Melissa was born in Madison, WI in 1966 and began studying jewelry design and metalsmithing in high school. As a college junior she was recruited by a custom fine jewelry store and soon became one of their most accomplished designers and goldsmiths. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1989 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In 1998, Melissa moved to North Carolina to start her own company and focus on her goal of designing and creating truly beautiful
and one of a kind pieces.
First residing in Asheville, NC, Melissa moved to the Chapel Hill/Hillsborough area in 2000. When not traveling to fine art events around the country, she would open her working studio to the public. The demand for her designing skills necessitated the need to open a retail space. A goal realized much quicker than she thought. Nearing 20 years in downtown Hillsborough, Melissa Designer Jewelry is an important destination not to be missed.
Melissa has been a professional jewelry designer and goldsmith for over 30 years. Her work has been exhibited throughout the country in galleries, juried fine art exhibitions and invitational events. She has been featured in numerous publications and her work has won a variety of awards. Melissa is a proud juried member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Carolina Designer Craftsmen and the Piedmont Craftsmen Guild.
Melissa Designer Jewelry has been a part of historic downtown Hillsborough for over 15 years. Our goal has always been to provide exceptional jewelry, honest sales and unparalleled customer service.
Melissa Booth | Owner | Designer-Goldsmith
Growing up I studied my father, a finish carpenter and cabinetmaker. I saw the skill and care that went into each piece. Every detail was painstakingly thought out and every angle precise. This is when I first realized how important hand craftsmanship is.
I was first introduced to jewelry production in high school. It was during this time I developed my passion for drawing and painting and I soon became interested in sculpture and three dimensional forms.
Tiffany | Designer Goldsmith
I began as an apprentice to a jeweler in Raleigh doing basic repairs. After I had soldered charms on a gazillion charm bracelets and had sized half that many rings, I found an opening for jewelry production work in Hillsborough, NC at Dallas Pridgen Jewelry, where I learned the lost-wax casting technique. Within a few years, I moved up to Production Manager and met Melissa when she would pop in occasionally to “talk shop” with Dallas. One day she invited me to come see her studio and gallery.
Kathy | Sales Support
About 10 years ago, I took a bead stringing course at a local bead store, just for fun, and was instantly hooked. As a stay-at-home mom to two young boys, I had found a much-needed creative outlet that I truly enjoyed. I moved to Durham in 2016, and more recently decided it was time to dip my toe into the waters of the working world again. By happy accident, I came across Melissa’s ad for a gallery sales associate, and though I had never worked in the fine jewelry industry, I knew I could “speak jewelry” and learn as I go. I absolutely love coming to work every day and being part of such a talented group of women!
Chaya Udinsky | Graduate Gemologist | Jewelry Appraisal
Chaya holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University. She also has Graduate Pearls and Graduate Gemologist certifications from The Gemological Institute Of America (GIA) and has become a Registered Master Valuer through the California Institute of Jewelry Training. Chaya is also a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. Chaya has a complete gemological lab and access to many trade references and organizations.
We are happy to have Chaya as our professional consultant for all appraisal needs.