Blooming with Melissa Lew
This time of year, Washington comes alive with pink cherry blossoms. It’s a gentle reminder that in the hustle and bustle of political and performative life, Mother Nature marches to the tune of her own drummer.
The same can be said of Melissa Lew, 37, of South Riding, Virginia. In 2005 Melissa graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University in Art and Visual Technology.
When she was halfway through her degree, she discovered she loved working with her hands. She took as many sculpture and bookmaking classes as she could, loving the tactile nature of the mediums.
Jewelry took her passion one step further. As she experimented with creating pieces of jewelry, she found that her necklaces were a way for an individual to wear something that they loved close to their heart.
As her passion for creating these pieces of art that spread joy and strength grew, so did her business.
Last year at the Museum Shop Holiday Market at the Strathmore, she had the pleasure of meeting a Kennedy Center customer who shared with her that he was purchasing one of her Shakespeare inspired designs for his daughter. The quote that was on the included card:
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
The reason he purchased the piece made Melissa smile, as the quote represents the philosophy that is at the foundation of her jewelry business.
The customer told Melissa that he was buying it so that his daughter could be fierce, like the creator of the piece.
The Kennedy Center fell in love with Melissa’s Cherry Blossom design, inspired by the Tidal Basin. Her local location married with incorporation of eco friendly materials made her a perfect vendor to showcase this spring.
Her designs are inspired by nature and travel. As a self-proclaimed steward of the Earth, she uses sustainable bamboo, 100% recyclable stainless steel, recycled stock paper and vegetable soy inks.
When asked how Melissa felt about being featured she replied, “It’s an absolute honor as an artist to be part of the Kennedy Center gift shop family and work towards the same shared mission – to inspire and celebrate cultural heritages across America and around the world. My own work is a celebration of my background – the granddaughter and daughter of Chinese immigrants.”