She's Forever Sowing Baubles
First person: "There's nothing you can't learn through experience," says Machado, a high school graduate who has never nudged open a design book, let alone a business text.
Second opinion: "I have an intense moment. She has an intense life," says her boyfriend of seven years, musician Darren Lee, 34.
PreSage: Already style-conscious at the age of 5, Machado would "get up at 6 in the morning to put her little outfit together," recalls her sister Erika, 29.
Vitals: Born in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Spent her early years island-hopping around Hawaii with her parents, a carpenter and artist who never married. There, she says, "we went hiking through waterfalls every day." Now lives in Los Angeles with Lee.
Résumé: While working at a string of Melrose Avenue boutiques, Machado began crafting velvet chokers and selling them for $10. (Steven Tyler of Aerosmith was among the first to snap one up.) She added antique ornaments, beaded necklaces and pearl rings to her repertoire and, after scoring the Neiman Marcus order last October, quit her job and moved to her own studio.
Odd job: Performing body wraps at a Manhattan Beach beauty salon. "I was a tiny, 15-year-old girl, and these women in their 30s and 40s are stripping down to their underwear, and I'm slathering cream on them and wrapping them in cellophane."
Grand design: Marrying her beau, buying a house, opening a Sage store and having babies. "I'm obsessed with children," she says. Then she hastily adds, "But I can wait."