Melissa makes sustainable hand-made pieces, and has done for 15 years now. Ethically sourced gems and stones, up-cycled and recycled metals and materials, what's not to love? You know when you meet someone who radiates passion for what they do and then it makes you want to go out and conquer the world? That's what meeting Melissa was like. Her store/studio was incredible; you walk into this stunning little shop full of antique wood boxes that are filled with gorgeous engagement rings. As you make your way to the back there's a door with glass windows and a peek inside showed her staff crafting some custom pieces.
I got to see an engagement ring being made, some earrings, and random other bits. She explained to me how she just couldn't have a conventional job, about how she needed to be creative, which is something that seriously resonated with me. If you're into jewelry or other little gifts and you're in the Bay Area, GO TO HER STUDIO. You will leave enlightened and inspired, I promise. Aaaand if you don't live in the Bay Area you can peruse the site for hours on end here.
There's something about being surrounded by people that are really passionate about what they do that makes you want to accomplish even more than you (currently) are. Especially those that are in a creative space, in my opinion. The fact that something like jewelry making, a handicraft if you will, is still around is amazing. I love the idea that things like this haven't been fully lost in the tech-age that we're currently in.
It's all very romantic to me.
p.s. sorry this is so photo heavy, I just love so many photos I took this day. If you'd like to see more I posted a ton of them here.