Inpeloto’s handcrafted jewelry line includes the Inpeloto Bella Collection, integrating a love of poetry into each design.
Inpeloto’s BodyWear line is comprised of limited edition t-shirts with socially conscious messages Live Peace and IBE Love, and handmade graphic t-shirt bags reminiscent of hippie pop culture.
San Diego born and based Melissa Michaels is a multi-talented entrepreneur, award-winning author, designer, activist and producer. She is the author of the three-volume A Look Within book series, Volume III of which is described by an Amazon customer as “It is exquisitely written and is filled with experiences we all encounter on our journey of life. Melissa’s poems are hip and brilliantly written. Her words capture you and hold your attention. Her poems are little gems of wisdom.”
Michaels recalls a nurturing environment in San Diego. As the youngest of five siblings. “I had amazingly supportive parents who were childhood sweethearts. While loving, it was a strict upbringing and I survived Catholic school. I used to exasperate the nuns because I challenged their theology and found myself in detention frequently.”
When not writing, Melissa focuses on her apparel and jewelry brand, Inpeloto. Self-taught, she designs jewelry, limited-edition t-shirts and t-shirt bags made from eco-friendly fibers. Inpeloto is an accessory and apparel line, some carrying a message along with symbolic designs that make bold, conscious and positive proclamations, most recently supporting the ban on plastic bags in California and Hawaii.
Inpeloto is an acronym which stands for: INfinite, PEace, LOve, TOgetherness. Inpeloto is a socially-conscious company consisting of artistic expressions in the form of jewelry, clothes and accessories. She’s just hired pro surfer Dominique Miller as the face of her brand.
How did she find her calling(s) as a multi-hyphenate? She says, “By doing what brings me joy. Limitless creativity makes my heart dance, and this is the manifestation of my goals is how I discovered my love. Having a stroke at 29 was the beginning of the wake-up call. It took me years to recover. Being near death transformed me.”
It wasn’t her first brush with death. “At the age of ten, I killed a water moccasin, North America’s only venomous water snake” she recalls. “I was walking the land on my grandparent’s property in Louisiana with my uncle and it was getting ready to strike him and without hesitation, I chopped its head off with a long handled ax that I carried for protection.”
Michaels is also the face of The Skin Revolution skincare and cosmetic company and has appeared in several films and commercials. While she’s moved on from the profession, she appeared in the directorial debut of Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington’s movie ANTWONE FISHER. She trained at the Beverly Hills Playhouse where she nurtured her voice, danced and honed acting skills.
As an entertainment writer, Melissa has interviewed numerous celebrities throughout the years, for Starpulse and L’Etage. In 2011, she had a column called MM Gspot for the then online men’s publication RollinSD where she wrote on relationships, social issues and fashion. She said, “The provocative column name was meant to cause readers to be mentally stimulated because the brain is the biggest sex organ.”
Melissa’s poetry has been published in Poetry Revival Anthology, Poetic Voices of America Anthology and Whispers of the Heart Anthology.
In 2010, Melissa curated an art show, “Unnecessary Evil,” at Suture, San Diego, CA, where local artists exhibited their art to raise awareness about mental health, and specifically suicide prevention.
Michaels came to design after acting and modeling because she wanted to express beauty in wearable art that has something to say. “I want the men and women that wear my designs to appreciate the brand name because it stands for something. I want it to be an experience. I want them to refer it as the go-to brand for protests and marches for positive social change—as well as comfort and beauty.”
Outside of her businesses, Michaels volunteers her time and resources to BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools), one of the fastest-growing literacy programs in the country, is an all-volunteer program operating under the auspices of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, the charitable, educational and humanitarian arm of the Screen Actors Guild.
Michaels is a graduate of San Diego State University and University of San Diego. She is a DIY Festival Award-winner for poetry. She also received a San Diego Magazine’s Woman of the Year nomination.
Looking ahead, her vibrations are high, and so is her spirit. She says, “My spiritual path is learning my roots and my ancestors’ ways. I did a DNA test and the discovery has been life affirming, consoling and freeing at the same time. Tikkun Olam is a Jewish concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world. My brand represents this to the core.”
She knows that INfinite PEace LOve TOgetherness is revolutionary and can impact the world to increase peace, harmony and activism for social causes. Her designs serve as reminders and teachings that by wearing the change you wish to see can inspire change.