Melissa Joy Manning began creating her first ceramic bead necklace when she was in pre-school, a necklace that her mother still treasures to this day. From then on, she knew that it had to be her calling. She studied traditional silversmithing at the Instituto de Allende in Mexico and European design principles at the University of Barcelona. Before studying abroad, she majored in art history in the University of California and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in jewelry design and sculpture from San Francisco State University. But as with any business venture, doubts creep in. While flipping through the channels on her T.V, she tuned on to “Just Shoot Me”, a sitcom that she never had seen. As soon as she put it, one of the show’s many supermodels walked across the screen, wearing a Melissa Joy Manning necklace. The doubts were quickly erased and she dived herself in her jewelry making business in 1997. Since then, business has been booming for her. Her jewelry has been featured in magazine covers and fashion spreads, even in feature films, television programs, and music videos. Some of her celebrity clients include Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Sheryl Crow, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Debra Messing, P!nk, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Usher, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Where were you born ?
San Francisco, CA
How long in San francisco:
Currently living in NYC, but I lived in SF for 6 years and The Bay Area most of my life.
Fillmore, then Mission
Mexicali Rose in Oakland.
Best Ethnic Food:
Café Eritrea in Oakland
Best place for late night dining:
Taco trucks on International Boulevard in Oakland.
Black & Tan sundae at Fenton’s Creamery in Oakland
Best place for a romantic date:
Walking across Golden Gate Bridge in the fog.
No clue, really. I’m a dive bar kind of girl.
All-around favorite spot in San francisco:
Farmer’s market or SF Ferry Building
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
Best place to buy Jewelry/Watches:
Our new store, Melissa Joy Manning in Berkeley!
Favorite Charity Event:
Anything to do with Dress for Success, SF or the Renaissance Center Annual Gala.
Favorite Cultural Event:
Back in the day, before they banned alcohol- Bay to Breakers, no contest.
Favorite Cultural Institution:
Best Aspect of San francisco:
House of Prime Rib every year for my mom’s birthday. Dirty martinis + steaks=great party
Pizzaiola in Oakland
Bakesale Betty in Oakland
Best Gym/Athletic Facility:
International Orange Spa
Best Limousine/Driving Service:
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
What are the best luxury shopping venues in your city?
Best Sunday brunch:
Sam’s, Tiburon- that is if you like dodging rabid sea gulls while sipping Bloody Mary's…but the view can’t be beat.
Best place for a power business meeting:
Seasons Bar & Lounge