Julian McClurkin: Hey, this is Julian McClurkin, your Chief Storyteller with Tribevest. I can't believe this is our 10th episode, where we dive into people’s stories about investing with their family and friends. To celebrate, we meet up with Michelle Ortiz. She's an interior designer in New Jersey. Michelle is still really early in her Tribevest journey, but she still has a lot of things to share with us. All of that and more on today's episode. Let's dive in.
Where are you from and what's your background? I heard you say you're doing interior design now.
Michelle Ortiz: Yeah. So I'm from the Bronx, New York. I currently reside in Bayonne, New Jersey. I have been a residential commercial interior designer since high school. Outside of that, I do investing as a secondary thing, and it's something that I hope to do more passively through our Tribevest group.
Julian: What was your inspiration in wanting to start investing?
Michelle: The sad thing is back, way, way, way back in the day like in my early 20s, I always thought that that was something that I wanted to do. Back then, sadly enough for most women, it felt like a taboo thing that wasn't really a thing that most of us did. I had a friend who was a nurse, and she was a day trader. And I’m like “That’s so cool.” I always wanted to learn how to do that [and] never had the time because my business has always been full-service. I've always been dedicated to that. But as you start to get older, especially when you work for yourself, finding ways to have money for retirement is not as easy as [for] somebody that works for a corporation where those things are set up and established for you. COVID, over the last year, has made me really understand, you have to make the time to do the things that you love or the things that you want to do because time is not promised to anybody. And so I started making investments in crypto and growing my little nest egg and joining youth groups so that way I can get a little bit more of an understanding of what I was doing, and it's just spawned from there.
Julian: I heard you mention, too, that you wanted to start investing in something more tangible?
Michelle: We want to do short-term, mid-term, and long-term investments. We already had an investment group called “Dividend Stock Group,” and it’s a chat on Facebook. Our desire was to create a platform for like-minded, black individuals, who really don’t get the chance to grow generational wealth. It’s all for us. We call it Black Growth Limited. We’re hoping that as profits grow, we’re going to get to reinvest that into our communities.
Julian: I know you said you guys met on the Facebook forum. Were these people that you knew 5 or 6 years ago?
Michelle: Surprisingly enough, we've only known each other -- or the majority of us knew each other -- from the Dividends Stock chat, which has only been going on for about a year and a half or so. You start developing little conversations with people, and we're chit chatting on the side; it’s a little subgroup of a subgroup. “Did you get in on this IPO? When did you get out?” Things like that started to happen and so those people you start developing more of a relationship with. And you feel like you can trust those people, and those people are essentially your tribe, so it makes sense to join Tribevest together with those people and develop a group where we can all win together and grow together. And then we're also talking about the potential of maybe doing an additional Tribevest group. I want to flip homes. It’s something that I'm very, very good at being an interior designer. So I might want to start a separate tribe where that’s what we're focusing on is we're doing solely in house flipping or investing in real estate.
Julian: I know I would love to have somebody like you on my team, who could come in and save these houses for us, or just help us out with design. Oh my gosh, definitely could use you on my team. Maybe we can start a tribe together.
Michelle: Yeah we can definitely talk about that, Julian. I would love to help you. That’s my passion. It’s a lot of fun for me.
Julian: I want to thank Michelle once again for a wonderful interview. If you want to connect with Michelle and her interior design company, you can find her right here. And to connect with us on Tribevest, you can go to Tribevest.com. I’ll see you next tribe.