Thursday, March 2, 2017

My Healing Journey by Melissa Partridge

Back in December 2016, I decided that to coincide with my Diamonds in the Rough series, I was going to post stories once a month highlighting strong women.

I met Melissa Partridge around that time whilst scoping out the SOWA market. Her work is colorful and beautiful, but after a short conversation, God knows what she thought, but I asked her if she would be interested in telling her story.

I find women the masters of reinvention and I love the stories I hear of what women go through overcoming the challenges they face in life.

                                                                 This is Melissa's story! 

    Art, Color, Textures & Travel Inspire me.  I have always had a LOVE for adventure, the unknown  & surprises; a curious creature at heart.  After  receiving my B.S. in Merchandising & Design from University of Rhode Island; I fulfilled my life long dream of moving to the Fashion capital of the world~NYC.   I knew no one except my college friend Denise who worked for the UN.  That was ok~I’d make friends I wasn’t worried about it.  I lived and breathed NYC and worked for fabulous brands including Capelli New York, Levi Strauss & Co., & Coach Inc.   My NYC friends used to tell me I knew the city better than them.  I never took cabs and lived by public transportation.  I lived in NYC for 7 years after running away from my dysfunctional family.  My parents had divorced in the late 80’s when I was 15.  I was the oldest of three children; my sister 16 months younger and my brother 5 years younger.  My Dad was a high functional alcoholic, an Engineer and had his Phd from Harvard who struggled with addiction his whole life.  Growing up I was always the protector, the dreamer, the peacemaker. My Mom always says I was the child drawing butterfly's and rainbows.  My Mom would sit us down in our playroom as kids and have us play with paints, watercolors, playdough, board games, coloring books to distract us from my alcoholic Father.  I don’t remember a lot from my childhood but that was my coping mechanism.  My mom taught me how to be independent and survive on my own.                     

Art was always there to comfort me, calm my anxiety, let me play with my inner child.  I was a shy child growing up & it wasn’t until I moved to NYC I found my own voice.  I had to; in order to survive in this great big City I had to stick up for myself, be independent and take risks.  I was determined to find myself and live on my own & make it in NYC & of course meet the man of my dreams!!  Well I never did find my husband in NYC;  Happy to say I am in a  happy & healthy 7 year relationship with an amazing man.  I did date lots of men in NYC and had some amazing dates, fabulous dinners, concerts~ Sting live in NYC, James Tayler on Jones Beach, B-52’s in Central Park, shopping at Flea Markets, Street Fairs, Museums, Dressing up for the Halloween Parade in the East-Village, rollerblading and biking in Central Park , Trying the  latest & greatest restaurants, Museums~The Moma & Met were my favorite, wine, concerts, you name it I tried it.  After 9/11 I was laid off from marketing  job at Levi Strauss.  I was determined to survive in NYC on unemployment and didn’t want to move back home to Boston.

 However, in 2005 I interviewed with Victorinox Swiss Army, gave my 2 weeks notice to Coach, the company I worked with after Levi Strauss, on Madison Ave and packed up my rental car & moved back to my Mom’s home 40 miles North of Boston.   I had decided I was done with NYC and ready to move on!!
Once home a lot of my inner feelings from my childhood came up.  I started lashing out and fighting with my Mom more.  I finally decided I was ready to see a psychotherapist and take care of myself and my inner demons.   I knew it would get worse before it would get better with therapy. It was WORK but I was taking care of a lot of issues I never dealt with from my childhood for the past 34 years.
After 7 years with my Corporate sales job with VSA in Sales/Marketing;  I was laid off in Jan 2012.  That by far was the best day of my life, I was burnt out, exhausted and ready to make a change.  I was tired of traveling, living out of suitcase/hotels and eating bad food.  I was great at my job but it didn’t light me up and have one ounce of creativity in it.  I don’t think I knew how miserable I was till I was out of it!!  I took time to focus on myself, taking Jewelry Metal Smith classes and diving into B-School with Marie Forleo and Flourish & Thrive   Academy with Tracy Matthews & Robin Kramer.  I was on a good path and started participating in the craft circuit around New England selling my Whimsical & Colorful Jewelry and launching my Biz~Color Me Happy  by Melissa.  I continued exploring different techniques with Jewelry; Metal, Resin, Paint, Beading, etc.  But it wasn’t until after my Dad’s passing from Cancer/Alcoholism in Aug 2013 I discovered my LOVE & PASSION for painting & mixed media.  My Dad’s death brought up a lot of mixed emotions & feeling in the family.  Silent, hidden emotions that were finally let loose into the open.


