Chelle Summer


For as long as Michelle Rusk can remember, her life has been about creating.

What began as picture books at six years old in her hometown of Naperville, Illinois, eventually turned into novels. Then there was the constant redecorating of her bedroom growing up, learning to sew by making her Barbie dolls clothes, the experimenting in cooking that led to her paper bag pizza, and then challenging herself to set and accomplish goals as a competitive runner.

Whatever she was working on, it was about inspiring herself to keep forging forward while also surrounding herself with objects she treasured and colors that motivated her. 

Having lost her younger sister to suicide over twenty years ago, as Michelle Linn-Gust, she then made her mark on the world by writing several books on suicide grief; speaking around the world about suicide and loss; earning a doctorate in family studies with a dissertation on how people use dogs to help them cope with the loss of a human; and becoming president of the American Association of Suicidology.

But during a time of contributing to the world through inspiring others, Michelle lost both her parents, her father in 2005 and her mother in 2014, leaving her with the reminder that life is short and to focus on what is really important to her. She never felt she forgot her dreams, she instead found herself on a different road and now it was time to return to her original dreams, the same ones that had created the life she led, of learning to inspiring both herself and others. And the dreams that her family had helped her launch, encouraging her creativity as she grew up.

Michelle returned to her fiction and began to sew again, adding painting to the mix, then launched Chelle Summer in late 2015 as lifestyle brand and her new way of inspiring the world by living the life she has always dreamed of, making time for her creative pursuits, while also continuing to run, surf, golf, and cook. 

Today she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband Greg and their three dogs: Hattie, Lilly, and Ash. The Rusks travel periodically to Los Angeles where Michelle finds inspiration for all her creative pursuits.

Come with us as Michelle grows Chelle Summer and takes us on this road with her, inspiring us through her words, her creativity, and the ways in which you, too, can have your own piece of Chelle Summer.