Interviews / People

What’s In Your Bag: Melsy’s Illustrations

1) Sephora blush/powder brush 2) “Is it Friday yet” compact mirror 3) Chanel powder compact 4) Melsy Business cards + My iphone 5) 2 Chanel glossemiers  6) Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick in sèduisante  7) Chanel pink explosion blush Chanel Les Beige healthy glow sheer colour N 70 8) Kate Spade wallet   9) Chanel Le Volume mascara in noir + Chanel Black kohl eyeliner  10) Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation in shade 30 11) Les exclusive Sycamore Eau de toilet

What’s your biggest accomplishment? 

I’m so happy and proud to say that my biggest accomplishment in life is quitting my former day job and starting Melsy’s Illustrations. Not many people know that I just started this in August 2013. Here’s my little story in a nutshell.

I graduated Merrimack college in 2009 and wanted to pursue a career in pr/advertising/fashion, but unfortunately jobs were slim to none in my field of choice. Fortunately, I did land a writing position at Raytheon ( a defense company)… but I knew from the day I started I wouldn’t stay there forever. My desk GLOWED pink  (I had a cupcake calendar, a cupcake pen, a large pink diamond paper weight), while everyone else’s desk is, well, just not pretty!

So, last summer I sat down and came to terms with the fact that I was unhappy at my 9-5 job and that I needed to do something that would make me smile! So, one night in August, I sat down with a piece of paper and pencil and began drawing fashion illustrations. Before I knew it, I was gaining so much recognition on social media networks (instagram/facebook) that I decided to attend craft fairs and sell my illustrations … which then lead to the birth of my company, Melsy’s Illustrations!

Since August, I have been selling my fashion illustrations at SOWA, Harvard University and crafts markets/fairs all throughout Boston! I also landed a fashion illustrating position with Bloomingdales back in September, and have been recognized by the amazing Rachel Parcel and Blaire Eadie after posting a few of their inspired looks on instagram!

I always loved art, but never did anything with it. I’ve been creative my whole life, expressing it more through fashion and makeup but never really tried illustrating until this year. My love for both fashion and makeup also lead me to landing a job with the Chanel boutique in Boston. I’m so excited to say that there are three Melsy’s Illustrations hanging in the employee bathroom as wall decor!

It’s been a dream to have the opportunity to start my own business and work for Chanel. A lot of work, but it doesn’t feel like work when you are having fun 🙂

What are three books you would recommend to our readers? 

Don’t hate me … but I don’t read hahaha. I do LOVE Magazines though! In Style, Allure, and Glamour are my faves … I rarely read the articles and just look at pictures for fashion inspiration. I also LOVE LOVE looking at the pictures in the Kate Spade New York coffee table book.

What’s your advice to someone interested in starting their own business? 

Start now. Start small. Dream Big. Another KEY thing is promoting yourself on social media… i.e., Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest.

What's In Your Bag: Melsy IllustrationsWhere do you receive inspiration? 

I receive all of my inspiration from my mom. Her passion for interior decor and love for style has inspired a lot of my illustrations. She has the talent of taking something simple and turning it into a masterpiece. For instance, her favorite colors are the most simple, white and black. She integrates these two color palettes in both home decor and fashion and finds a way to bring such elegance to two simple colors. For instance, she shares, “our family room is dressed with white couches, a white and black “Keep Calm and Carry On” pillow, a white and beige Chanel pillow,  gorgeous white throws, a black and white striped rug, a white crystal chandelier, and a large black and white print.” For pops of color she adds in fashion books, hydrangeas/peonies, and sometimes delicate jars filled with colorful candy.

Similar to her style, my illustrations are simple and focus on a statement piece, such a tulle (my favorite piece of clothing to illustrate) or shoes with delicate large bows.

If you could have one famous entrepreneur as your mentor who would it be? 

He’s not “famous” but my entrepreneur mentor is my dad. He immigrated to the U.S. from Lebanon at 19, knew a limited amount of English, graduated from North Eastern, opened is own business with little money at 25, and has grown our family business into an empire with a second business on the way.

Do you feel your life is balanced between work life and personal life?  

Not, not at all. But I realize that is the risk I have to take when running your own business. I am so lucky to say that my best friend, Alyssar, and my mom have been through every step with me. I see my best friend all the time because she runs all of my business errands with me. They pretty much work with me and keep me sane through all of this!

I also work at Chanel everyday, so balancing two jobs and my personal life is definitely a challenge, but it’s worth taking!

What is your favorite thing about running your own business?

I’m my own boss and I LOVE making people happy. I love inspiring girls to start something on their own. If you have a passion for something, do it! What’s the worst that could happen?! I’m 27 and wish I knew this when I was younger. But, it’s truly never too late to start.


What is your indispensable gadget? My phone and hair straightener.

What is your favorite app? Instagram, of course! Oh, and my music app, can’t draw without music!

Favorite account to follow on Instagram? @space46boutique @pearlsandpastries @rachparcell @blaireadiebee

Favorite item in your closet? My Space 46 Boutique blush pink tulle skirt

To learn more about Jamel of Melsy Illustrations & shop her designs check out her Etsy. Stay Social with her too: Facebook, Instagram 

This post includes affiliate links to Amazon which I receive a small compensation on sales generated by your purchase.

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