COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.

S2 EP4 MELISSA TYSON DESIGNS

January 24, 2024 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 2 Episode 4
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
S2 EP4 MELISSA TYSON DESIGNS
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN. +
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Show Notes Transcript

Let's talk CREATIVES! Nicoa's so excited to share her conversation with Melissa Tyson, owner and designer of her own jewelry line MELISSA TYSON DESIGNS! Nicoa visits her in her home studio and delves into her LIFE BY DESIGN story which began at a very young age!  She shares a defining moment that led her to trusting and listening to her intuition and moved her from accounting to  swordsmithing  in Italy to salt and pepper diamonds on the catwalks of Paris Fashion Week!!  This amazing mother of three confidently and powerfully shares her take on a LIFE BY DESIGN on her own terms. A life that not only serves her well but serves her clients AND also very intentionally gives back.  For the past 9 years, she has ALSO been designing and consulting for Made By Survivors, a non-profit giving women a new means to make a living after being rescued from a life of Human Trafficking. Join Nicoa as she CELEBRATES Melissa!

Melissa and her designs have been highlighted in magazines like Vogue, Brides, The Knot, Style Me Pretty, Grey Likes, Inspired By This, Once Wed, Magnolia Rouge, Ruffled, Folk, Wedding Chicks and more.  See her amazing one of a kind creations at MelissaTysonDesigns.com

Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

YOUR ISLAND GATHERING AWAITS: Baldhead Island, North Carolina, USA, April 11-14th, 2024
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Nicoa Coach:

Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. Melissa, I'm in your home, your studio. Let's just set the scene for everybody. Let's do that. So this is in the front of your home your your mama,

MELISSA TYSON:

I am a mom of three mama three. How old are they? 10 Aladdin and 13.

Nicoa Coach:

That's right. You did that quick.

MELISSA TYSON:

Yes, we knocked it out.

Nicoa Coach:

You're like we did mama hood. Yes. Let's go ahead. Let's

MELISSA TYSON:

get it. Let's get her done.

Nicoa Coach:

Who's Gerda? Yeah. You're a wonderful wife. You're a wonderful jewelry designer. A Goldsmith? Yes. Right. Yeah, I looked at your profile. And I was like, there's just so much. I mean, you've already got a 20 plus year career behind you in this field. And you most recently had kind of this milestone. Huge. Oh, huge. And I was looking back and we won't we won't spoil it quite yet. But I was like, she's been having milestones for a long time. Yeah. Yeah. It's a beautiful life by design as a designer agreed. Yes. So Melissa Tyson designs everybody go check it out. We're sitting in her studio, her workshop. What do you drive this?

MELISSA TYSON:

Oh, my studio? Yeah, I would call it my studio. I've had my studio. Private at home for gosh, about 20 years now. Yeah, I did share a studio space for season with a bunch of other Goldsmith artists and, and that was really fun having a collective space. But I find just as a wife and a mom, having a private studio just works really, really well. For me.

Nicoa Coach:

I think it's beautiful. And, and we've got to my left, I have you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars of jewels, just staring at me. I'm about to start trying things on it. Excuse me if I get distracted, but on to my right is really my favorite part. Oh, I love the bench. And my father is a woodworker. Oh, and I also took a metal smithing class once I didn't know I was like, Oh, that

MELISSA TYSON:

might bring back a little spark. Yeah, well,

Nicoa Coach:

I took it in Australia, and I don't know much about anything. And I call my father and said, Well, we learned soldiering today and he said Now interesting. It was close. But guess what? That's how they say it in Australia. Oh, they do. So I wouldn't know that. I was like, What are you talking about that he's like, it's soldering. I was like, Oh, okay. Yes. So tell us a little bit about you know, how you became interested in metal smithing, you were creative as a kid right? Absolutely. Talk about your childhood then. Okay,

MELISSA TYSON:

so probably from the time I was really little, I was always crafting and creating and we would check out the books from the library and I would get every book on all the creations that I could make jewelry was always the top okay. So I would make these I would go to construction sites back in the day when you know, like there was like wires left at construction sites and there were black wires and they had a red, a blue, a white and a yellow inside and I would peel back the black and I would take out the colored wires and I would twist them into rings and sell them at the swimming pool. Like I mean from the time I was little I was just it was just part of me you know and you know and then come the 80s and I was like mirror and paper paint jewelry and I even found like when we were clearing out my parents house when they were retiring, I was like oh my gosh, coupons. I would make coupons for my jewelry and it was these mirror paper painted wild accordion earrings and crazy things. I mean I had you know, I had sort of like my eras of jewelry but didn't really realize that that was what I wanted to do until I got to college.

