills that had been handed down over countless generations.
Michele’s love of skiing also led her to other life-changing adventures. Michele grew up skiing with her family in Sugarbush, Vermont. Shortly after her trip to the Swiss Alps, Michele was on a ski trip in Vermont when she captured the attention of an extreme skier. Rick Topper instantly knew he found a gem in Michele and immediately called her “Miss Right.” The two have been inseparable for 35 years. Rick and Michele’s passion for skiing led them to move to Lake Tahoe to create the company Michou. Rick’s ability to write software tailored to the needs of their company and his gift of photography are the perfect complement to Michele’s creative and artistic nature. (Michele and Rick have dedicated the One-of-a-Kind collection to the memory of their son, Lance Henri Topper. Each piece is unique and stamped with the initials “LHT” for what Michele describes as her best one of a kind.)
Michele instinctively uses her knowledge of stones and jewelry designs to speak to women. The phenomenon of a woman experiencing an instant connection to a particular piece of jewelry is described by Michele as her piece finding its forever owner. She loves empowering women to connect with and purchase their own jewelry. “I create collections that women can connect with and embrace. Each piece is ageless, filled with heart so that it becomes part of the woman who wears it.”
Michou jewelry is perfect for every occasion with dramatic pieces born of inspired vision, lovingly brought to life. By designing comprehensive collections that interrelate in tiered price points, Michele’s art-to-wear allows the collector to create her own unique Michou statement. Suitable for both night and day, Michou creates everyday elegance for the wearer.
With Rick and Michele’s never-ending support of each other, Michou continues to reach new plateaus in the jewelry industry. For the third year in a row, Michou has been a featured artist with Wyland Galleries at Disney’s International Festival of the Arts 2017,2018, and again for 2019. Michou’s designs have also gained recognition from Sundance, Nordstroms, InStore, and Forbes.
When they are not focusing on the daily operations of Michou, they spend their time together hiking, hitting the slopes, or wake surfing the breathtaking blue waters of Lake Tahoe. It is this “work hard, play hard” lifestyle that is the driving force behind the success of Michou.