Melissa was raised and educated in Iowa, graduating with a finance degree from Tippie School of Business from the University of Iowa. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to be Food and Beverage Manager and Event Planner for the Wake Forest Golf Club. Her interest in travels and culture brought her to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands where she began managing the office for a multi-million dollar investment firm.
Melissa’s role at the firm quickly developed into a much larger role: planning exotic VIP travel, a variety of special events for, and managing multi-million dollar estates around the world. She became especially passionate about the events she planned; from guest lists from 4 to 500, casual or haute couture, she thrived in the creative, yet demanding, atmosphere.
She was soon promoted and offered the opportunity to continue with one of the principals from their Santa Barbara vineyard and ranch “home base.” However, Melissa was constantly on the go, traveling around the world, picking up ideas and customs from around the globe that she incorporated into the weddings, vintners’ dinners, galas and other events that she managed and executed with perfection and grace.
After spending her early parts of her career traveling, Melissa wanted to start her own floral and event styling business in Minnesota living closer to her family. She trained with famed late New York Floral Designer, Robert Isabell, attended floral school and completed her interior design degree allowing her to incorporate space planning, lighting and other non-traditional design into events. Melissa set off to combine her business savvy and creative skills by founding her own company Melissa Stratton, Event Design and Production which later merged into Sadie’s Couture Floral and Event Styling.