Nicoa Coach:

Well did you have any memory of like someone wearing jewelry when you were a little bit oh yeah like that sparked your original

MELISSA TYSON:

twofold So this table actually was built by my grandpa my PA who is a welder and you see the pin legs? Yeah, he did welding so all my whole childhood I was playing in his welding shop running around not really realize them but I was always around like his tools and his his shop out in his garage. And then my mom was very much a jewelry lover. So I spent a lot of time visiting jewelry stores with her because she just my dad always bought her gifts of jewelry. And then my grandfather they traveled the world. They he she was a military brat growing up, and that's what he would get of my grandma and her she was the only daughter so she just had jewelry all the time. And I never really realized but I would play in her jewelry box. And it was an I have vivid memories of being in the jewelry store. She was always having things made. And like, you know, and I would just remember standing there beside her while she you know, she'd be talking to the jewelers and getting stuff done. And yeah, so yes, I've always been around it inadvertently, my whole life, it

Nicoa Coach:

completely influenced you and you have been listening to her request and design FTA with the jeweler, yes, gosh, it is in your jeans. That is I love that is we'll talk a little bit about when you went to college. So were you on a traditional path of going to get a different degree? Yeah.

MELISSA TYSON:

Yes, my parents were like, oh, you know, I was very good at math as well. Kind of funny that I'm right and left brain a little strange, but I am. Maybe not anymore. I've lost little math part. But I was very good at math. And my parents were like, oh, you know, you should pursue something in accounting, that would be a great job for you. And so I did my first year in college, I went to NC State for welfare a and I did a little bit of math, and was like, I will shrivel up and die. I'm gonna hate this, I can't do this. So I called them up. And I said, Hey, listen, I'm either dropping out of college, or I need to go to art school. So they were like, don't drop out of college. And so we ended up they wanted me to interview with some of their friends that are graphic designers. This is an art form that you can make a living at. And so I said, Okay, I'll interview with them. And I did. And they were all like, oh, you know, this is a great school, here, here and here. And, you know, my parents were really very wise, I feel like at the time, I wanted to go to SCAD, which are Pratt and you know, a Ringling. Those are the three that I wanted to go to. And they were like, Well, those are great, but we're going to pay in state tuition, and you can cover the rest. And so I thought, I know enough to know, I don't want to start my life as an artist and debt like that. So ECU became a very good option. Yeah. And so we ended up I transferred to ECU and they have a fantastic art program. In fact, like, I would say, maybe like 50% of the people that I graduated with from the art school are living artists to this day. So it's a really, really good program. I was like poopoo annex, which is just a North Carolina school. It's just, you know, it's just this just that, but it was an incredible experience. For me,

Nicoa Coach:

North Carolina continues to exceed my expectations. I mean, I'm so proud of the programs that we have. And and I did not realize it was a design school, there were an art school there.

MELISSA TYSON:

Oh, it's been wonderful. It's, I did they make you go through a whole year of design classes before you can even start an elective. And one of my design teachers happened to be a metalsmith. And she said, Hey, we got along really well. She was a great teacher. And she's like, You should come and take my metal when I one class. And I was like, Well, sure, why not? And the minute literally the minute my hands touch metal, I was like, This is it. That was it. That's it. I know what I'm gonna do for the rest of my life.

Nicoa Coach:

How beautiful and you know, so few people really get that connection in that feeling. Yeah. Oh, tell me about that class. So what did you learn about yourself in that process? And how did you really know this? Was it?

MELISSA TYSON:

i It's like, you know, there. I don't question a lot of things in my life. It's just like, I know what makes me come alive. And I just run with it. And that was sort of what happened. It was like, I just literally had this connection with metal when I touched it. And I was like, this, this is it. Like I didn't, you know, I did explore other types of things, but they never gave me that feeling, you know, ceramics or painting or sculpture. You know, I liked them. I really did. I wanted to explore all forms of metalwork, which I did throughout the course of my studying, I worked with a sward Smith and I did blacksmithing and welding and I did you know, all different sculpture and big metal work, but I really realized after trying all of the different things within the metal world, that jewelry was that was it. Oh,

Nicoa Coach:

beautiful. Yeah. You know, I think that you said it. It's the feeling Yeah. Right. And that we can all tap into how we're feeling in that moment. And what is really jazzing us up and giving us energy. Yeah. And that's how you know,

MELISSA TYSON:

yeah, you just know and it's like, and I've never questioned that like, and it's one of those things that I feel like I can spend the rest of my life learning and never learn all there is to learn in the world of metal smithing and gold smithing. Like, it's just so vast and I mean, I still learn all the time, and I love it. And that's what kind of keeps it fresh and fun, you know, Excel after 20 years after

Nicoa Coach:

20 years. So you You left did you go off to a different training or program? I think you went to a couple of schools I did. I talked about a swordsmith. What the what

MELISSA TYSON:

I did, I was always my goal was to learn from as many different metalsmith Goldsmith's as I could, because everyone has a different technique and a different way of teaching in a different aesthetic and a different conceptual way of explaining what what it is and what you can do with it. So I really wanted to get as much training as I could. So I was always looking for other ways to study other places. So I did a national exchange program, which led me to this award Smith in Montana. And also I worked with a female blacksmith, which was really fun out there. They said they were internships that I did while I was in school out there. And then you went to Italy to write and then I did, I studied with an Italian Goldsmith, who was wild, wild woman, but she was actually the assistant to Giorgio de Jericho who was one of the original surrealists. Before Salvador Dali, he was Italian and she was his muse, Assistant, all the things. And she create Yeah, she inherited his entire sculpture collection. So we actually got to work in his foundry in Verona. When I was in Italy, and she was she did a big big like hammered 24 karat gold like almost breastplate type jewelry. Like she didn't really wild. That's amazing. I lived with her two times.

