Michelle Craig Sherrier Turns a Career in Visual Merchandising into Educational Platforms Aimed at the Retail Industry

On full display.

  • Category
    Arts, People
  • Written & photographed by
    Kat Monk

Michelle Craig Sherrier remembers her mom’s gentle nudging when she was just 14: “You are not sitting on your butt again all summer.” Michelle applied and got a job at Buffums, a department store at the Manhattan Village mall. Little did she know that first job would begin a lifelong career in retail.

Michelle is a retail creative consultant and merchandiser, helping clients organize inventory in appealing ways to engage and inspire shoppers to buy. She also runs MC Design Academy, which offers retail merchandising tutorials, and she hosts The Retail Whore Podcast.

“Working with Michelle for the past six years has been the biggest blessing for myself and my businesses,” says Ashlan Christoph of Serendipity Gift Shop in Studio City. “She has the innate gift of creating cohesive stories out of the products I buy—a true visionary on the retail front. I am grateful to have found my perfect collaboration partnership with Michelle.”

“I am a creative curator and, dare I say, a visionary gangster.”

After four decades in the business, Michelle notes the recent pandemic had a swift hand in changing how retail is done. “Changes that would have taken 10 years were accomplished in less than three years,” she says.

When the world came to a stop, so did retail. But with the help of a pandemic loan, she had an opportunity to expand her business into other areas. So she set up her academy and podcast—both successful endeavors.

The Retail Whore Podcast boasts over 126 broadcasts and more than 40,000 downloads. Topics include “How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business,” “Creating Jovial Good Vibes,” “Merchandising for the Holidays” and “From Monkeys to Coolers.”

“For some reason, there is not a lot of merchandising information out in the world,” says Michelle. “I’m all about giving out as much free information as I can. There is no reason for me to take my knowledge to the grave.”

Michelle recently hosted Breegan Jane, founder of a shop in Downtown Manhattan Beach, HGTV host, interior designer and lifestyle expert. The two discussed everything from Frankie B jeans to motherhood to philanthropy.

Michelle says that hosting an “educational” podcast helped her overcome a deep insecurity about her own education. She quit Mira Costa High School six months shy of graduation to pursue a modeling career in Tokyo, Japan.

“I have always been self-conscious about not graduating,” she shares. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I will announce it at any given time, but deep down I knew people would judge me for not having a diploma. I’ve had a hard time accepting the word ‘educational’ when it comes to the podcast. I realize now I know my shit, and retailers are learning so much from our guests and my years of experience.”

With a goal of helping her partners grow their businesses and connect with and understand their clientele, Michelle isn’t afraid to push the envelope to increase sales. She knows a product can look amazing, but if it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t matter. “I am a creative curator and, dare I say, a visionary gangster.”