Halle Mikula (‘21) is a student, creator, and young entrepreneur at Forest Hills Eastern who has enjoyed sewing and other creative pursuits since she was a child. She has recently started a business embroidering hoodies, shirts, tote bags, or other items, including items that clients bring themselves. She has not set prices yet, although she hopes to keep them as low as possible while still covering the cost of the material. She will also donate 50% of the proceeds to the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. When considering starting her business, she commented, “I started thinking about what’s important to me. Mental health is something I think a lot of people struggle with, and so it’s something really important to me because I struggled with mental health… I wanted to do something and actually make a change rather than just having a business.” She was inspired by her dad, who wears a “be nice.” bracelet every day—the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan’s motto.
Halle’s hand-made projects can be extremely time-consuming. First, she draws the designs, then threads an outline, and finally fills in the designs with color. While the process may sound simple, it takes hours of work. Her favorite project so far has been embroidering her camera bag although she said she “could consider embroidering [her] clothing with embellishments because [she] thinks that’s something different and that could stand out more.”
In her free time, she also enjoys photography and videography. She hopes to make a video to promote her brand on her youtube channel, and possibly do a photoshoot as well. She is also looking into creating a website and a Facebook page to promote her brand, and currently has an Instagram account @a.gift.called.life.
In May, she plans to donate all of her proceeds to the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan for Mental Health Awareness month. Halle is committed to not only donating to a mental health organization, but also helping by spreading a positive message. Concerned by negative aspects of media and culture, Halle will embroider her items with positive slogans and images, affectionately calling her sweatshirts “wholesome hoodies.” She also wants to include a hand-written message with every purchase. If clients are struggling with mental health or are purchasing a gift for someone who is struggling, Halle can include hotlines or ways to help with their problems. Halle’s embroidery business is still experimental, but she hopes she can make a difference in peoples’ lives through her art.