I am going to start featuring some of my entrepreneurial friends on my blog. I have been planning on this for a long time. I have met so many incredible people through my business. Happy First is all about finding your passion and pursuing it. I hope to inspire you through my work and the work of others.
I thought with Earth Day coming up I would feature Michael Choi, as his line is created from using recycled materials and he is all about going green.
We have similar stories, as I was a CPA and decided to leave that field and pursue my passion for my love of fashion, and Michael was a successful engineer and decided to follow his dream in the artistic field of jewelry. Michael and his wife have two teenage sons close in our age to our sons.
So introducing my friend Michael-
My name is Michael Choi, a designer and maker of fashion jewelry at
XOvivo in Northern Virginia. Debbie, Happy First, and I met at the
AmericasMart-Atlanta in 2009. As soon as we met, we became friends. I
think that is because both of us carry positive energy… well…
Debbie is so sweet, who wouldn’t want to be her friend?
XO in XOvivo represents ‘extraordinary.’
Vivo means ‘of life.’
So… XOvivo means ‘extraordinary life.’
When you wear my jewelry, I want you to feel that you are an
extraordinary person living your own life. That is my goal. As part of
that, an awareness of the sustainability issues, and doing something
about it has become integral part of my workplace. From material
selection to shipping material, my team and I do everything that we
can to recycle, reuse, and repurpose. Being GREEN is becoming a way of
life, as opposed to, a marketing term to differentiate. And that is a
I am an artist at heart, born to a painter and a fashion designer.
After an exciting career in engineering and high tech marketing, I
finally decided to follow my passion for arts. My wife introduced me
to jewelry making four years ago, and the rest was history. Looking
back, my past is evident in all of my work. My lifelong art training
and meditation help me visualize the essence of beauty, my business
and MBA training helps me design based on value, and my engineering
experience brings my designs to life. In just over three years, we
have been fortunate to have over 300 stores carry our lines in The
States. Currently with two full-time and one part-time employees, we
plan to continue building our American brand and growing our business.
I hope to pay off my credit card debt soon
I currently have two lines for women; XOcandy and XOgreen and a men’s
line, menzEGO. You can see them at www.xovivo.com. XOvivo jewelry
lines are bold, vibrant, and comfortable.
XOgreen radiates extraordinary energy of women through bold lines. I
use alternative metals to balance the boldness and the comfort of the
jewelry. A woman want to look beautiful, but she also wants to be
comfortable. I currently use aluminum with recycled content. It is
generally a stable metal with regards to allergies, I can finish in
both shiny and matte. When you put on XOgreen, the bold lines harness
the energy of nature and channel that into your beauty.
XOcandy radiates extraordinary vibrancy of women through colors. Hard
and soft resin are used to generate fun yet gracious look with an
ability to form curvatures and bold shapes. I am always researching
new material and I am so happy with this material that I import from
Italy. Extraordinary colors make you beautifully glow when you wear
XOcandy. The translucence adopts to the color of your skin, color of
clothes, and the light.
With menzEGO, we narrow the reach for a man in standing out in the
crowd confident yet approachable… artistic yet comfortable… edgy
yet calm… raw yet refined. The designs are inspired by my vision of
men’s code of life that I strive to live by. Materials include soft
resin, fine silver, recycled aluminum, exotic wood, and leather.