We're constantly searching for makers and creatives whose aesthetic, methods and values align with our own, and we're excited to introduce another Brand We Love: Melting Sun. Each piece is 100% handmade with a primal design element, making it uniquely perfect for the free-spirited, modern bohemian. We sat down with Founder Lauren Visconti to learn more about the inspiration behind the brand.
What inspires you?
Since launching this little one-woman operation in 2012, Melting Sun has undergone many transitions. My creative process has always relied heavily on trial and error. As Melting Sun has grown, I came to the realization that this brand had become something larger than myself, and I needed to make sure I continued to deliver a product that I could be truly proud of.
It goes without saying, trends play an important role, but as the brand has grew and progressed, I decided to focus less on fleeting trends and more on what makes me feel fulfilled as an artist, female, maker and entrepreneur.
When I finally allowed myself the opportunity (and time) to really sit back and figure out what it is that makes this creative process and work so important to me, I couldn't help but have these three things resonate in my mind: sustainability, empowerment and quality. Through the use of eco-friendly, locally-sourced materials, I am able to give back to local economy while simultaneously offering quality products at an affordable price point - products that have been lovingly and thoughtfully crafted and presented in a way to create an overall sense of empowerment and inner happiness for each and every person who should carry or wear Melting Sun.
I received a BFA in studio art from Oglethorpe University the year I decided to try my hand at being a maker and artist. I never allowed everything I had learned and all the skills I had cultivated during that time to go stale. I continued to make a conscious effort, using Melting Sun as a vehicle to continue to create and learn and grow as much as I could. I pull a lot of my inspiration from artists like Egon Schiele and Matisse for their elegant line work and strangely calming color palettes, Kiki Smith and Louise Bourgeois for their ability to manipulate many different media and spotlight unconventional femininity and Rothko for his unabashed commitment to color, or lack there of.
Where/when do you feel the most creative? Tell us about your creative process.
Of course, daily inspiration comes from all around me, always drawing from my environment. I travel continuously, and I think this constant state of movement, although sometimes tiring and stressful, is essential to my continuous growth as an artist and human. Whether it be the other artists and makers I meet and work with, relationships I cultivate, textures and skylines and earthly formations I encounter... they all play into the process.
I never saw myself as someone who would find themselves within the world of fashion or retail, in any way. I have always viewed myself more as an artist always, but I have found an immense amount of enjoyment in the challenge and process that goes along with applying subtle hints of fine art to items that become part of the day-to-day.
Can you describe your personal style? What makes Alternative a good fit for Melting Sun?
Anyone who knows me knows comfort is key in my everyday wardrobe, however I don't feel as though that should always mean someone should have to forego looking like they are well put together. An ongoing inspiration for the shape of my design have been the relationships I have cultivated with the strong women within the craft community. Free flowing, soft, ethically sourced materials, strong lines on strong women, promoting a positive self-image - these are the things I strive to deliver.
Truly loving oneself, feeling empowered and being comfortable in my your own skin has been a new chapter that had yet to be discovered until entering the maker community, and I am forever thankful for the support and guidance from the self-made women that have helped me along the way and given me the confidence to continue doing what I love.
I have always loved Alternative Apparel and their products for some of these same reasons. Alternative's endless commitment to eco-friendly products and the constant support and encouragement they provide to smaller, emerging brands and local artists is amazing to me.
When wearing some of my favorite alternative products, like the aptly named "Perfect" Pima T-Shirt, I feel good knowing I'm helping to support sustainability.
How do you hope to see Melting Sun grow in the near future? What’s next for you?
To be honest, I have no idea what is next for Melting Sun or where I will go from here. I just hope that if I continue to keep my head down, my heart up and work hard, I will be able to keep on this amazing wild ride the last 4 years have given me. It has been nothing short of a genuine, amazing experience I would not trade it for the world.