Nicoa Coach:

How did you find how did you find this? And oh my god, you've already mentioned that all these female designers female metalsmith Oh, I love Yeah, yeah. Because,

MELISSA TYSON:

you know, I was always on the search. I'm like, I know, I can do this. And I just want to find other women that maybe house yeah, I want to learn. I want to I want to know, you know, so yeah. So she was actually she had come to our college and spoken. I didn't actually hear her speak. But I was doing a study abroad program to Italy with my school. And I was like, asked the professor, I'm like, hey, I want to stay longer. And I want to find someone to apprentice with, after the program ends. And he said, Oh, there was this Italian Goldsmith that came. Here's her number collar. So I called her up and I'm like, Hey, I'm gonna be there. I want to apprentice with you. And she said, Okay, I'll take you on as an apprentice. If you can find at least two other students to stay after the program with UK, which I did. And we ended up spending the rest of the summer living with her and apprenticing with her outside of Milan, did you speak Italian? No, but I became conversational after I was there that yeah, immersed

Nicoa Coach:

in Yeah, for sure. Yes, you're given these great examples you asked, you asked, you've always taught you're looking for yes, you're intentional all the time. You know, I mean, I remember when I figured out my graduate program, I went to a conference in Chicago, the first time ever on a plane as a grown up girl and going and traveling, no credit cards, calculating the tip while the taxi driver was because I don't do math either. And I remember at the conference afterwards, I would go up to different people at different panels and say, Tell me about your graduate program. And I thought, you know, because this is what I want. And that's how I ended up of all places, Ball State University, in the middle of two cornfields, but best program I could have asked for. And yeah, you have to ask. Yes. So when you think back on some of those conversations and these mentors and role models, what are some of your life takeaways like your life by design takeaways from them? Any words of wisdom?

MELISSA TYSON:

Well, you know, I think that learning with them and apprenticing with different people gave me such a well rounded view of what's possible that I wouldn't, it gave me just a lot to step out on when I started my career confidence. It definitely gave me the confidence to know one that it was possible that I could have a career doing this. But to to know that I had to start where I was and not to feel like I was going to be able to just leapfrog into where they were. And then it was going to take time, you know, like I knew, I knew that it was going to take a lot of hard work and dedication, and they gave me so much. They did they gave me a lot of confidence. It was it was very reassuring to know that I could

Nicoa Coach:

so it seems to me that like you said you don't question much. Now. Not a lot. And did you have the support from your family during this time? And that maybe reassured you that you didn't have to question my

MELISSA TYSON:

dad always, always he was the one that always just said, Okay, what do you want to do? You can do that. He always was like believing in me. And then you know, I think my mom definitely came alongside of that when they saw my senior show at college and they Were all of these professors and you know, everyone that was coming in, we're all going and complimenting them and telling them what an incredible student I was. And this work that I produced was just it was. They were giving validation, much validation. And I think at that moment, you know, now my parents are both my biggest cheerleaders and have been throughout the whole process. But yeah, they've been extremely supportive of me through my careers.

Nicoa Coach:

And I think if people can take that away, as well, as they're having these conversations with your kids, and even though your parents initially had a little bit of a box, because they wanted to reassure that you were safe and taken care of, right, I mean, naturally from their generation, I mean, sure, I remember my mom to be told by her parents, that's lovely that you want to do, I can't remember what she wanted to do. But that's love, you want to do that, but you should also take typing. That's right. And that was like, You should be an accountant.

MELISSA TYSON:

You should just be an accountant. That's a great job. It's gonna, you know, it's gonna take you far in life. And

Nicoa Coach:

it's never too late to break out of whatever box you find yourself in. So you know, think about that. Do you? I know you're doing some some work in the community. Yes. Tell us a little bit about that nonprofit, how you're reassuring these women that they can come out of their terrible backgrounds and find a new way of being. Yeah, so

MELISSA TYSON:

that all started. I just have always well, I started in women's studies when I was in college, and I had just a huge heart for the human trafficking situation back then it wasn't as well known. And,

Nicoa Coach:

sadly, North Carolina is one of the worst in the country in the world. Yeah, we

MELISSA TYSON:

