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Community Highlights: Meet Melissa Sullivan of Maison Sully

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Sullivan.

Hi Melissa, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, earning degrees in Advertising Marketing Communications and International Trade and Marketing (essentially global business through the lens of the fashion industry). When I was younger, I really wanted to be a Fashion Designer and had my heart set on going there for as long as I can remember. My mom was an avid sewer and created the most beautiful things for our family, and I wanted to do that too. With that said, I made the decision to study business as it felt like a better match for me but took various design classes on the side. During that time, I was lucky enough to secure an internship with Celebrity Event Planner, Colin Cowie’s team, mainly handling sourcing, purchasing, and logistics for overseas jobs. I fell in love with events, the internship ultimately turned into a full-time job, and ten years later, I’ve gone on to work for other big planners in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills including Stefanie Cove, Yifat Oren, and Mindy Weiss. This past year amidst the pandemic, I launched my own event firm Studio Sully, but perhaps more importantly my dream fashion company, Maison Sully, a vintage & reimagined bridal atelier.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not always been a smooth road, but I consider myself very lucky. At some point, I think everyone has struggled with family issues, finances, work-life balance, and even fear of failure when considering new entrepreneurial endeavors — I certainly have. This past year, investing resources into new business(es) (for the first time) has been a little scary. I feel very grateful for my great support network for encouraging me to keep moving forward, even when things felt uncertain.

We’ve been impressed with Maison Sully, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Maison Sully is a bridal atelier, artfully curated with reimagined vintage pieces. The concept is founded on the desire to offer brides storied pieces that they can personalize and make their own through our hand-tailored service, offering a custom gown-feeling experience. We also offer a form of personal shopping, sourcing pieces for brides that have pretty strong ideas of what they want but want it in the form of a one-of-a-kind, vintage piece.

Our tailoring and re-design approach sets us apart. We restore pieces that are either damaged or just outdated and therefore give them new life. Upcycling is more important now than ever. Our approach also allows for more inclusivity in shopping vintage in terms of sizing and financial attainability.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
The industry has already shifted so much over the past year, and I feel the changes we have seen will continue to build upon themselves. Brides have gotten more adventurous and feel empowered to make non-traditional choices: unexpected colors/patterns, lengths, and just generally different forms (pantsuits can be worn down the aisle, not just at the courthouse!) Whatever feels representative of your personality and style, even if atypical, is becoming more normalized.

As a whole, I believe consumers are also being more intentional about where and how they shop. We want to know where and how pieces were made, emphasizing fair wages, good working conditions, and quality materials. Of course, a benefit of shopping vintage is that a piece (or material) already exists.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Personal Photo: Courtesy of Jack Seikaly for Maison Sully Collection Images: Courtesy of Dana Ferraro Photography for Maison Sully

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