Melanie Abrantes is, in her words, “a girly chick who likes woodwork.” But it took her some time to embrace that—starting in Texas, where she grew up feeling “like a weirdo,” and then at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, where she fell in love with building things and ended up majoring in product design.
Post-graduation, while working as a graphic designer in L.A., she convinced her then-boss to let her attend the 2012 summer workshop at Domaine du Boisbuchet in France, where she initially registered for a cork product-design class—later cancelled because of poor sign-ups. But she was there! And there was cork in abundance! Her experimentation convinced her to get serious about her craft—and to participate in the design show West Coast Craft. Motivated by the $300 she’d dropped to rent a booth, she dove into making all sorts of amazingness to fill her table, from buttery wood bowls and cake stands to minimalist containers in her new fave material that sold out in a snap.
Now, she’s working on her namesake line full-time, and she recently moved up the coast to Oakland, California. There, she’s building her studio from-scratch—constructing a wall was one recent weekend activity. What’s next? “Furniture, I hope! And maybe lighting,” Melanie says. “I would love to do a whole room collection!” Yah, we’d love that, too. —genevieve ang
BEHIND THE SCENES
From tree to tabletop, guys.
You know all that footballing made you want to head to Brazil…