Michelle Vanesa Widjoyo
HAVING GATHERED MORE than 90,000 Instagram followers during the past four years, Semarang-born Michelle Vanesa Widjoyo has become one of Indonesia’s leading social media influencers. The 29-year-old beauty works with lifestyle brands like Calvin Klein, L’Occitane, Kiehl’s and Daniel Wellington.
Although she admires the work of top digital influencers like Tara Milk Tea and Nicole Warne (aka the Gary Pepper Girl), Michelle’s career as an influencer happened more or less accidentally. “I’ve always loved fashion and photography, and I love sharing great images on social media,” she says. “My posts started garnering a lot of attention and good responses, so I decided to take them more seriously. I think people like my page because it explores a variety of fashion and lifestyle content.
“Social media sites have become platforms for immediate access where anyone can share their lives, their opinions, their experience, their sense of style. I personally think that social media is a good thing, as long as people are using it to spread positivity. I always remind myself to keep a healthy balance between the real world and the virtual world. I believe that the best mentor is experience. I make mistakes, and learn from them. I know that I still have much to learn and that it’s never too late to improve myself.”
Michelle, who earned a degree from Holmes Institute, a vocational school in Melbourne, has also launched an online custom art work business, Lepard, with her husband, Steven Yoe. This provides painting services for leather goods, shoes and apparel, for personalisation purposes. The couple married last year in Semarang. “Steven is working at his family’s business, a car financing company,” says Michelle. “We met in junior high school and have been together ever since.”