I went to Costa Rica in Feb 2014 for my Birthday after my Dad’s death on an Art Retreat with Art Studio New York.  I highly recommend Rebecca’s Schweiger’s Studio to anyone in NYC; It’s on the Upper West Side.  In Costa Rica I was immersed in Art for an entire week and was able to fully dive into the world of Acrylic Paint, Watercolor, Water Pastel, Inks & Mixed Media.  I created a beautiful Turquoise & Fuschia mixed Media piece made from Sympathy cards friends & family gave me.  I painted layers and layers of my mixed feelings of emotions after my Dads passing.  Art became my healing space and where I felt at peace.  I immersed myself in it and read books and took  classes with some of my new favorite Artists; Mati Rose, Alena Hennessy, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Flora Bowley to name a few.  I engulfed myself in Art Journalling, Collaging, mixed media, acrylics, & Watercolors.  This has been my healing space for the last few years and where I felt my happiest.  I added a line of Watercolor Jewelry in Spring 2014 to my collection and it became my Best Seller.  My turquoise Watercolor Collection brought a sense of peace, tranquility to me and brought out the Water Child; Pisces in me.  I’ve expanded my work to include Abstract Art with Vibrant Colors, Textures & Patterns.  My process is very intuitive and from the heart.
Alot of my Inspiration comes from travel & Art Retreats with other Artists & Soul Sisters.  April 2016 I traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco with Mati Rose & Faith Evans-Sills.  Truly a Magical Adventure full of Inspiration & Color.  This year in May I will be travelling to the Amalfi Coast in Ischia, Italy for an Art Retreat with Alena Hennesy & Dvora Troshane, Looking forward to this Sun, Sea, Art retreat that will be a trip of a Life Time!!
This year I will be at SOWA & the Greenway in Boston on various Sat and Sun throught the Spring/Summer/Fall.  I am focusing on my Artwork this year including Originals, Giclee Prints, Boxed Cards & Tote Bags.  Please check my Show Schedule for my Spring & Summer Schedule. Each market is curated bringing together the area’s best artists, designers, and creative entrepreneurs to showcase their work in a festive atmosphere!   Applications are hand selected based on quality, innovation, and originality.
I love cheering and supporting other handmade, artists & spreading my Happiness to the world.   I appreciate all my Art teachers and friends who have helped me on my Healing journey.
                                           Art truly heals & has made me a better person today!

                                          I hope you enjoyed Melissa's story and her links are below!
Feel free to add my social media links
@ColorMeHappyMelissa Instagram
@ColorMelissa Pinterest
@MelissaColorMeHappy Biz FB
ColorMelissa on Etsy


  1. I could not be more proud of my dear, dear friend Melissa! She has been my best, most fun friend since we met in college in 1990. Our favorite thing to do together is laugh which is just why I love being with Melissa.
    I have seen Melissa's transformation. When my 2 kids were young, Auntie Melissa would visit us in RI a lot. She always loved doing art projects with them and always said that someday she would love to do that for a living! NOW that is her REALITY!! I am so incredibly proud of my best friend for following her heart and her dreams! She has always said "Do what you love", and she does! I am so happy for everything she has done! Not to mention the free gifts I get to wear or to decorate my massage studio with :)

    Melissa is truly an inspiration in so many ways and I am proud to call her my BFF!!! <3 <3 xoxo

  2. So grateful for this opportunity to be featured on your blog!!
    Thank you!!