Melissa Lynn Oddo attended the Fashion Institute of Technology from 2003-2007 where she earned her AAS with a specialization in Tailoring and a BFA with a specialization in Ready-to-Wear. She also studied overseas at Polimoda in Florence, Italy from 2005-2006.
Upon graduating, she took a position as Assistant Designer for Dennis Basso. She went on to become a Visual Merchandising Manager for NYC flagships such as White House Black Market and DKNY. Eventually she moved back to Connecticut to start a family and became a consultant for a bridal boutique, where she met a seamstress who was seeking help. Because of Melissa’s sewing background, she was recruited to train and work for her, and that's where she discovered her love for the industry.
She founded her own alterations business, deMelis Atelier in 2018 out of her home. It quickly grew into a commercial studio space offering alterations, creative direction and styling. She has coordinated product shoots with names such as Francine Collections and Jovani as well as styled various bridal themed shoots with local industry leaders. She also works closely with Beth Chapman Styling to help brides with Day-Of-Wedding Dressing Services and Concierge Alterations, working with top planners like Tracy Taylor Ward and Kathy Romero. In 2021 she became the first Alterations business to be invited to be a member of The Bridal Council.
The rapid growth of her business, coupled with the challenges both she and her colleagues face made her realize that the sewing trades truly are a "lost art,” and inspired her to start Stitched Collective.
We have a lot of similar challenges and we learn from each other and lift each other up. When I was young, I never said to myself, ‘I want to be a bridal seamstress when I grow up.’ And I think we can get to a place where that becomes part of the consciousness of the next generation. I want to reach that person who’s on the fence wondering if they could make a living out of this. We are the ones jumping up and down shouting, ‘YES YOU CAN!’”
"Sometimes our work can be so isolating that even just communicating with other like-minded people is such a relief and a sense of validation.