Melissa is a couture upholsterer and seamstress by trade who lives in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Melissa’s work, along with the pieces she buys, is imbued with a strong sense of story. She believes who makes it and how it is made are equally important to the object itself. An admitted travel junkie (56 countries and counting), she focuses on connecting with artisans worldwide so that she can tell their stories, preserve their traditions and empower people and communities who live on the margins.
So far, the days spent making vessels out of dirt with the Berber potters in Sejnane (Tunisia), sitting in the hut of a family of basket weavers in Bolgatanga (Ghana), working a waist loom at a women’s weaver cooperative near Lake Atitlan (Guatemala) and hanging out with a water buffalo and a group of 80-year-old female rice farmers in Vietnam after her scooter broke down, top the list, but the adventure continues.
While training and working in London, Melissa’s work appeared regularly in Vogue, Wallpaper, AD, and World Of Interiors. Her Brass Tack retail store in Laguna Beach was featured in Departures, Luxe Interior & Design, Orange Coast Magazine, Modern Luxury, Laguna Beach Magazine and named ‘Best OC Shop’ multiple years running.
Melissa has opened her newest venture, Brass Tack, a women’s boutique in Santa Ynez. Watch for her “hat bar” addition coming up soon! Brass Tack is open Thursday to Monday 11:00am – 4:00pm in downtown Santa Ynez.