Way back when, before I had kids, or stretch marks or knew the entire schedule of Noggin verbatim- I worked in a magical land called New York City. I ate bagels, I rode the subway and I got to work as an assistant buyer for an amazing woman that designed Christmas trees from scratch. She would begin her story boards in January- and anything could inspire her. I remember one year when a photograph of Nicole Kidman's beaded Indian dress for the Oscars inspired a whole line of tree skirts.
I learned a lot. About Christmas ornaments (Italian ones are my favorite- from an old family outside Florence-). I learned the proper way to decorate a tree (garland first, then ornaments- put large ornaments on the bottom, smaller ones on top). But I also learned how to work- hard. But even though the work was tough- we had fun every.single.day.
Melissa is an artist- through and through. She has an amazing sense of color and design, and her Christmas tree shop was, without a doubt, the best in the city. It was always fun to go to vendor showrooms, and watch her negotiate exclusive designs, or special events. Our ornaments would arrive in the summer- and unpacking the sample boxes was like reliving Christmas morning, again and again.
Anywhoo- Melissa has now struck out on her own. She's created an exclusive line of ornaments that, sadly, are hard to come by these days. (Don't be fooled by glass ornaments made in China. The paint is tinny, and shapes pedestrian). She celebrates the workmanship of European glass blowers- and creates special, unique works of art.
She also almost convinced me one of our vendors worked for the Mafia. But that's a story for another time.