Woman on the Rise: Meet Kriste Michelini

 In Women on the Rise

You may know her now as a wildly innovative interior designer whose work has been featured in numerous magazines, but she was once a star in software sales at Intuit, a career she says was good, but not good enough.

“I really liked my job, but my passion wasn’t financial software,” says Kriste. “It wasn’t nourishing me in terms of my career or my soul. And, I wanted to be present for my family.”

Kriste was the mother of one daughter from a previous marriage. When she met and married her second husband, Kriste knew she wanted to spend more time with her growing family.

So, she paused.

It didn’t come without sacrifice. She and her husband moved to a new town that was more affordable and could allow them to, at least temporarily, live on one salary. She had two more children and within a few years Kriste she was ready to re-commit to her professional life.

She turned to friends for advice, asking them for insights into their sense of her skills and abilities. The message was unanimous: something with design.

Starting with one client, a friend who was doing a remodel, Kriste built her business. Now, as CEO of Kriste Michelini Interiors, she has a staff four and an exclusive client roster that keeps her and her team busy, very busy. In 2014, Traditional Home magazine awarded Kriste the “New Trads” emerging artist award, one of ten carefully selected designers from across the country who are setting the design world on fire.

Oh, and did I mention she is making as more, much more, than she did in her previous job in sales at Intuit? Sometimes a career pause can be the necessary spring-board to finding your true path in life.

“It took awhile, says Kriste,  “and I had to make tough choices along the way, but now I have my dream job. Actually, I have my dream life.”

You can read about more business owner moms like Kriste in this article I wrote for Diablo Magazine.

Do you know a Woman on The Rise? Email me so we can share her story.

Lisen Stromberg
Lisen Stromberg is CEO and Founder of PrismWork, a strategic consultancy that works with companies to ensure their programs and policies enable women (and men) to thrive. AW offers workshops and mentoring to individuals and family-centered workplace innovation solutions to companies and organizations. A sought after speaker and moderator, Lisen has inspired thousands with her talks on work+life integration, overcoming caregiver bias, conscious career planning, empowering women in tech, social media strategies and onramping solutions for women reentering the workplace.
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