at the time, we were ranked seventh. And I had just, I think, I don't think we were married yet. I was dating my now husband, and I read an article in the newspaper, and it was talking about human trafficking in North Carolina and being the South, you know, seventh in the country. And, and I was like, oh, gosh, you know, I just, I feel like I need to do something. And he's like, Well, yeah, you should definitely what can you do? And I was like, I don't know, what can I do? And so I started thinking, and I was like, you know, this is how I do things. Like human trafficking organizations, North Carolina found one call, Hey, what do you guys do? They're like, Oh, well, we we help refugees and victims of human trafficking. And I was like, Oh, well. Can I, they were like, we need you know, you can get donations, you can get blankets and pillows and like, no, that's not really what I was thinking. I was like, I'm a jeweler. I'm a goldsmith, and I just maybe I could teach them how to make jewelry. And she stopped and she got really quiet. And it was like this weird pause. And she goes, we literally just had a staff meeting. Talking about could we get someone in here come and teach them the women how to make jewelry or something like this? And I was like, yes, yes. How soon can you be there? And I'm like, she goes, Can you come next week? And at the end? I was like, yes. How many women's is it going to be? And she said, Oh, it'll be around 30? Well, I haven't enough times for one. So I'm like, Yep, I can do it. And I'll be there. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, we're gonna come up with tools for 30 women how to make jewelry. And I'm like, Okay, next. So I'm, like, started to call people that were toddlers. And I'm like, Okay, let me find out. Do you want to donate? Could you donate to this? Within one week, I had four boxes of tools on my bench for 30 women. And I was driving off to Greensboro to go and teach these women and it was like, you know, yes. So very intentional and have generous divine appointments that just Yeah, appear all the time. I

Nicoa Coach:

want to put it out there. The other Yeah, there. Gotcha. Yeah. Oh, my God, that's beautiful. So you're still engaged? What's the organization that so that was World Relief. Okay.

MELISSA TYSON:

And then that sort of led me into, I actually applied for a grant with changemakers. And it was to see if we could get more funding to kind of like create a program for these women. And through that, I got contacted by an organization out of I think they're based out of Florida still, but they are called made by survivors. Yeah. So they actually now have, I think, three or four jewelry centers. So they had contacted me and said, Hey, we want to do this with our survivors of human trafficking in India. We also have a program in Nepal and we want to really give them we want to create studios for them so that they can, you know, have a means to live Have after we've rescued them and they come to live with them. It was sort of like a catch 22 Because I had since gotten married, they they were like ready to buy me plane tickets to go to India to start the story program. And I was pregnant, I was gonna say, Hey, you got pregnant, and I got pregnant and my midwife was like, you can't go to India, I was already high risk. It was the you know, there was a lot going on. So I was like, Oh, this is my dream. It's right in front of me. My dream is to travel the world and teach women how to make jewelry like I wanted, like it was right here was like the carrot dangling them around my face. And I'm like,

Nicoa Coach:

it didn't work at that stage.

MELISSA TYSON:

Well, you know, it's hard to say I don't know. But what did end up happening, I was like, Please, just I'll help you find a jeweler for the you know, just do it. So we did. And we found a wonderful girl that ended up going and starting a jewelry program. It was for her Navy. And you and I was like, but just I need to find a way to stay direction. And so they were like, Okay, and what I ended up doing was helping them create their initial jewelry line. So I was able to design pieces that they still sell to this day. And then that led me to get into design like a piece for the Amnesty International's 50th anniversary. And I mean, just like some really incredible things. But yeah, they're still doing wonderful. And they're still they have three jewelry centers now. And I mean, it's it's really interesting, and really wonderful. And

Nicoa Coach:

sounds like that's an even bigger impact than if you jumped on the plane. Yeah,

MELISSA TYSON:

I think so I definitely believe that. I really

Nicoa Coach:

feel like if people recognize it, when something says, Stop, right? That there's something even better, right? Or it's a bigger purpose. Well, because then

MELISSA TYSON:

I got to fulfill the dream of being mom. But also from my studio at home, I was still able to impact these women around the world with them by giving them designs that they could then create. So it did fulfill that part and me. Yeah.

Nicoa Coach:

What are you most proud of about yourself during that time, as you were having babies and being becoming that woman that was touching the world globally with your designs? Um,

MELISSA TYSON:

I think just the fact that I was able to do all the things, you know, like I was still I was able to realize that I could be a wife and a mom and really enjoy that, as well as living the dream, which is the jewelry creating and just being able to do both, I think so how

Nicoa Coach:

did you do it? Because everyone's like, Oh, that sounds really nice. Do you got three kids? Hey, you got three kids on your hip three, you know, nine and under at some point you referenced under three?

MELISSA TYSON:

Yeah,

Nicoa Coach:

it was under three? Oh, yeah. There

MELISSA TYSON:

was a lot going on. It was busy times. But you know, again, I just, you know, we were in a season where I had taken some time off to have the babies. And then my husband was currently and accompany and just got, you know, just it sort of tipped over a cliff, within a matter of days.

Nicoa Coach:

Nice.

MELISSA TYSON:

We have now a bigger house, which, you know, we got for having three babies, and we're knowing income, and I'm also not working because, you know, nursing babies, right, left, and I'm like, Okay, what are we going to do? What, what are we going to do? And so I just, I'm like, action. I've always wanted to create a golden diamond line. This is my moment, I'm going to do it. I'm going to create a golden diamond line. And I had been stashing gold and silver and all my metal boxes of it for years, 15 years, and I was like, Okay, I'm cashing it all in. I'm going all in. Everything that I have is going in to do this. Like, I know that I can make this work. Here we go. So

Nicoa Coach:

when you say you are stashing stuff, that's because you recycle and reuse on redesign constantly, constantly. So this golden diamond line means what

