Meet: Liv Melchers
Interview: Lauren France | Written By: Lilli Ferry
When Lauren first met Liv over coffee, they talked about how the Creator made His creation to create. And Lauren was amazed by Liv’s life, a beautiful testimony to the Creator, marked by an exciting journey only just beginning.
Trained as an artist and a lifelong thrifter, art and fashion haven’t always gone hand-in-hand for Liv. In college, she trained as an artist, beginning her journey in graphic design but transitioning toward her interest in painting and drawing by the end of her college career. She worked in a gallery and began learning skills of curation there.
On the other side of things, Liv grew up in a household of lots of kids, so thrifting was more of a necessity than a luxury: but she always loved it.
“I never thought I could make a career out of thrifting until my internship with the fair trade boutique Sisters of Nature in Nashville,” she says. It was during this internship that Liv saw the power of thrifting. She learned about repurposing and she learned about how to keep ethics in mind when shopping for clothing, a thread that continues to be significant in her creative endeavors.
During her internship with Sisters of Nature, Liv watched a documentary called The True Cost about the fast fashion industry. She recalls being deeply disturbed by the ways our clothing is made, and it piqued her interest in the refining and curating of the retail process.
Her journey continued with a pair of jeans from the Goodwill Outlet and a couple of creative roommates, living together in an attic in Nashville. A photographer, a vintage repurposer, and a couple of models walked into a photography studio, and a small business emerged: Liv sold some of those vintage items on Etsy. It was her first sale.
“I feel like being in Nashville was a big part in my journey because that community is just so encouraging, creatively,” she remembers, telling about different events she attended, geared toward start-ups and creatives in the city for networking and gleaning from the knowledge of others. The creative communities she had partaken in during college were more competitive, to say the least. She remembers frequently feeling like she was too small to make an impact or do anything important, but the community in Nashville encouraged her in a way she had not experienced before. They championed her work and her aspirations.
Going into her senior year, Liv had a tough decision to make: what to study for her senior thesis. She was a painting and drawing major, but her love for fashion and sculpture was developing, so she decided to devote her time to studying the history of denim. After graduating, she took a job as a Madewell stylist. Though wonderful for a season, Liv knew deep down it wasn’t what she loved.
“It’s still super scary, but it’s super fun,” she muses on her decision to quit her job as a stylist to pursue ABLE Abode (furniture) and ABLE Shoppe (clothing) - Liv’s full-time work and passion. It’s super fresh: she’s been doing this for less than a year, but has already seen so much reward from her faithfulness to pursue this full time. “My husband is so supportive of me pursuing these businesses full-time, and I do not take that for granted. He’s a creative person too, and I love that he supports my ventures in fashion and homewares. I’m so thankful.”
Right now, Liv’s dream is to build a sustainable business. She wants to have a rhythm, consistency, and maybe, someday, a physical place to call hers. But for now, her focus is human interaction. Forming her business based in community. It’s easy to be holed up in her home alone with her work, but she goes out of her way to seek an artistic community.
“Sometimes I wonder, Should this be under one umbrella, the clothing and the homewares? But I have some clients who are only interested in one or the other, because they are very specific aesthetics.” So for right now, the two remain distinct, ABLE Abode and ABLE Shoppe.
But as any good steward of her gift for recovering old pieces and breathing new life into them, Liv is holding it loosely. She is seeking ways to let her light shine in the world of creativity, through social media, online shops, and the very process through which she curates her shops.