Melanie White chased her love of accessories in 2009, turning her dream into a Philly-based boutique. The 20-something-year-old designer, on a whim, decided to just “do my own thing,” she tells Vixen. “I didn’t just always wanna always work for somebody else and make someone else richer and do what they want to do so I just wanted to do my own thing.”
VIBE VIXEN: How did you get started in the fashion designing biz?
MELANIE MARIE: I started with bags but made a switch to accessories because it’s easier, quicker to make and less expensive [to manufacture]. I can make more of the product and turn it around really quickly.
Your love of accessories, where does that come from?
I’ve always loved accessories; that’s always been my thing. I could wear like a white T-shirt with some jeans, but I’d throw on a crazy necklace and some earrings. So that’s pretty much how it got started and yeah like 2009 I just liked doing my own thing,
What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection?
The “Showstopper” bag. I wear it all the time. I wear the “Channing” necklace, the “Black Leaf” earrings I wear a lot and the “Crystal” ring. Those are the main things I wear a lot.I have a lot of other pieces that I keep in my store in Philly that aren’t on the website yet.
When did you open your store?
Me and my partner opened on January 21. It’s called Greek and Life. It has fraternity and sorority items. He wanted to do that and the other half is regular designer stuff like which is my idea. So we just blended the two together.
Aw, a little romantic story there!
Did you guys start dating then create the separate companies?
Yeah, we were dating before. He told me one of his ideas and I had mine, so we just started going from there.
Nice. Now what would you say are some of the hardships of like being in business with your significant other?
Seeing him all the time [laughs]. I see him at the store then at home, but we do switch off so we’re not always there at the same times.