MELISSA TYSON:

this means a means for our family to get out of this place where it was just like, oh my gosh, are we going to make it out of this spot? Right, three babies mortgage that now we have no way to pay for? And I'm like, Yes. And I'm cashing it all in. I mean, it was a huge risk. But I was like, I'm all in here we go. And I'd always the beginning

Nicoa Coach:

and Melissa Tyson had already been established. But this was the beginning of a custom. This was the beginning of

MELISSA TYSON:

the customer engagement ring line. Yeah, this was going all in like I had always done customer engagement rings on request, but I never created an entire line. Because I was too apprehensive to take the risk to go. It's very expensive to go all in on gold and diamonds. You know, I just was like, I'll just tiptoe and for years I had tiptoed and So

Nicoa Coach:

this forced your hand this forced it, like

MELISSA TYSON:

I'm going. And so I have a friend in town that owns a jewelry store and I said, Hey, listen, I'm going to do this, I need a place to sell it. I don't I don't have the, my clientele. I don't have the, they're not going to receive this well, because it's going to be such a different price point. And so I needed a place to Sally said, Okay, bring me 20 of your best pieces, and we'll give you a space on the floor. So I was like, okay, so I mean, I spent six months designing the line, got it ready, took it went in, dropped it off, came back a week later, and it was not on the floor. And I was like, Oh my God. He said, I need you to come back to my office. And I was like, okay, and I did. And he said, Melissa, we had an entire staff meeting about your jewelry, and they don't like it. They said it's too artistic. No, nobody here is going to buy it, that it's going to collect dust. They're not going to show it because they work on commission. And I don't work on the floor. So I can't force them to sell it. And I was like you promised me? Like, what in the world am I going to do? Like everything my whole life is in this box right here. Like, everything I've worked for is in this box, and you're not going to put it on the floor. And he's like, Nope, I'm not going to do it. Oh, I was livid. And my husband was like, No, there's going to be a better opportunity, something else is going to happen. So I went online, and I opened up at the time and Etsy store. And, and I was like, okay, and I said a prayer. And I'm like, Alright, God, if this is what I'm supposed to do, please let me sell a golden diamond ring by the end of the month. The 31st of January, I sold two golden diamond rings on that day. And I was like, Okay, this is it. That was all I needed to know that I'm going to be this is going to be okay. And then it was not only just okay, it took off like a rocket. And so it's just been, you know, it's like the door shuts but you know, you don't stop you just keep looking for the next thing and realize, yeah, those people aren't my people. And he actually was right, like, now looking back on it years and years later, I realized, you know what, I was so mad. But no, they're not my client.

Nicoa Coach:

This audience here is very limited. And so you wanted to go no local brands, you are just amazed. Yes.

MELISSA TYSON:

My work is too artistic for them. And yes, you artists and for them, and it is to custom and craft for them. But you know what, my people, I found them and they found me and we found each other in this amazing, wonderful internet world. And, you know, so it was a blessing in disguise.

Nicoa Coach:

How long did you ruminate over that was that moment of rejection? I mean, did it take weeks? Or did you and your husband finally just say, Okay, wait, no,

MELISSA TYSON:

no, wait weeks? It was weeks because you know, I just am I'm not one to wallow. Take an action. So I'm like, okay, that door shut next. Yeah, here we go. I'm going to build an online store. I'm going to create it this way. Like it just you know. I don't know. Yeah, just I guess I've always been that way. You have

Nicoa Coach:

a bias for action. That's what that's called bias for accurate. Yeah, it's at the top of the resume. Okay. Because your resume is inclusive of so many amazing things that have happened to you. I mean, talk to us about how it feels to be in such a glamorous world. I mean, I it is a glamorous world. And I know you're back here behind the scenes. I mean, this is a it's a humble studio, guys. I mean, it's not like I'm standing in some massive building where she's got I mean, it's she's got all the basic tools and, and yet, you know, you've been in vogue. Yeah, brides magazines everywhere, you know, magazines, that amazing magazines. I'm just looking at all this going. And then just this year 2023 Paris fashion. Oh my god. So just give us a little feel for what it feels like to be Melissa right now and even back in 2015 when you got in vogue, it's

MELISSA TYSON:

like, like being a little kid. It's like that kind of excitement. It's like can't believe it? Is this real life? Is this actually happening? Like giddy? It's like, like a giddy feeling. You know, and it doesn't get home

Nicoa Coach:

this year. Yeah. Did when I found out about Vogue. Oh,

MELISSA TYSON:

it does not get old.

Nicoa Coach:

I agree.

MELISSA TYSON:

I mean, it's just it's constantly exciting I think because I don't have a lot of expectation in and when it does happen it just makes it that much sweeter. So

Nicoa Coach:

you're not attached at the outcomes know how did you get the outcomes do you I take that bias for action and you're like, hey vote.

