5 swoon worthy things: Melissa Joy Manning
Melissa Joy Manning
Photography by Sarah Elliott
I recently met Melissa Joy Manning at her newly-opened jewelry boutique in my own new neighborhood, Cobble Hill. A creative through and through, Melissa has created a collection that is both swoony and super wearable. We first got to talking about the pieces themselves, but as I played around with stackable rings and layered the minimalist selection of mixed metals, we eventually transitioned to design talk. Melissa is a lover of “the hunt”, as I am, in seeking out antique finds. Many of these salvaged decor elements can be seen in her new Court Street location — they offer a functional display solution to showcase her jewelry while balancing out the space. And, what a beautiful energy the space has! Dotted with a variety of crystals, it embodies Melissa’s calming and open demeanor. Here, Melissa generously shares the items she is currently coveting for her home in today’s 5 Swoon-Worthy Things.
NAME: Melissa Joy Manning
PROFESSION: Founder and Creative Director of Melissa Joy Manning Inc.
HOME BASE: Brooklyn, NY
DESIGN PHILOSOPHY: Simplicity and balance, always. When designing my jewelry I want the stones to speak for themselves. When designing an interior, I like to create balance by repeating themes in unexpected ways to harmonize a space.
CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT OF THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE NEW STORE BROOKLYN STORE?
The store was a fortuitous venture, one that felt manifested not only by my desire to grow the brand but to become an active member of my neighborhood community. Found by my partner while on an errand to cut his hair (he uses the traditional barber next door), the store was an immediate fit. I loved the original interior- the subway tile floor, pressed tin ceiling and amazing radiator. We did as little work as possible in order to maintain the space’s authenticity and character. I collaborated with my friend and architect, Matt Schmidt, on spatial design. Working with my team was a dream and we were able to achieve our vision of the space in about 2 months.
YOUR DECOR STYLE IN 3 WORDS: Eclectic, warm, elegant
WE DISCUSSED YOUR LOVE OF INTERIOR DESIGN AND YOUR KNACK FOR HUNTING DOWN SALVAGED PIECES (YOU HAVE SOME SWOONY FINDS!) ANY TIPS AND TRICKS TO SHARE?
Buy what you like. If I’m drawn to something I will invest in it. A lot of what goes into my stores are pieces I have collected over the years that never really had homes. Because I buy what I like I have a good resource for upcoming projects. I think if you love something enough you will always find a place for it.
Also, always bargain! I used to think that was tacky but now I realize that you can ask for a best price, especially if you are buying multiple pieces from the same vendor. And always build a relationship with your dealers- you never know what you may need and having resources when looking for a key piece are important.
DESIGN TREND YOU LOVE? ONE YOU WISH WOULD GO AWAY?
I love Ikat and the amalgamation of singular tribal patterns in modern home and fashion design. I really, really, really wish I would never have to see another pair of athletic tights as outside, big girl pants ever again.
COLOR OR NEUTRAL? Neutral
WHEN NO ONE IS HOME BUT ME I decompress by sitting in the dark and doing the NYT crossword on my phone.
DO YOU HAVE FAVORITE PIECES IN THE COLLECTION? WHAT ARE YOUR BEST SELLERS?
In regards to jewelry, yes, I always have a favorite. They tend to change often, especially in relation to a new collection. In our Court Street store I especially love the collection of our signature earring style, the Hug. It’s represented in many different stone and metal collections. It’s a little cheesy, but it’s how I feel about the neighborhood- welcome and embraced. So the earring not only reflects my aesthetic vision but my emotional relationship with Cobble Hill! The earring style, along with our ear climber, continues to be a best seller even after the Holidays.
YOU CLEARLY LOVE CRYSTALS AND THEY’RE AN INTEGRAL PART OF YOUR STORE DESIGN – IS THAT AN AESTHETIC OR ENERGETIC DESIGN CHOICE?
It was originally aesthetic. But the more I learn about the crystals, the more I appreciate the energetic value they add to my surroundings. I’ve become a big fan and believer of their positive energy. I’ve drank the hippy Kool-Aid. Or should I say green juice?
ENDLESSLY OBSESSED WITH anything shiny
YOU WILL NEVER SEE floral chintz or porcelain knickknacks/doodads IN MY HOME
I SAVE ON trends I SPLURGE ON investment pieces