We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always had a passion for creative design and beautiful aesthetics. When I started working in advertising in New York City one of my favorite work responsibilities was styling food on commercial photo shoots. I loved the colors and textures of food and tabletop. After moving home to Miami when I was 26 and taking over a family business (The Sweet Treat Emporium) a chocolatier and gourmet gift basket store, I especially loved designing the accessories and gifts for weddings. When I sold Sweet Treat, I had three wonderful customers ask me to plan a Mitzvah and 2 Weddings. Twenty-three years later those initial events are three of the most wonderful events I have planned and designed. In 1997 I had the confidence to start my own wedding and event planning company. I knew I could take a passion and turn it into a career.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally? How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Yes, it was easy. I had a real interest in the event world. I was much more attracted to social events and weddings as opposed to corporate planning. I learned as I planned, I planned as I learned. That was year one. After 23 years, I still love what I do. It is all about love and celebration!
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? Being efficient and organized and having an acute sense of detail are most important. Having a keen design sense is a plus. I have learned how incredibly important it is to listen and ensure our clients feel they can reach out to us with any aspects of planning. We want our clients to have a fun, enjoyable and beautiful experience. Of course, Covid -19 has changed all of this to a level none of us could have ever foreseen. It has been a tremendous learning curve, but with the knowledge we have gained, my staff and I can guide our clients with great expertise.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story? Melissa Davis Designs is well known for our exquisite designs and our established venue and vendor relationships. My brand is about professionalism, beautiful aesthetics and genuine warmth. We exude traditional sentiments with out of the box creativity, proudly creating life -long memories filled with beauty, laughter, family, and love.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love the hidden gems in Miami as well as the famous favorites! To name a few… Amara at Paraiso, Joes Stone Crabs, Upland, Matador, Sea spice, Stanzione 87, Mandolin, Verde at Perez Museum, Versailles, Ha Noi Vietnamese, Coffee and pastries at Delices de France, Bombay Darbar
Some of my favorite spots to show a friend who hasn’t been to Miami
The Anderson, Blackbird Ordinary, The Margulies Warehouse, The Vagabond Hotel, Key Biscayne, The Redlands farms and markets, Fairchild Garden, The Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, Calle Ocho, The Perez Museum, The ICA, & The Rubell museum.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Before I launched Melissa Davis Designs, I had just given birth to my twins. I decided to work part time to learn everything I could in the event planning industry. I worked for Always Flowers and Events. I had the great fortune to learn all about floral and production design and the names of all flowers! I had the lovely opportunity to meet with brides and design their weddings. I also worked part time for Chef David Schwadron who taught me everything about food design, logistics, catering production, and the important details of creating an event. My husband and my mother were incredibly supportive with the inception of Melissa Davis Designs. Their confidence and support had a great influence on my starting my own company!
photography credits STACEY AMBROSIO, ERIKA DELGADO, EMILY HARRIS JUNIOR GAMEZ, KATIE LOPEZ, DOMINO ARTS