✦ House of Utopia started as a glimmer of a dream during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially located in Wauchope under the name Utopian Living, owner Michele Cook was selling only her handcrafted jewellery and artwork.
She then branched into affordable, stylish clothing for women of all sizes and shapes, developing a following along the way.
In September 2022, after a few months of consideration deciding on her future direction (Michele and family nearly moved to QLD), she decided to stay in the Hastings area, albeit relocating the shop to Port Macquarie.
A quick ‘restyle’ and rebrand
House of Utopia launched in Peachtree Walk Arcade and has gone from strength to strength.
Michele continues to design and create Artisan jewellery, paint original artwork and curate and sell affordable, fabulous fashion and select giftware from her beautiful shop House of Utopia.
Catering to women ranging from their thirties to their seventies, women looking for something a little different that is stylish and flattering, the fashion range is continually evolving.
But her jewellery and artwork are still at the forefront of the business.
“My jewellery is worn by women worldwide, thanks to the power of social media marketing," she told us. "Several women are now Collectors, owning five or more pieces. And my Artwork is throughout Australia, with particular appeal to clients wanting a unique piece as a statement.”
By offering unique Artisan pieces, she has created a peaceful environment, where customers feel relaxed, she offers wonderful customer service, assistance with styling, a smile and she is always happy to chat, whether you’re buying or not! Michele loves people.
Challenges as a Woman Business Owner
Michele has been a woman business owner across a few industries over the years, including a Workshop Facilitator to build women’s self esteem and confidence in their ‘middle years’.
She believes for many women, self belief and confidence in their vision can waiver. A few fabulous supporters to remind you that ‘You CAN do this’ will make a massive difference!
“Obviously, you need to ‘know your stuff’, but after that, it’s about Belief, Passion, Confidence and Resilience, the groundwork for Success!" she told us.
Innovation and Protecting Earth
During the COVID lockdown Michele found she needed to innovate and learn how to go about an online business and implement Social Media Marketing to have her business survive. Thankfully it worked and House of Utopia is still around to delight those that enter the doors.
“Using technology to bring my business online, as well as marketing via Social Media outlets has expanded my reach, essentially creating an additional income source which is now global,” she explained.
One of the biggest changes she has seen in the last few years is a shift to what looks and feels good.
“I’m so happy that women are buying more now for what suits them rather than what’s ‘trendy’. It also pleases me that women are more interested in wearing sustainable clothing and natural fibres now - it’s wonderful! ”
She believes businesses should reduce their electricity usage, use recyclable packaging, upcycle / recycle where possible and support other small local businesses for stock.
“Remember, competition is good for business, but there’s enough for all to enjoy success, support each other and lift each other up!” Michele told us.
Michele would like to congratulate every woman in business for following their dreams, for believing in them and themselves and bringing those dreams into reality. She said, “May we lift each other up, encourage and support each other, may we ALL be successful at what we do!”
Michele’s wish for 2023... Honestly, no more disasters and no more interest rate increases!
Shop 18, Peachtree Walk Arcade
78-80 Horton Street, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
Ph: 0413 764 129
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