Michele Varian moved from Detroit to NYC to go to Parsons School of Design and became a fashion designer. After working long hours for others, she decided that if she was going to work so many hours, that she would prefer to do it for herself and make all of the final design decisions. She switched from fashion to home products, because every pillow cover fits a pillows, unlike a piece of clothing, which takes many prototypes before it fits a human being. Thus, she was able to finance her business herself. 

 

She began by stitching everything herself in her Soho loft and began by selling to major luxury retailers such as Barneys and Neiman Marcus. Then 911 happened, and none of the shops could come to NYC for market, which meant no sales. So, when Michele walked past a "for rent" sign rigt around the corner from her loft, she decided she would open her own shop, and so it began...

Now Michele Varian Shop carries the work of over100 other mostly local designers in addition to the products that Michele designs and manufactures. Much of what Michele makes and sells in her shop is made with American manufacturing resources, which allows for small batch and high craft manufacturing, which also fosters innovation in design, keeping Michele's shop a destination for taste makers.