Growing up my house was the place to be on a Friday evening. My mother knew how to throw a party–so I guess my knack for hosting a mean get-together is inherent. However, there are those that take entertaining at home to a level rarely matched, and Melinda Lewis is one of those people. From unique and inspiring suggestions on decor to fabulous lifestyle finds, I find myself going to her Get Togetha Blog more and more–I’ll admit, I’m a Get Togetha “stan” lol. So, when I sat down with good friend and fellow “home”girl Tina Shoulders for lunch and she insisted that I learn more about Melinda–I figured, it was time to get to know this SiStar.
Get ‘Em Girls: First off, I love your blog. As a fellow “home”girl, I’ve been known to throw a mean get-together but can you tell the readers what your idea of a fabulous “get togetha” consist of?
Melinda Lewis:Thanks so much for the compliment. Simply put a great Get Togetha is an extension of living life to the fullest. It’s a culmination of good food, music, flattering lighting, entertainment, and surrounding yourself with chill people.
GEG: At what point did you decide that you wanted to take your passion for bringing people together and turn that into a business? Is Get Togetha Company your full-time job?
Melinda Lewis: About four years ago I was living the life of a dissatisfied classroom teacher so I started to have small gatherings at my Harlem Apt; and never looked back. I wouldn’t describe my company as a job. It’s my passion and a lifestyle that I live and breathe. GT is a small team: two interns, my web designer, and myself.Â I recently interviewed Alton Weekes on my blog and he describes entrepreneurship as hard delicious work. I find that saying to be absolute perfection.
GEG: As a small business owner, I know all to well that turning your passion into profit can be especially hard; how do you manage to keep striving in spite of set backs?
Melinda Lewis: By utilizing a combination of mentorship, taking care of self, surrounding myself with positive supportive people, visualizing, daydreaming, and working my patootie off! There are also so many women of strength that inspire me: from Oprah to my Mom.
GEG: I’ve been talking to my girlfriends about passion, when did you realize that Get Togetha was yours?
Melinda Lewis: I realized it was my passion when I was willing to do it for FREE. I’m my heart of hearts I’m a teacher I sincerely believe in sharing what I know with others. My modus operandi is that home, heart, head and hips are all connected. When one is out of balance the others seem to be affected as well. I live that mantra and do my best to deliver that to Get Togetha readers.
GEG: For those that don’t know about your blog and Get Togetha Company, tell them a little about the site and why you created it?
Melinda Lewis: Get Togetha is a lifestyle company with a bit of unorthodox thrown in for good measure. I created a product of “conversation cards” (coming soon); but my blog also features extensions on entertaining: home decor, food, handmade finds, musings, conversation, inspiration and community. Something I didn’t quite expect to happen with the blogging and I love it!
GEG: I know you live in Harlem, like myself, and there have been so many new and fabulous home decor, lifestyle, and concept shops popping up in our area–are there any particular home shops, other than the big names, that you love?
Melinda Lewis: There’s a recent Harlem Concept Store called Swing that I simply adore. There’s Harlem’s wine bar Nectar, and there was a shop called Xukuma; but they recently shuttered their doors giving me a serious case of the sads. I love decor shopping at CB2, Urban Outfitters, Target, Bliss Living Home, The Brooklyn Flea Market and sharing with readers the array of style conscious home decor that’s available.
GEG: I’ve recently gotten into scouring vintage shops and flea markets for fab pieces to diy–is that something that you are into, or looking to do in the future?
Melinda Lewis: Vintage finds are the personality of design and are a must for creating your own unique brand of signature style.
GEG: What design elements and/or trends inspire you?
Melinda Lewis: For home decor; a pop of white. and something turquoise. Design elements: I like thoughtful design. And no one does it better than Target when it comes to showcasing independent minded talent for mass produced consumption. I’m always inspired by florals, simplicity, comfort, travel, and a beautiful wine glass!
GEG: The weather is finally breaking, which mean people are hanging outside more–can you give the readers any pointers on throwing a fabulous al fresco get together?
Melinda Lewis: Absolutely. It depends on the occasion. It could be a simple picnic, a backyard party, a barbecue or a hybrid of all three. People tend to eat lighter in the summer; but I would have on hand Mosquito Repellent Tea Lights (bugs are a reality), White Wine Sangria, and a tight music playlist.
To learn more about Melinda and Get Togetha, head over to Get Togetha Blog for more.
Live. Life. Deliciously.