Gretchen Michaels was born in Redondo Beach, California in 1967. From the age of 3 she and her 2 brothers and sister were raised in the small artistic town of Ojai, California. At an early age, Gretchen followed in the footsteps of her creative mother, also an artist and interior designer.
In the course of Gretchen's childhood, she took many art classes at school. In middle school she won her first award for quilting, having created it from scratch without a pattern or knowledge of quilting. It was her first innovative creation.
Gretchen continued to pursue art into her high school years, but was soon short on time due to her many athletic pursuits. After high school she studied abroad in Norway to experience another culture and take the opportunity to learn new language. After returning home, Gretchen attended San Diego State University (SDSU).
At SDSU, while strongly encouraged by her parents, Gretchen pursued a degree in business - not art. She earned her B.A. in 1990 and her CPA two years thereafter. After college she dove into the business world of corporate accounting and finance. Art continued to be her hobby, but took a back seat to a career working with numbers.
Fast forward to year 2002, Gretchen left the business world to become a mother and later to pursue her long awaited art career. With the support of her husband, family and dear friends, Gretchen launched into the art world in 2004. She was awarded an honorable mention at her first showing and never looked back. Today she and her family reside in San Mateo, California.