What are Messenger Birds? How I designed my own product design and went National

We all have these ideas that we want to bring to life. Something that my grandmother told me before we passed is that she always wanted to publish a children’s book. This idea of unmet potential or fulfillment seems heartbreaking to me.

We might think there’s never enough time. We might never convince ourselves that our idea isn’t worth bringing to life. But all it takes are a few small steps. I created messenger birds out of the need for authentic human connection. I was able to share this message with everyone I met over the last 11 years.

I sat at my kitchen table and start crafting a clay bird one spring. My career landed me in a product design job right out of school and working with giftware was thrilling to me. So, when I created the Messenger Bird it was born out of two elements, one being that my grandmother played a big role in their mission to always find the perfect handwritten card, most of the time it was by Hallmark. She loved sifting through the various cards as her job at the local pharmacy finding the perfect card to explain how she felt. All the cards I received from her were always so personalized. The second was the hunt for meaning, or bringing meaning to others through something that was handcrafted and built with love and time.

Pictures of all the different types of Messenger birds over the years.

The Big Break

After years of making, selling, and sending the birds all over the world. I landed my dream client, Hallmark Corporate. I got the call and was floored. Our living room turned into a production room overnight, I was doing radio and talk shows and some local stores even reached out to see if they could sell my birds at thier stores.

Check out my promotional video I directed and filmed for the Martha Stewart Awards

I was beyond excited. We had a short deadline of just a few weeks to fire, make and send the birds to the available states. I remember they gave us a date and time that all the birds needed to be sent to the state of Kansas City. (I say us because my husband was there every step of the way helping!) We made the delivery with 15 minutes to spare.

There are a few things you must do when developing your product design

  • Test the product with your family, friends, and anyone who will listen
  • Have a greater purpose in all that you do
  • Be ready to move fast!



Hoping to collect a Michelle original?

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