Inspired Profile: Melissa Sonico

Writer, mother, professor, and jewelry designer Melissa Sonico answers some questions about her creative process, and what lead to her creative career.  

Jill: What woman living today do you find to be the most inspirational?

Melissa: Joan Didion is my go-to answer to this question. She's pretty much my style inspiration in so many different avenues, especially writing and fashion.

Jill:  What were the roots to your creative career?

Melissa:  I'm not too sure. Growing up, I've always had a penchant for writing and reading-- as well as crafting, singing, and even acting! Molding words into larger bodies of work and handling clay both speak to the artistic process. 

Jill: Can you describe your creative process in a couple of steps?

Melissa:  It's completely organic, as cliched as that sounds. For writing, I'll hear someone say something while in line at the supermarket, or I'll see someone on the street that sparks up this make-believe storyline and it'll snowball from there. With my necklaces, I just play around with color palettes I just happen to feel a certain day. There's no hard and fast process. A lot of revision, for sure-- which was a tough thing for me to get used to in the beginning, when it comes to writing especially.

Jill:  What did your parents do for their job, and did it have an impact on the path your chose for yourself?

Melissa:  My dad is a jack-of-all trades; he is a computer/tech genius, he designed and built my childhood home, and he sewed my sister's Hermione costume in high school. I think I get a lot of that dabbling sort of push from him. My mom was a housewife which I completely admire-- having just had a son myself, I can't imagine the strength it took to raise four kids. One is exhausting enough, but so worth it. of course!

Jill: What is your dream project?

Melissa:  Honestly, a little-known fact is that I'd love to pursue acting. I'm still a shy person-- growing up, painfully so, up until maybe 10 years ago when I started putting myself out there more, even though it induced sweaty palms and anxiety in even small social situation. But acting is different because there isn't the pressure and insecurity that sometimes comes with just being yourself. I always wished I could have been on The Office or Parks and Rec. :)

Jill:  Tell us about how you styled the pieces you chose:  The dip dyed Sunset Tunic, and the Indigo dye Explorer top

Melissa: I styled the pieces minimally. I like having certain pieces speak for themselves, so the dyed top was the focal point, tucked into black trousers with some simple flats. The dress went perfectly with my San Mateo necklace for a super easy outfit! 

Jill:  Thanks for taking to time to share about yourself.  It's inspiring that you put yourself out there as a creative.  Thank you very much for these gorgeous images!  I love your necklaces, and writing -- to see more of Melissa's creations click through to her website, and instagram.