Breast cancer survivor’s diagnosis sparks creative new venture

Lexington resident and entrepreneur Michelle Welsh says it was in June 2022 while receiving chemotherapy after a breast cancer diagnosis that the idea for her new business Sparked with Purpose Permanent Jewelry began.

Welsh says that she felt that she was in a position to make an impact on others experiencing a similar journey. She decided to start her own business with the aim of providing support to individuals fighting cancer.

“At the time, I just knew I wanted to create something that would give back to other warriors going through similar journeys and I wanted to raise awareness on the matter,” Welsh says.

Michelle Welsh (left) and her late sister Angela Welsh.
Just a few months before her own diagnosis, Welsh’s younger sister, Angela, died after an eight-month-long battle with breast cancer. Inspired by her sister who loved jewelry, Welsh says she began exploring the concept of permanent jewelry.

“The gross markup on jewelry made me realize I could use at least 10% of the proceeds for a better purpose,” she says. “I led with a people over profits mindset.”

In March 2023, Welsh officially launched her business. Each month, she chooses a nonprofit or local individual in need to receive 10% of all sales and 100% of donations. To date, Welsh says she has donated thousands of dollars to beneficiaries such as Hunter Hospitality House, Michigan Faith in the Fight, MacKenzie Health System Foundation, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“This has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” Welsh reflects. “My sister would have just loved this.”

Michelle Welsh welds a bracelet onto Lexington resident Paul Haroon during an event at the Wrigley Center in Port Huron on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024.

Welsh is a frequent presence at local fundraisers and pop-up events across St. Clair County. She says she prides herself on maintaining quality products at affordable prices.

“This is important to me,” Welsh says. “Women should not be gouged for a good piece of jewelry. I keep my prices low because I know this can, and will, be used for a greater good.”

Welsh says she has some exciting plans for her business on the horizon and is dedicated to making a lasting impact through Sparked with Purpose Permanent Jewelry. A part of the small business community in Lexington, she says she has no plans to ever leave the Blue Water Area.

“I have found my calling right here in my own backyard,” she says.

For information about future events or product offerings, visit Sparked with Purpose Permanent Jewelry at
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Read more articles by Rita MacDonald.

Rita MacDonald is a U.S. Army veteran and a full-time registered nurse who claims that her Irish and Scottish heritage is the reason for her love of storytelling. She is the mother of two adult sons, “Gummy” to her three grandchildren, loves talking with anyone who will engage in a conversation, and “eats life with a shovel!” In addition to her work with The Keel, Rita is a contributor for the Thumbprint News, an author of three books, and writes a blog at