MELISSA TYSON:

How does that word mean to me? So the Vogue was I got contacted by them. And they were like, We want to feature you and our jewelry designers profile. And it was came in an email and sister goes, this might be fake. Like, I don't know, it might be fake. She's like, ask him for a phone call. And I said, Could we have a phone call, please? Like, I just want you to make sure that this is real. And they were like, hello, I'm Alyssa. This is Sophie from British Vogue. And I was like, Oh, my God. So yeah, it was like that. Yeah. That like, oh, my gosh, this is actually really happening. This is really happening. This is really happening. Well,

Nicoa Coach:

I'm not surprised. Oh, I'm really not surprised. And the beauty of your way of being is that you are attracting it, you're allowing it in and you just keep doing your craft, and you keep learning and you keep exploring. Yeah. And with every sale. They're touching, you know, 1000 people. Right, right. Somebody said those rings. Somebody's seeing that jewelry, right? I mean, I'm currently in love with this summer bouquet ring that that girl did such a great job of posting about it. I mean, you guys have got to go and follow Melissa on her Instagram account. But how did you get found, though, for Paris Fashion Week? Can you tell us because I can't stop watching your reel where you're walking down the carpet at the is

MELISSA TYSON:

so surreal. It was such a surreal moment.

Nicoa Coach:

Because to this day. Oh, and it was almost too painful to see your posts about almost not getting there on time. Oh, tell us a story. Yeah. So much well,

MELISSA TYSON:

so I did get scouted for Fashion Week, I got contacted by an event company that does the shows. And they're like, hey, we'd like for you to, you know, we'd like for you to submit your brand with us to prepare us Fashion Week. And I was like, Oh my gosh. So we went through like three rounds of submissions, like submitting collection. And then we found out in March of this year that I had been accepted and that it was happening. How far

Nicoa Coach:

in advance did they contact you

MELISSA TYSON:

was probably back was last year. So around this time last year.

Nicoa Coach:

So how interesting everybody listening? I mean, I'm just fascinated by behind the scenes stuff. So a scalp? So people they hire people, yeah, to help, accessorize, have a fashion line? Or are they also scouting for what fashions?

MELISSA TYSON:

I think, yes, it was an emerging designer show. So they basically said, we're gonna have a stylist that's going to you create your entire collection, how you want to create it. And then we have a stylist that's going to sort of pair you with the best fit for the clothing designer that your style is going to work the best with? Yeah, so that's kind of how I was able to really design for the first time in a really long time. Like it gave me such a freedom to just design for the fun of designing like, you know, I am creating custom pieces all the time. So I'm designing for clients, like I'm creating their dreams, within the sphere of my style. But it's like this was sort of an invitation to really just create for fun again, and I was like, oh, okay, so

Nicoa Coach:

Project Runway or so I did

MELISSA TYSON:

do this. So I did I created a lot of new pieces, which was super, super fun that I got to take to the runway in a Paris Fashion Week.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, you almost didn't get there. So you did and you took the whole family. This has Wi Fi design. So I noticed your post, you said something like people tell you don't do it. But it tell us a story. Tell us your perspective. Yeah. So

MELISSA TYSON:

we've been taking the kids with us, since they were little you know, my husband. He is been an RV sales for a long time. And so we when they were little they've been traveling since they were babies. I mean, this is just their world. And then we started doing international travel with I don't know, right before COVID. And we were like, you know, we're just taking them with us. We're taking we're doing it and so we've been taken in with us and then when this opportunity came around for Paris Fashion Week, was like, Oh yeah, we're absolutely all going. So we did we brought my sister in law along to help with the kids while I was working, but there was never really like a question like, are they coming? Are they not coming? Like yes. My daughter's wanted to see the Eiffel Tower since she was a little girl. You know, like, yeah, we're going

Nicoa Coach:

and you're on the red carpet taking photos with your whole family. I mean, tell us what the day of the show was like and then what what it was though, take us there.

MELISSA TYSON:

Oh, yeah, well, we did almost not get there. So we got a good old Philadelphia airport canceled our flight to Paris two nights in a row. But you know, again, we just We're rolling with it. So we did end up two days late, but we had planned some travel before the show's seriously. Right. I know. I was like, Okay, this could have gone really sideways because we actually had changed our trip to travel before instead of after we were going to travel after the shows. But thankfully, we did not do that run because we would have missed the runway. So note to self definitely always plan a couple of days in advance. Yeah, travel hiccups. This was the worst we've ever had. But everybody was very resilient. After everyone had a good cry, I was gonna say, a little we did we, each one of us had a good cry. And then you know, we regrouped. And we ended up in France. And, you know, it was just like, we were there. So I always let each kid pick a thing that they want to do when we travel like that, so that they're really engaged. And the youngest wanted to stay in a castle and eat baguettes. So we went out to the champagne district sip, some champagne stayed in the castle ate our baguette. And then the middle one is obsessed with World War Two. So he wanted to go to the D Day beaches. So a five hour detour, we took a little road trip up and hit the D Day beaches. Now we were in hyperspeed. Because we had last two days, we were able to still get everyone's wish list. And then my daughter of course, you know, Eiffel Tower and Fashion Week. So several back to Paris we get there in I mean, it was fast and furious and things were. So I think the biggest thing that I learned with the Fashion Week world because I've never been in the fashion world. I mean, this is brand new to me. So is just to expect that nothing is ever going to be on time. Okay, ever, like, you know, we got very loose instructions. And I'm like, Well, you know, we I want to plan things. Well, I got my family with me, I'd like to go do some tours and see the Louvre and go to the Eiffel Tower. And so we definitely had to be very flexible because their timing is always late. And you have to block it out for the whole time because you just there's a lot of moving parts when you're in a show like that. And and all

