What's Her Secret: Michele Carter
The motorcyclist turned Adventuress skincare entrepreneur believes in healthy, simple living, and celebrating both femininity and the adventurous spirit.
Motorcyclist turned Adventuress skincare entrepreneur Michele Carter believes in healthy, simple living, and celebrating both femininity and the adventurous spirit.
What does wellness mean to you? "What I strive for in my day-to-day life is clean living as much as I possibly can, as uncomplicated as I can. Good food, good friends, laughter, lots of exercise and balance. A lot of my friends always laugh and say, 'Remember, you're supposed to be balancing.' Sometimes it's a matter of taking ten minutes out of the day to go sit quietly, breathe, look out at the landscape and recharge your batteries, because the demands of being an entrepreneur and being a businesswoman pull you in so many different directions."
What's your exercise routine? "Seven days a week, I start every morning with my dog, and friends who also have dogs, and we do a three-and-a-half mile hike in any number of wooded hiking trails where I live, in Northern Michigan. It's a very rural community with lots of trails and woods. I also enjoy skiing in the winter and snow shoeing. In the summer, I'm paddle boarding and kayaking, bicycling and obviously motorcycling––which is part of the premise of how the brand began."
How did you start motorcycling? "It's been a passion since I was a child, going from minibikes to dirt bikes, to a passion to get on and learn how to ride touring bikes, travel, the whole motorcycle lifestyle. I have a family heritage in Pennsylvania that used to own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership. So the culture of motorcycling has been a part of my family for as long as I can remember. Once I got my motorcycle endorsement and started riding, it's kind of hard to explain it unless you've experienced it, and you'll probably hear a lot of other women say the same thing, but there's a spirit about it, there's an energy or a vibe that comes from riding a motorcycle that just comes from a place that you can't understand and it's very freeing. When you're on the road, things that when you're riding in a car you may not recognize, like the smell of flowers on the side of the road or the sounds, the sensory perceptions of what's around you are heightened and enhanced so much when you're out in the open––as opposed to cruising in a car. It's an incredibly freeing experience, and you feel a sense of accomplishment as well. You have to be [aware of] so many things when you're riding, to obstacles, to weather elements, to the motorcycle itself, that I think you're just in tune with a lot more. You're really in the moment and in tune with enjoying everything around you."
So how often do you ride? "As often as I can. But I probably ride a little bit less since I started the company because of the demands of work, but I have a handful of riding groups and friends that go out every Friday at lunch and do a few hours. I'm fortunate to live in an area that is so picturesque, and there's so many places I can go to really experience the beauty of the area, take off, and have a couple of hours to go for a ride and escape for a little bit."
How did all of these adventures inspire your skincare line? "The concept started when I was on a motorcycle trip and experiencing everything in the moment, in the now, which at that particular time was, 'My skin feels horrible, I feel sunburned and windburned.' When you're outside for extensive periods of time, you think a little bit differently about how your skin behaves [because of] that exposure. That started the process of, 'What do I have with me that will make my skin feel better when I get off the bike, and I still have a few more days on the bike.' Is there really a product line that speaks specifically to somebody like me, who enjoys all of these various fun lifestyle activities, and if so, what is it, and is it effective, and is it portable?"
I love the relationship between femininity and this courageous sense of adventure. "I grew up as a tomboy, I liked sports. I was happy to ride the bike through the woods and be dirty, and didn't worry about it. As I grew into being an adult, I still loved those things but at the end of the day you clean up, you take a shower and you want to be able to feel your femininity. I can get down and dirty with the best of them but I still want to be a woman, I want to express my femininity, take care of my skin and my body, and it is a spirit once again––that's what I call the adventurer, being true to what ever's inside you, whatever drives you. To tap into that voice and live your life however you're happy and at the end of the day, celebrate the woman that you are."
How does Adventuress help do that? "For my entire life, it has driven me nuts, all the confusion and mixed messages that are out there on what to do, and I'm not a beauty junkie, so I just wanted to clarify what I needed to do. That was my goal, and I really believe that when I developed the line and understood the simplicity of cleansing your skin, exfoliating, moisturizing and protecting it from the sun––that's a pretty simple regimen. Being able to enjoy your lifestyle, enjoy your activity and at the end of the day look at yourself in the mirror and see clean skin [without] acne or dry skin patches or whatever, also makes you feel better about yourself on the inside."
Finally, what does adventure mean to you? "The whole adventuress spirit...people ask me, 'Who is the adventuress?' To me, it's the woman who dreams about riding a bike but she may never actually do it. The woman who might be an empty-nester, or who has gone through a crisis, and says, 'This is the catalyst I need to drive me forward. I've always wanted to ride a motorcycle, I'm going to learn to do it, or train for running my first 5K.' Whether you dream of doing it or take the step forward and do it, that's the adventuress to me. There's some kind of spirit that takes you over."