Photo of Melissa sketching under the cherry blossom trees in a pink dress, and wearing her custom US Capitol cherry blossom necklace.

My Story

Hello! My name is Melissa, the founder and designer of this jewelry line.

I started my namesake studio in the beautiful hills of Virginia in 2005. Born and raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I am inspired by adventure and my love of the outdoors.

It’s more than just a jewelry line to me. I have always loved creating, but in 2016, everything changed.

“She’s fading.”

That is the last thing you want to hear in the hospital.

My mind was still fuzzy from the anesthesia, but I clearly remember hearing those jarring words, the machines beeping, and the doctors and nurses rushing around.

Kind of cliché, but life just kind of flashed before my eyes. So many wonderful moments, but there was still so much more that I wanted to do…to see…to experience.

That curiosity and wonder is what gave me the strength to get back on my feet. Recovery took months, and it took me a while before I could even walk on my own.

So what did I do? I booked a trip to Acadia National Park. With nature cheering me on, I was bound and determined to get back out on the trails.

Nearly 9 months later, I found myself on the Ocean Path Trail at Acadia National Park. I have always loved hiking and being outdoors, but there was something special and different about that moment.

The sunshine, the waves, the beauty that surrounded me. It all made my heart sing. I needed to find a way to capture that magical moment.

My jewelry line was reborn. Each piece I create harnesses the beauty and joy of nature. They celebrate what we love, turning moments into tangible memories that we can keep close to our hearts.

Collect Life’s Adventures

My eco-friendly, handmade, durable pieces are made for life’s adventures – these lightweight designs are easy to wear and they are also easy to care for.

They spark wonder and encourage us to dream. Dreaming of swimming with sea turtles? There’s a necklace for that – wear it as a reminder to never stop dreaming.

I hope these designs inspire you to get out there and collect life’s adventures. Follow your dreams. Get out there and explore somewhere new. Try a new fruit. Learn a new language. The world is your oyster.

Commitment to Community

Community is the cornerstone of Melissa Lew jewelry; I am proud to partner with a variety of non-profits who share a vision of making the world a better, more inspired place. Since 2012, I have donated over $200,000 in products, services, and funds to non-profits in my community, including animal rescues, wellness and mental health non-profits, educational non-profits, and charities dedicated to ending homelessness.

Thank you so much for your continued support! Your orders do make a difference.

Commitment to the Environment

Melissa Lew jewelry is consciously handmade in her studio in Virginia from a variety of eco-friendly materials, including stainless steel and bamboo. Pieces are made to order/small batches to ensure less waste. All cards are printed on recycled stock with vegetable inks. Protective cello bags are compostable (made from plants). Melissa Lew is also a proud partner of One Tree Planted; a tree is planted for every necklace or bracelet sold.

Say Hello!

I value your friendship and this community; if you see me on the road, please make sure you introduce yourself and say hello.

Follow my travels at @mlewjewelry. I look forward traveling the world with you!

Memberships & Certifications

Member of the MSA (Museum Store Association)

ZAG Sponsor (Zoo, Aquarium & Garden Buyers Group)

Small, Micro, Women Owned, Minority Owned Business (Certified in Virginia – SWaM #708045)


“Melissa is magical. She embraced my vision for a custom necklace, taking my intentions, and bringing them to life in a way that exceeded what I thought was possible. Melissa has a way of knowing what I mean even when I can’t find the words. The energy and passion that goes into the design and production is felt by everyone that has received one of Melissa’s Thrive necklaces. Not only do I wear my necklace daily, but I feel honored and grateful to be able to share Melissa’s custom jewelry with my clients and friends.”
– Elena Sonnino, Life Coach, Speaker, and Yoga Teacher

“Just like the bamboo Melissa uses, she is a strong and resilient woman, always able to adapt to a new day. Her necklaces are bold, colorful and full of energy just like her personality. A little bit of sunshine wrapped in a pendant!” – Lisa F.

“I began purchasing Melissa’s necklaces a few years back as a way to support a cat rescue organization that had commissioned her work to raise money. Immediately I was so impressed with the attention to detail, and the consistently high quality jewelry at very reasonable prices! Each piece was unique, and every time I wear one (or 2 or 3!), people stop me to inquire where they can get one!

When my daughter, a Wildlife Biologist, finished her Master’s Degree thesis on community science and spiders, I knew to reach out to Melissa to commission something special. She worked with me on 2 designs, and was so interested in creating the perfect gift! The one-of-a-kind necklaces are STUNNING and PERFECT and they are created with true LOVE! 

Two thumbs up and a ZILLION stars for Melissa and her artistic gifts! I am a fan girl for LIFE!” – Laura M.

“Melissa Lew has been a supporter of our mission for years and has helped us impact so many underprivileged children throughout New York! Not only do we love Melissa’s designs but our customers do too!” – Amanda Munz, Founder of The Fashion Foundation

“I’m buying this for her to encourage her to be fierce…like you.” – Buyer at Museum Shop Holiday Market at the Strathmore

“I love the unique designs Melissa offers. I choose to have her line in my store because I want to offer my customers items you aren’t going to find in every store.” – Denise Machina, Owner of Arts & Carafes Painting Party