MEET MELISSA BOOTH ... OF MELISSA DESIGNER JEWELRY IN HILLSBOROUGH
Melissa Booth grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, where her early passion was art. In high school and college she explored drawing, painting, and sculpture. She was offered her first job at a custom jewelry store when just a junior at the University of Wisconsin. While earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she advanced from metal polisher to award-winning designer, and never looked back.
Melissa did, however, look south. When she visited Hillsborough for the first time in 1998, “that was it – I was smitten.” She rented studio space above Bandido’s Cantina, and now, nearly 20 years later, is on her third Churton Street location.
The shop at 116 S. Churton Street features a stunning selection of Melissa’s hand-crafted earrings, bracelets, pendants, rings, and more. Melissa creates custom designs and showcases local and international jewelry artists. She also offers jewelry repair and watch batteries.
When Melissa designs a piece, she questions her client closely, then works on her own to sketch out the piece’s possibilities. “I’ll sit down in pajamas with my coffee cup and draw, draw, draw. I might draw a dozen different designs.” She presents lots of options, then works with her customer to fine tune the right combination of stone, color, and texture.
Melissa’s art is grounded in expert craftsmanship and customer-centered communication. But sustainability is also a key aspect of her work. Melissa buys all her fine gemstones from AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) members, who pledge ethical sourcing of natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls. And she works with used gold that has been refined, purified, and put back into the marketplace. “There’s a lot of recycling – even gold dust gets reused.”
Melissa certified her business as a living wage employer in the summer of 2017. She has a strong commitment to community and appreciates the county’s diverse mix of people.
“A living wage helps every person who contributes to our vibrant business community to be able to live where they work.”
The gift-giving season is gearing up, so plan your visit to Melissa Designer Jewelry in Hillsborough soon.