Nicoa Coach:

of a sudden now that when it's time it's time Oh Is this their overheads

MELISSA TYSON:

are moving very, very rapidly. So yeah, it was. It was great. The kids got to sit on the runway and my husband was my assistant backstage and we just like we it was like a whirlwind. It was literally like a whirlwind. But

Nicoa Coach:

what was the building you were in? Because it looked like some glamorous, you know,

MELISSA TYSON:

it was incredible. It's called La galleries. They bourbon. Maybe saying that wrong tunnel speak French very well. But it was gorgeous. It was stunning. It was very close to Dr. Trump. Oh,

Nicoa Coach:

wow. Yeah. Do you want to name the fashion designer that you partnered with? Because that would be kind of neat to go look that up? Yes.

MELISSA TYSON:

So I was partnered with two. And one was called Bio debt. And she was out of Australia. And then the one there was one called Chateau Chihuahua, and she's a designer out of New Zealand. And yet, she, well, this is kind of very exciting. But she and I have a very, very similar aesthetic. And just a very similar way of designing her pieces where each piece took 1000 hours to create hot couture artisan I mean, just probably some of the most beautiful dresses maybe I've ever seen, just in credible, I love it. Incredible. And so this is kind of a cool story in connection with her because I didn't know who I was gonna get paired with, you know, like, I had no idea. I was just hoping and praying that it was going to be someone that would fit my aesthetic, you know, I mean, definitely

Nicoa Coach:

we'd see your jewels. I mean, so right. You wonder if the fashion will just overshadow it. Right. Right.

MELISSA TYSON:

And so we back in. When I found out about the trip I did I do a lot of journaling, and I love to write and so I was journaling and kind of had a prayer moment and I was like, Okay, God, do you want me to go How do you feel about this? And I felt like this is what I got. It's time to fly butterfly. And I was like, okay, so I wrote it down, left it for nine months. Here we are in the fitting day. And I'm just like, it's there's this nervous anticipation and all the accessory designers are in one room. And the clothing designers are coming out with the stylists and everything is just moving. And I'm like, who's going to how to how was this happening? Like how are we going to get put together? And I was had been paired with the one designer out of Australia and so I still had a huge amount of jewelry and I had asked the state in the head stylists I was like hey, you know, you said you were gonna pair me with some of the couture brand and you know, I just wanted to know what was happening and she goes, Oh, well. You just have To wait, and I was like, Okay, I'm gonna go back and wait. And so I'm like sitting there waiting and like, hoping I haven't missed my moment, you know, like, because it's just designer after designers coming through and she walks up with a designer with chateaux, and they come over and she's like this, this is the only thing that is going to work with your clothing. And she's like, Are you sure? And she said, I'm 100% sure, like, this is it right here. So they put on, like, some rings and some things for the first model. And they're like, Okay, go stand over here. And she literally lifts up her arms, and she looked just like a butterfly. And I just had tears streaming down my face. And I was like, This is it. This is the moment I was made for, like, right here right now. Like,

Nicoa Coach:

I'm got chills.

MELISSA TYSON:

Oh my God, that's perfection. So incredible. Like, so incredible. And oh, my god, like,

Nicoa Coach:

literally, I mean, divinely delivered.

MELISSA TYSON:

They're just like that. Yeah. I mean, literally could not have. I couldn't have dreamed it any better. You know, like, I couldn't have and we we sort of like, we made friends with her and her she was traveling with her husband as well. And, you know, we just made friends with them. And we were like, oh, we should stay you know, stay in touch and stay connected. Well, have littles Oh, little exciting thing. I can. So about a week ago, I got a call from them. And they said, We want to collaborate with you. And we've been invited to Milan Fashion Week. And we want you You're our first choice. We want you your jewelry. With shuttles dresses for Milan Fashion. Oh.

Nicoa Coach:

I'm not really in the back. Oh, now you're here. I've already started their wish lists of activities.

MELISSA TYSON:

They definitely have we did have Mosby. 2024.

Nicoa Coach:

This is February 28th. Holy crap, but I should let you go. From now? Well, I'm assuming do you have to design all new? Or does she want to use some of the you already had or so I

MELISSA TYSON:

think I'm just gonna, I'm gonna design new pieces. Because why not? Why don't? Why don't I as I can. And here we go. Like the freedom to create is here again,

Nicoa Coach:

life by design baby happening. It's happening. Oh, I love it. Well, we could obviously talk all day, as I always say, Oh, my goodness, yes. This is so exciting. I want you to talk about life by design, though. And this is clearly designed life that is unfolding naturally and organically for you, indeed. And yet, you talked about journaling and prayer. So you have a real connection with yourself and who you are. Yeah, you know, how do you keep your life by design focused on excellence, not perfection, as you said before, in some of your on your website? Yeah. Talk to me about that with those practices.

