Interview | Walk Around the Block with Melissa Sonico
Melissa Sonico describes herself as shy, but you’d never know it by how confidently she expresses herself through her various creative channels. She’s a writer with an MFA, a jewelry-maker, and has an Instagram feed that’s just stunning. She’s also a mom to (soon to be) two kids! The fact that she manages to make everything she does feel like it’s coming from the same creative universe, a place that’s cool and modern, but never boring, may be her biggest coup of all. We were so happy to get a chance to talk with Melissa: she’s definitely one to watch...and read...and wear!
I was always—and still am—pretty shy and kept to my books
I grew up not far from where I live now in San Bernardino. I went to Catholic school from kindergarten through 8th grade before going to public high school and I was part of a big family with all my extended family nearby. I was always—and still am—pretty shy and kept to my books mostly—I was also one of the editors of my high school paper for multiple years; a quiet bookworm.
My writing is influenced by everyone from Nabokov to Miranda July
My biggest influences are nature (specifically the desert and beach landscapes I've been surrounded with growing up—I went to UCI and lived in Orange County for seven years). My writing is influenced by everyone from Nabokov, Flannery O'Connor, and George Saunders, to Joan Didion and Miranda July.
I've always loved books and writing more than anything else and that sort of informed where I am today. I got my MFA in creative writing, writing short fiction, and did some freelance copywriting and journalism. At the same time, I was blogging and networking on Blogger and later Instagram and along the way began designing and hand-making jewelry. I've loved being part of my community on Instagram and look forward to growing it.
there’s a similar vision in my stories and my designs
I started off making jewelry as a hobby and gave them to friends and family, who all said I should start selling them, so I did. I feel like—with any creative process—there’s always a connection, so yeah, as a writer I can say that there’s a similar vision in my stories and my designs. It’s definitely a different process though! Finishing a writing piece is a much more involved thing, for me at least. There are so many factors and nuances in a story that mirror the thought process of designing a piece of jewelry but magnified many times!
There's not a lot we're wanting for here in Southern California
We're very spoiled here! We've got the beach, the desert, the mountains, the valley all within an hour of each other. Great food, art, music. There's not a lot we're wanting for here in Southern California. Sometimes I do wish we had more distinct seasons, but at the same time I don't want to be shoveling snow or worrying about hurricanes. We've got it pretty easy here. I can see us maybe moving away for a small amount of time but ultimately always finding our way back here.
You really get things put into perspective by having kids
I live with my husband Johnny and our son Harrison, who is going to be three and a half years old once our baby girl is born in May! Johnny and I are very socially awkward and shy when put into social situations and Harrison is strangely the opposite. My husband always says he would like to be more like Harrison. We're each learning from the other family member!
A good stroller will simplify things without sacrificing style
The biggest surprise about motherhood is how much it's made me appreciate so many little things. I love seeing the world (everyday events and moments) through Harrison's eyes. It's also made me think more about mortality and life in general. You really get things put into perspective by having kids, hopefully for the better.
Safety, eco-friendliness, style, and convenience are things I look for when shopping for a new product. I think the same would apply to a stroller. A good stroller will simplify things without sacrificing style and I would be confident in the safety of my babe while riding in one!
Melissa is using the Peli stroller in Cantaloupe.