By Pam Eggemeier
Daily Gazette, Sterling, Ill.
Savanna native Michele Beschen has cultivated a life of creativity based on healthy living. Her passion for empowering others to do the same has brought commercial success beyond her wildest dreams.
From an array of do-it-yourself home projects to organic gardening and exercises in holistic health, Beschen’s lessons in creativity have turned into television shows, magazines, and a DVD series, and have been promoted on several multimedia platforms.
Beschen, 45, grew up in Carroll County, surrounded by people who believed in a back-to-basics lifestyle full of artistic expression.
“I grew up with a creative family — my dad was a commercial fisherman, and my aunt was an artist,” Beschen said. “I was always around creativity, but I truly believe it is innate in everyone.”
Beschen, then Michele Brown, finished high school in Savanna before she attended Highland Community College in Freeport. She then went to Clarke University, a small liberal arts school in Dubuque, Iowa.
“I thought I wanted to be a doctor,” she said, “but then I met my husband, and things took a different course.”
She and Jon have lived just outside West Des Moines, Iowa, for about 20 years. Michele teaches classes from her creative arts studio there, even organic gardening at the home’s ample green space.
When she moved to Des Moines, she worked in television production at a local Fox broadcast affiliate, but after 9 years she was ready for something different.
In 2002, she launched Simply Michele Inc., a multimedia company that used a hands-on approach to meaningful lifestyle changes. She created all types of original how-to projects and content that started in her backyard and ended up on television.
“It all evolved naturally and turned into a TV show, ‘Michele Beschen’s Courage to Create,’ on the local Fox station,” she said. “That show then morphed into a how-to series for Scripps Network.”