Meet Michelle, the southern savvy businesswoman who created Southern Curves: “When you are born in the south it seems like there is never an in between; you either have money or you don’t. My family didn’t. I was raised on Tybee Island by my single mom. Life was never easy but I took every challenge as it came; and kept going. As a child I was called “the food stamp queen” and I was actually homeless for 6 weeks as a teen. To say we were poor is an understatement. I would always get picked on by the kids. They would say things to me like, “your dad’s a drunk and you live in a dump”. I would never have friends over to the house because it was embarrassing. The roof leaked everywhere, we never had hot water, and the tub was on cinder blocks. I think even then I knew I was better than that though. I sought refuge at the beach spending hours there drawing a house in the sand that I would have one day, with my own family. I faced many trials and tribulations that most only hear about. I’ve gone through the loss of siblings and parents. Something I would never wish on anyone. My husband and love of my life, Tony and I now have two successful adult children. He has supported me through everything I’ve wanted to do and has always believed in me 100%. Before my mom died, she told me “Michelle I know how hard your life has been but I am so proud of the woman you are and don’t you ever give up on what you know you can do.” After 21 years of working in the dental field I was ready for a new adventure. That’s when we decided to open a Martini and Dessert bar. We opened Cocoa’s Dessert Bar in September 2010. The bar was a success from the day we opened. We held 15 different fundraisers, every one of them for someone different in need. I believe in giving back in any way I can and was honored to have received the hometown hero award. For the past two years, I have been mixing martinis and always striving to be creative. When I started infusing flavors into vodkas, I believe I found my calling. So I came up with Southern Curves: flavorful vodka with the attitude of the south. For the first time in my life I can say I did it. I never gave up and I am blessed with amazing family and friends. Your dreams can come true, but you have to work hard and never ever give up.