If you’re on my website you’re probably already engaged, but if you don’t have a ring yet or are looking to get something extra special – you MUST check out Melissa Tyson Designs.

I met Melissa through the local Wilmington wedding vendor group, and I invited her into my studio to discuss her business and to take a few photos of her exquisite hand-made custom jewelry.


Melissa is a goldsmith by trade, and she uses only conflict-free diamonds in her creations.

Check out what she had to say about being a custom jewelry designer for the last 20 years!

1. MA: Why do you do what you do?

Melissa: The minute I touched metal I knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That was when I was in college. So it was one of those inherently natural things that just came to me.

It’s pretty amazing to be part of such an important thing like jewelry because it’s so meaningful to so many people.

2. MA: So each piece you create is truly unique?

Melissa: Yes absolutely. When I was in college I worked with a lot of body sculptures – so really large life-size sculptures. So now I’ve scaled things way back and I imagine that I’m designing a sculpture but for someone’s finger.

3. MA: What makes you different from other custom jewelers?

My style is pretty organic and rustic – so VERY different from traditional jewelry stores.


4. MA: What is a highlight of your career so far?

Melissa: I was published in Vogue magazine in a jeweler feature! There was a photo of one of my pieces and I framed the article and hung it up in my studio.

5. MA: Any trends in the custom jewelry world?

Melissa: Rose gold is a huge trend right now and pear-shaped stones are really popular. What’s really great is that so many things are popular right now – this allows so much more flexibility in my creativity with brides and grooms. But I still stay true to my design style!

6. MA: What are the advantages of going to a customer jeweler over a traditional store?

Melissa: Obviously the custom element is a HUGE draw, but allowing my clients to participate in the selection of the materials and the stone is something that sets me apart from traditional jewelers.


7. MA: What should a potential client bring to an initial design meeting?

Melissa: Brides should absolutely have all kinds of visual inspiration prepared for the meeting. Whether it be a Pinterest board, magazine clippings, or even videos – something that describes the style they’re going for is extremely helpful and important.

Melissa’s pieces are absolutely gorgeous, and her work is featured in all kinds of styled bridal shoots around the city.

If you’re in the market for something custom, check her out here!