I met Melissa Camilleri – a fellow Sacramento native – through Instagram (I’m telling you, I love that app) when I was organizing a fundraiser. I asked her to vend at the event but she couldn’t attend, so she donated a beautiful pair of earrings. Though the fundraiser didn’t work out, we kept in contact and since she her business and philanthropic spirit are so inspiring, I wanted to share her story with you.
Melissa started Compliment – her stationery and jewelry line that is just as precious as the words that are written on each and every package – when she was a high school English and AVID teacher. She had been making jewelry since she was in elementary school and when one of her students asked her to make ring to match her Homecoming dress, Melissa realized that people were digging her stuff.
Compliment was officially founded over the Thanksgiving weekend of 2011, and since then she was taken the leap into full small business ownership.
I love your story and how you got started with Compliment. Do you feel like your writing plays a big part in your business?
Writing plays a huge part in what I do. I never set out to be a jewelry designer. I just kind of went with where I was called. My road has been a winding one, but each stage has definitely informed the next. So although I went to grad school for writing to publish for magazines, and write a book, I’m finding that it’s still a HUGE part of my marketing for my business to be blogging right now. I’m going to write a book someday, though. 🙂
How would you describe Sacramento in terms of a small business owner? Do you feel it’s a good city for your business to thrive in?
Sacramento is on the verge of so many cool things. I think there are a lot of young people here who want to see their hometown thrive and support local growth. Old neighborhoods are being revitalized and there is a definite sense of community here among artisans and people who believe in shopping local to support their community.
I feel like Compliment is definitely able to thrive here. I have a lot of local customers who stop by my studio and that I’ve met while having a booth at an event. There’s a nice momentum.
If you have an opportunity to make things better and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on earth.