We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Sasonov and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, why did you pursue a creative career?
As a daughter of Soviet immigrants, I wasn’t raised to take risks. No “Follow your dreams” as is the culture here. Obtaining the secure, well-paying job was the objective. I was told I was going to become a doctor in the second grade and thus, began my career path. I was an obedient, smart girl but my creativity, and desire to be something great, had other plans. As well as coupled with executive dysfunction, I had to finally put my foot down. I had held off from doing for so long because I was an obedient daughter and was letting them down. The last year of high school I took a career placement quiz that suggested I look into pursuing the business field. That definitely made more sense to me- I couldn’t memorize thousands of anatomy terminology and the only connection I felt to the medical field was my desire to help others. With a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from W. B. Carey under my belt I created my jewelry business Eternal Noir. It’s here I can pursue being creative and be the hard-working, independent woman I was raised to be,Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have evolved from that little girl who failed to become a physician into a woman who converted her passions into a lucrative career. In pursing my secondary education, it became clear that there were two ways to become successful: the straight and narrow way and the hard way. The latter is doing what no one has done before and to stand out. This way is filled with many risks and doubters but with much risk comes much reward. I chose to be my own boss because I knew I’d feel fulfilled pursuing my passion instead of doing the daily 9-5 grind. Eternal Noir started as a brink n mortar selling clothing and jewelry because I believed it was vital for Phoenix to have a place to shop, hang out, and to be inspired. Going to business school, I learned that the most successful and impactful people in the world provided a product or service to a niche market. Knowing that their journey to greatness was filled with doubt and little support because of their revolutionary ideas gave me the motivation to keep pursing my fashion business. As the fifth biggest city in the country, I was shocked that alternatives, creatives, performers, among many others didn’t really have a place to shop besides the mall and boutiques with the same aesthetic over and over. Looking back- running the shop six days a week by myself wasn’t easy. It didn’t leave anytime to fulfill a crucial aspect of my life- supporting and networking with other creatives in the valley. I had gone from attending every art show and shooting nightlife events to spending a lot of time alone as a one woman ran show. Missing a sense of community, I closed my physical shop and started throwing pop-up shops at the bars my customers frequently visited. By going directly to my customer base, I was able to overcome so many obstacles. Closing my physical shop and becoming a traveling boutique was the best decision I could had made even though I didn’t know it at the time. The ability to meet new clientele that I wouldn’t had been able to meet before if I had my physical shop has been priceless! My reach and impact is far more great now. Ability to adapt is an important lesson I learned in all of this. I was able to be more inclusive by making the shift from selling clothing to selling jewelry instead. I also learned if opportunities don’t exist make them or adapt! Don’t be afraid to reach out to other more established people and businesses to collaborate. It’s extremely beneficial with more than one person promoting and working towards the same goal. Eternal Noir is more than just shopping- it’s about finding the piece of jewelry that makes your heart stop and the happiness that goes with it. It’s about finding a ring in a size that most jewelers don’t carry like a size 4 or 12. It’s about going through life’s many challenges and needing a piece of jewelry with a stone that brings you strength and courage. It’s about wanting to make the next move and not knowing how but then I step in by suggesting you buy the necklace your date was admiring. Eternal Noir is there to foster relationships and has even helped customers choose the perfect engagement ring. An investment with a Sterling Silver piece from Eternal Noir is an investment in one’s self. Eternal Noir provides unique vintage jewelry that is as one-of-a-kind as you!Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Restaurants: -Phở Thành for no frills Pho -La Santisima for gourmet Mexican -Tampopo for authentic ramen -Indian Delhi Palace for the warm service Bars: – Crescent Ballroom (an established no brainer!) – Gracie’s (the newest, hippest staple plus they have a bar cat) – Thunderbird Lounge (best patio ever) – Bikini Lounge (oldest bar in phx + tiki drinks) – Industry (New “queer space”!) – Valley Bar (located in an alley and impossible to find alone) Excursions: – Grand Avenue for the First and Third Friday Art walk – Heard Museum to gawk at beautiful Native American jewelry for hours – Paolo Soleri’s home and bell workshop Cosanti – Papago Mountain for an amazing photo op at Hole in the Rock – And of course, one of my shopping popups that weekend!Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
While school taught me the tools I needed to succeed academically, I owe a majority of my success to the Boys & Girls Club. Throughout my youth and young adult life they were monumental in assisting me reach my full potential. This organization made me a diverse individual with their numerous after school programs and I took them all! It was here I discovered my love of photography with their film club and sharpened my skills of public speaking with their Youth of the Year competition among a multitude of other clubs. More importantly, my confidence grew the more prepared I became for the real world. There’s a plethora of praises I can go on and on for and the mentors I was blessed to have during my time there.