We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Harvey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
With my real estate business, Harvey Homes, my thought process was that the ways of real estate brick and mortar businesses were changing. I could see that even back in 2005, there were plenty of ways to meet with clients that didn’t involve having an office space and overhead. We would utilize local business to meet up, use esignatures for documents, and as technology changed, we can face time or use Zoom to have meetings. With Covid, I am more than prepared to virtually and seamlessly manage my client’s home purchases and sales. I also wanted to be able to make decisions that were best for my clients, not a corporate brokerage. Commissions are not set, and I knew that as a Broker, I could make the same as with a brokerage, but I could pass the additional savings onto my sellers and save them thousands of dollars. With my method, I knew I could put thousands of dollars back into the hands of my sellers. I also wanted the flexibility to work with whatever charity or organization that was near and dear to my client’s hearts. Whenever I close an escrow I make a donation to whoever they choose. This is something I have done since I started my real estate career over 20 years ago. With our family business, Good Karma Candles, my son was actively involved in helping the Ronald McDonald House here in San Diego. We did drives twice a year but he wanted to do more. He also wanted to learn how to run a legitimate business (all at the age of 10!). So we started a high-end candle company that not only met our values of being ethically-sourced and cruelty-free but were also allergen-friendly by being vegan and gluten-free. We would donate part of the proceeds from the sale of every candle to the Ronald McDonald House. During this summer, my son spent almost 2 months in Rady Children’s Hospital. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. The decision was made to switch over our platform and donate part of the proceeds of the sale of every candle to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. My son is hoping to help fund better treatment options and/or a cure. We will continue to do drives to help the Ronald McDonald House but will use Good Karma Candles to help the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets me apart is I am a woman-owned business that is a sole proprietor of a real estate brokerage. There is a very small percentage of us. I have been running my own business for 15 years and I am very proud of the way I have been able to serve my community ethically and professionally. I am proud I have been able to make so many donations over the years through my business and on behalf of my clients. I was in my early 20’s when I started my own business. It was challenging to be taken seriously, but I knew I had to pay my dues and earn respect. I knew the only way to do this was through hard work, running my business well, and doing what was right. I want people to know that Harvey Homes is an experienced, professional brokerage that will always put the client first and will always give back to help others. Similarly with Good Karma Candles it is a company built on hope, giving back, and providing an excellent candle. This business was created to promote Good Karma, do good unto others and good things will happen for you. Simple!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
How I wish we could do this right now! We have been following stay at home orders during Covid but can’t wait to get out again. I would definitely take my friends up north to Disneyland for a day. It would be great to go during the Food and Wine Festival as there are so many good food and drinks to sample! If they wanted to stay closer, definitely Legoland would be on the itinerary with kids! We would definitely head to the beach to enjoy the sights and sounds any of our lovely beaches have to offer. Maybe head over afterward to grab lunch at the Nectarine Grove or Urban Plates in the Carlsbad, Encinitas area. Balboa Park is a must-see as well, visiting museums, enjoying the architecture, and hopefully catching an impromptu concert in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. I would finish with a meal in Old Town, as that is one of my favorite spots to grab Mexican food. And if we just wanted to hang out around my hometown in North San Diego County, we have lots of places in downtown Vista that include boutiques, great places to eat, breweries, vintage finds, and tree-lined streets to stroll. We would grab a blueberry donut from Danny’s Donuts in the morning, have a pizza for lunch at Mama n Papa’s, and finish it off with a chicken cacciatore dinner at Marco’s Italian Restaurant.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my 11-year-old son, Mason and the San Diego Face Mask Sewing Group Mason has worked by my side since he was born going to real estate appointments, listening to all of my business calls, and supporting my beliefs in always giving back. He is the reason Good Karma Candles was born and will hopefully help in our own way to cure and treat Crohn’s and Colitis. He designs and draws every candle and wax melt label for the business. Watching him bravely face this disease head-on keeps me working hard to be a better version of myself each day and to do all I can to get him the best medical treatments out there. I founded the San Diego Face Mask Sewing Group back in March to help do whatever we could to donate face masks to those in need. This group of over 1,800 members is kind, giving, and a force of nature. They keep me inspired and prove that together, we can accomplish so much more than we ever dreamed. They truly make this world a better place.
Website: www.goodkarmacandles.org and www.harveyhomes.com
Instagram: @harveyhomesre and @goodkarmacandles
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu3mKRwtVgfMZDYvlXkF-Hg and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFVtVWtV0B5x6JxY93ESCJw
Family picture holding the sign- Kelly Klos