I am bubbly inside as I write this introduction because of today's interview. From the initial brainstorming of Abundantly Anna-Noel, I knew that I wanted to capture people in my life of great importance, people whose words could benefit others. That is why I am so happy to present you with Michelle Persichetti; my third-grade teacher turned biggest role model and life-long friend. Passionate clean beauty advocate, wife, and mom to the best little girls Claire and Vera. Michelle knows how to use her voice.
Tell me about the careers you have had: I went to college for an interpersonal communication degree from OU but there was always a voice in my head saying that I should be a teacher. The second time around I listened and went back to school at Capital University to get my teaching certification K-3. I had my teaching career as a second and third-grade teacher for ten years during which I got my Masters of Education from Ashland University. During my time, my husband opened his own gym, and I found this company that focuses on safer skin-care, Beautycounter, which is where I am now. I also like to write and have been writing greeting cards for American Greetings. Now that I am older I have realized my creative abilities and want to channel those into things that make me happy.
What made you want to be a teacher? Why do you gravitate towards young children: I think that early childhood is the most formative time of life. You are starting to develop your core beliefs in who you are and where you center in kindness. While I liked the academic parts, what I think I was really good at was building community within our classroom. I love watching people grow.
What would you say the most valuable trait is that you seek to instill in your children: Know your worth, stand up for yourself and other people. Be kind. Always be kind.
During your time as an educator, you found BeautyCounter: Beautycounter spoke to me because it was education-based and letting people know about lack of regulation - why you should check your labels. I want to share that knowledge with a product that I can stand behind and make a difference with peoples health.
Best BeautyCounter product: A bold red lipstick! So empowering.
How can people educate themselves about safe beauty and household items:
It can be overwhelming; it’s all about progress over perfection.
Do your products have a lot of fragrance in them? Different manufacturers can hide chemicals that are not good for you or hormone disruptors. Make sure the products you are using are scented with essential oils.
Check for preservatives like parabens. If things are lasting ten years in your makeup bag that’s telling me it’s over-preserved.
Take off your shoes before coming in the house to avoid bringing in environmental pesticides.
Stainless steel cookware glass containers to store your food, so you are limiting your exposure to Teflon and plastics.
If you’re going to make changes with your skincare, start with body wash and shampoo because those are things covering your entire body.
Check out the non-profit Environmental Working Group
Why do you feel such a responsibility to share Beautycounter with the world: I have Claire and Vera now, I am making the choices for them, and if there is anything I can do to help limit their intake of things that are not good for them then I want to. By the time they grow up, I don’t want them to have to analyze labels as we do now.
You can always be seen wearing bright colors and lots of jewelry, what does finding your style means to you: Your style is an extension of who you are. It’s not for anyone else to tell you what you should wear or who you should be. If you’re confident in yourself, you can pull off anything.
Favorite movie from high school: Legends of the Fall
As a teenage girl without a mom, you essentially took me in and continue to provide for me in ways you were never asked. Why do you find it important to step up when someone needs it: It’s a part of paying it forward and being a good person. I think to myself; if something were to happen to me, I would want someone to step in and be a role model to Claire and Vera. I want you to be happy and successful; I want you to have a good life. It fills me up to see you filled up and being strong and doing well.
If you have experienced things that have shaped you and were heartbreaking at the time and have gotten strength from them, it’s important to help other people find their strength in hurt. More people should just go for it.
Ohio treasure: I love the Franklin Park Conservatory.
Top advice you would go back and tell your 17-year-old self: I was pretty insecure, needing a lot of confirmation from everyone else. Being who you are is scary, the bottom line is not everyone is going to like you but the people who jive with who you actually are, they will find you. Just be you, you will find your people. You will always rise again.