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Meet Top-Shelf #Newsworthy Founder R.M. Michaële Antoine
Michaële Antoine, founder of Curios, has built a community and curriculum focused on enhancing our collective interpersonal communication
1. Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do (give us your quick elevator pitch!)
Hi there! Well, my name is Michaële Antoine and in a nutshell, I help individuals and teams lean into the discomfort of tough talks. After working in progressive roles in higher education and the personal development space, which I learned so much from, I started Curios (unintentionally mid-pandemic, yikes!) realizing that unfortunately, in both personal and professional environments, people lack the tools to engage in conversations that matter. From feedback to interpersonal conflict, we all need a bit more practice and brave space to activate our curiosity, stay in our consciousness, and supercharge our courage. That’s where Curios comes in to support!
2. How did you come up with the idea for your business? We’d love to hear a bit about your Founder Story.
I dreamt up Curios during a sabbatical my partner and I took in 2019. After working for a world-renowned speaker and supporting others in uncovering their potential to develop their businesses, I started to think about what I might have to offer. What gap did I see in the world that I might be uniquely equipped to support?
For me, that meant taking stock of my experiences (both professional and personal) and my education (rooted in communication, business, and higher education administration) to develop something I believed in. The name ‘Curios’ came to me as I was always told that I ask ‘good’ questions and I’ve usually been the person in the meeting who speaks up and says the thing that’s not being said or asks the question that everyone else is thinking. And this isn’t a flex, for me it’s always been about making sense of things that don’t make sense to me.
So, Curios started as a side hustle in November 2019 where I rented a space and hosted our first pop-up Curios conversation in the San Diego community to dig into why it’s so hard for us to engage in challenging conversations.
3. What does it mean to have a “brave dialogue”? And furthermore, what are some of the most important brave dialogues we should be having at this moment in time?
A brave dialogue is one in which those it involves seek to understand, stay mindful of their personal triggers/bodily cues, and say what they mean. I think we’re all struggling to remain in that mindset these days and some of the most important conversations around climate change, racism, heterosexism, and freedom for all (and what that REALLY means for us as humans) are some of the ones that I find most interesting/challenging.
(To learn more about Brave Dialogues, check out Michaële’s episode on the Pitchin’ and Sippin’ podcast)
4. What is one organic marketing or PR tactic/win that has been helpful in growing your visibility?
Intentional networking has been my savior this past year. I care deeply about remaining true to who I am, the kind of life I want to live, and staying aligned with the Curios ethos which necessitates community and relationship-building. If you do this right and without an agenda, referrals and word of mouth are inevitable bi-products of the connections you’ve made.
5. When you’re not busy working in or on your business, we can find you….
Reading, traveling (a lot more pre-Covid), and discovering new music.
6. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster. What helps you dig out of the lows? Any tips, resources or reminders?
I think this changes depending on what stage of development you’re in but currently, meditation has been my go-to. Starting with the Calm app has been helpful to me and Jeff Warren is my FAVORITE meditation teacher right now.
7. What’s something we can’t learn about you on Google (well, until this article that is)?
As much as I love making 1:1 connections, speaking, and presenting, I’m very reserved :)
8. Your dream headline would read (BONUS points for including the outlet)…
Oprah, Dave Chappelle, and Issa Rae join the Curios Conference as keynote speakers.
9. THEPRBAR strongly believes in celebrating all of life’s wins, no matter how small – how do you like to celebrate?
With a small trip, a meal, or a little gift to self.
10. Now we have to wrap things up with a true THEPRBAR question, what’s your favorite beverage?
Currently partial to any mixed bevvie with mezcal!
11. Where can everyone go to connect with you and learn more about how to work with you and Curios?
Checking out my website is the best place to start to see the intention behind the work, Instagram the next place to see some real talk in action, or connect on LinkedIn!
Social Hands: @curiosbynature