After graduating from Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana, Michelle attended college sporadically concentrating on Graphic Design at Ivy Tech, Indiana University South Bend, and Indiana University Bloomington.
From her senior year of high school and into college, Michelle worked at Erica's Craft & Sewing Center in South Bend, Indiana. She was hired to clean the store and set up for classes, but during college her duties shifted due to the increase in e-commerce. She started posting new items to the online storefront, processing orders, and answering emails. Soon, these duties filled her 40 hour work week. Eventually, the store's online business grew to the point that she was managing the department as 3 full time people and 1 part time employee were hired to help with the increasing workload.
In 2002, she took the opportunity to move to Bloomington with her fiancé and future husband, Brian Hartz. She took a job at AuthorHouse as an account manager (and later a publicist) while starting a freelance graphic design business out of her home. Later, she took the position as Patient Campaign Specialist at the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA).
She left COTA to dedicate her full attention to Hartz Design, until she was offered the graphic designer position at Baugh Enterprises. She now dedicates the day to Baugh Enterprises while continuing to expand Hartz Design.
Michelle enjoys a variety of activities. Her main hobby is writing. She has self-published Helpless, a horror novel set on a wind farm. Her next novel, Sweet Addiction, which focuses on a hypothetical world where chocolate is illegal, is in the editing stages.
She is also the Bloomington Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month , leading participants to write 50,000 word novels every November.