MELISSA TYSON:

Yeah. Well, I think the practices of you know, being very intentional, and my time spent and journaling and prayer and, and that's kind of what keeps me grounded. And I think that hopefully, it will help me to not fly away into this wild world of fashion, you know, like, it's, it can be very all consuming. And, and it's a it's a very different world there. And so I think, kind of, you know, this year in particular, I've been spending a lot of time with my community and, and really going deep into our identity. And, and that being who I am in, it's not what I do, it's who I am, but who I am identity comes alive and what I do. And so, you know, the two things that that have been made very clear to me this year, and I've known them for a long time, but they've just gotten much more clear is that I'm called to be a mother to many and bringer of beauty. Like, and, and so I think and realizing that is part of my core identity and who God's created me to be that it literally comes alive and my jewelry creations and all of these things that are happening, but it's like, I'm always going to be who I am. Even if I didn't have that. That's

Nicoa Coach:

right. Oh, and knowing that knowing who you are, yeah, and getting grounded in that and having the people around you to help you stay grounded. That's right. I think that's just gonna keep you on your track. Yeah. And there's unlimited possibilities as a result of that unlimited. Yeah. Because if you I think when you did that, like I don't want to get squirreled away or reiver. That is true, you can get caught up in the excitement. And you didn't allow yourself to get bounced around. Yeah, right. And the chaos of all that, right. And I love that that woman said to you, you just going to have to wait. I think that's probably if anyone listening, sometimes you just have to wait. Sometimes

MELISSA TYSON:

you do just have to wait. And sometimes it can be for years. I mean, I feel like my entire career, you know, there have been these seasons, long seasons of waiting, but always doing what I loved in the waiting like, it was never, I was never going to stop doing what I loved for the sake of it not being a successful moment. And it happening. So it's, you know, I think that that, you know, they did they asked me a question in an interview at Paris Fashion Week, and they said, What would you say to young designers, and I was like that you keep your day job, until it outweighs what you're doing. You can afford to do this full time. And do it because you love to do it. Always do it, because you love to do it. And don't let that you know, don't let that stop you. Always. But don't think that you're just going to come out of the gate. And it's going to be a success overnight. I mean, this has been 20 years plus in the making, you know, I mean, the like people, I think they look at me, and they're like, oh my gosh, and I'm like, but this is years and years of steadfastness years of doing what I love just because I love to do it not because I was looking for accolades or, you know, recognition or anything, just simply because I love to create joy for people's hands. I want to create these milestone moments for people and engage with my, you know, the, I just, I love people. I love people. And you know, I get to meet lots of them doing what I do. It's all about the journey. Yeah. And I get to bring their love stories to life. Oh my

Nicoa Coach:

gosh, and I can do and just watching that young woman post on her Instagram about that ring. I was just like, she's so happy.

MELISSA TYSON:

Oh my gosh, she was so sweet. She cried. She cried when she got it. I mean, it's like, Could I be doing anything? I'm better than like, in you know, jewelry. So sentimental. And it's so precious to people. And, you know, being able to just, I don't know, have that with that, that in that relationship. I build relationships with people over jewelry. You do. And it's wonderful.

Nicoa Coach:

And I feel like you've just built a relationship with me in this conversation and privilege to spend time with you. Likewise, oh, well, it's so fun. And I've even as I look and use this new technology, I was like, You know what, even if it doesn't, the technology doesn't work. I don't care. This was one of my favorite conversations. They're very fun dream and life after lots of hard work. And I like living vicariously through everyone else, as well as I love my life to know and I

MELISSA TYSON:

don't meet many people that truly love their life, you know. And so I mean, like when we met, I was like, she, she's like, we heard like, right here.

Nicoa Coach:

And we met at the skating rink. Yeah, we were busy boogie. And you know, with that networking event, and right when I met you, I was like, Oh, yeah. And Jane was like, Oh, you you should talk to her. And I'm like, yes,

MELISSA TYSON:

definitely. Of course, right after we both had our epic trips to Europe. So we were like to get all three

Nicoa Coach:

of us because we're like, Oh, yes. Well, we're all global travel. Yes. We return well can be. We'll have our meeting. Oh, well, I'm just celebrating and hey, everybody listening. These are lives by design. They are you should be having them too. Yeah. So take some tips from today. Any last words of wisdom? Anything else you'd like to say to put a bow on our conversation? Listen,

MELISSA TYSON:

I don't know. How can you put a bow on it? Like,

Nicoa Coach:

enjoy in life and where can people find you? Remind them? Alright,

MELISSA TYSON:

so you can find me Instagram? We put our daily creations on Instagram. It's Melissa Tyson designs or of course on the website, Melissa Tyson designs.com. And

Nicoa Coach:

I'll put everything in the show notes. And I do you know that I'm literally live like six minutes from here. We are actually neighbors. We'll be hanging out. I'll be showing

MELISSA TYSON:

my door's always open. I love having people in Studio

Nicoa Coach:

One. Thank you, dear. I appreciate you. Likewise. Thank you.

Jennifer Gardner:

Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicoa for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram Just follow Coffee with Nicoa and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N IC O A. We look forward to talking with you soon and enjoy your coffee between now and then.