By: April Stettner, Guest Writer (instagram.com/brigittebardotbunny)
It’s the kind of overcast morning in Charleston where the sun splinters behind overly fluffy clouds, creating that soft halo that often hovers above a coastal town.
I’m on my way to meet Melissa Matthew (right), business owner, bright light, finance executive, affirmation and women’s wellness guru, and my Instagram girl crush.
Today, I’m lucky enough to connect with Melissa in person. Though the genesis of how I found Melissa’s page is a fun rabbit-hole-type story (best for another time), I am thankful to have found a genuine creator who is an authentic yet endless source of inspiration for me and countless others.
If Melissa Matthew were a song, it would be “Sunshower” by Chris Cornell. She is even more radiant in person. Dressed in bright orange and red tones seated against the backdrop of a velvet evergreen couch, she looks like she could be the editor of French Vogue. Melissa is warm and embraces me immediately, which delights me because I am very much into hugs.
Melissa is a natural artist in every sense of the word. She has this effortless and uncanny ability to curate beautiful content, even while we are chatting. It is an integral part of her being. As we settle next to each other on the sofa, I feel dizzy with questions; I’m not sure where to begin. Melissa makes it easy to start talking. So that’s what we do.
Melissa, her husband Trevis, and their daughter Taylor (a miniature sunbeam of Melissa) moved from New Jersey to Charleston in mid-January 2021. Melissa is originally from Jamaica, and her husband Trevis is from St. Thomas. She explains how Charleston had not initially been on their radar. Still, when the opportunity to move presented itself, they found Charleston elicited fond memories of the Caribbean for both of them.
Melissa works in corporate finance and has her business Starlight + Love, which offers a unique and holistic approach to women’s wellness. Her husband Trevis is also an entrepreneur and a creative as well. They initially started to create a family YouTube channel in 2012, but it was not officially launched until January 2018. Their channel documents their family’s adventures through travel, moving, and many fun activities and milestones. It’s easy to see why the Matthew family is often approached by brands hoping to work with them. Their family has undeniable chemistry that’s hard to miss. Watch 30 seconds of one of their videos and see if you can turn it off.
I comment on how nice it must be to have a partner to share your creative process with. She agrees and details how they both have complementary strengths.
“Trevis is great at video editing, and I have more of an eye for capturing photographs,” Melissa says.
I can vouch for this. I watch Melissa’s creative wheels turn as she takes videos and photos of our morning. She can capture moments from angles that others might easily miss.
The Matthew family’s YouTube channel was launched in tandem with the family’s Instagram: @makingitwiththematthews, where Melissa narrates the family’s experience. Like most leaps into a public social media profile, we discuss the inevitable hesitation of what will people say.
“Eventually, we just decided we are doing this,” Melissa explains between sips of matcha. Her family’s YouTube channel and Instagram feed emit an instant hit of dopamine. There’s something very and joyful about getting to be a part of the Matthew’s journey.
I can vouch for the genuine happiness Melissa emits in person, and I can only assume it’s in part to her being a devout practitioner of positive affirmations. This was, in fact, the catalyst for the concept behind her business Starlight + Love.
She had experienced a season of life where she was not sure she had all the answers to. She found the importance of being still, listening to herself, and determining where to refocus her energy. From this, she’s curated a beautiful “well-being” shop for women looking to acknowledge how they wanted to direct their life energetically, and this includes what they should be saying “no” too, as well, which I love.
Melissa generously gifted me with Unapologetic Collection affirmation cards. Several things stand out to me immediately: These are not the type of affirmation cards that I’ve purchased in the past, that may have been more “fluff” than genuine substance. They come with tangible instructions. Yup, I’ve been doing affirmations incorrectly for years; who knew? (besides the universe). The wording of the declarations has been carefully and thoughtfully selected and beautifully designed.
Starlight + Love has plans to introduce pop-up shops throughout Charleston, and Melissa has an upcoming project launch appropriately named “Soulitude.” It’s an incredibly exciting concept and something that I know will make Melissa and the Matthew family will be a household name before long.
Follow the Matthew Family:
Starlight + Love Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/starlightandlove/