“I always borrow from the boys” (that would be her brother and husband), Mel tells me as I surveyed the clothes she brought to the shoot. She is even prettier than I remember and I thought being a girly-girl didn’t quite suit her quiet confidence and the self-assured way she carried herself. I arrive at the cool co-working space she co-founded, the first in the South, called Launchpad on a bright Tuesday morning. A hip, creatively enticing space that’s fast becoming the new trend, a hybrid of the old-school net cafe businesses of yore with a lot more to offer. The huge glass windows allowed an abundance of available light to come in, doing away with the feeling of being cooped up in a traditional office. It was just the location I was looking for. I ask who designed the ultra-steady space and Mel replies, “just us” (a creative collaboration between the partners, Architect Dara Redulla and her brother Martin, who’s the contractor). Fuss-free yet fun without being corny. A reflection of herself, perhaps? She says she just started dabbling with make up recently, stating there’s a first time for everything. “It’s never too late!”, I tell her. Besides, with features like hers, it didn’t need much to bring it out. Here’s what she had to say about her sartorial choices, what keeps her busy and why she had to let go of her “Sporty Spice” obsession.
What she does Product Manager in a startup software company / co-working space owner / boutique marketing and events dabbler / moonlighting TV exec / mom and wife
Personal style Reformed tomboy/ Casual androgynous chic
Her days be like My days are loooong. I juggle so many hats during the week that there are not enough hours in a day. I try not to work during the weekends so I have 100% time for family so you will find me chilling with my kid by the pool, the beach, or any place outdoors. Hobbies? I wish I had time. Because if I did, I would definitely play sports, watch movies and paint more.
Favorite shopping haunts I am not very brand conscious because I’ve always been a pragmatic shopper – practical and cheap. I like Uniqlo, Zara, H&M, Topshop, Cotton On, SM and Landmark! I love SM.
Favorite brands/designers If I had a model’s body? Everything! But sadly, big boobed girls are not well-represented in high fashion. Well, there’s Kim Kardashian…
Top 5 closet staples White shirts, chambray shirts, black dresses, jeans, casual shorts.
Celebrity crush J.Lo. She is my spirit animal. If I can look any nationality a day, I would say Swedish or Japanese. I love their casual, minimalist, androgynous style.
Where she surfs (online) Medium, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Bride and Breakfast, Bizbash, The Next Web, Desk Mag. And Facebook (if that counts).
Style evolution from production to “corpy casual” Since I’ve shifted careers and am more into client-facing, I really have to be more conscious about appearances. I can’t look like Sporty Spice, and even Mel C.’s style has evolved. Now that I’m a mom, I also can’t go around in tight or hubadera tops and short shorts. My style is still casual and comfy, but in a more grown-up way. And at least now, I have an excuse to wear flats, short heels and casual coats.
Her current uniform Roomy trousers, plain white or black shirt, accessory, white sneakers or shoes. And pockets. Lots of pockets.