To get y’all just as pumped for Re:Make SF, we’re bringing you behind-the-scenes action to showcase some of our favorite makers. Up to bat is Bay Area-based talent Melanie Abrantes of Melanie Abrantes Designs.

Based in Oakland, Melanie designs, executes and packages all of her own creations in her enviously spacious studio. She works mostly with locally sourced cork and wood; carving (or “lathing”) bowls, vases, and planters, and even constructing martini bar carts and fruit grills! She loves to make objects that are as practical as they are elegant — which is why we adore here over at Brit + Co.

It’s all about a healthy balance of work and play for this rad designer, so she equally values working hard and kicking back with her buddies and beau. That’s the beauty of owning her own business, Melanie says: She can build her day however she pleases. We’re sure glad she does work so hard though, because her stuff is dang gorgeous and we want more!

Melanie also cherishes the community of makers surrounding her for their mentorship and inspiration, and recalls that speaking with fellow designers gave her the tools she needed to “make” it on her own. In fact, being part of the maker community continually inspires her work, so she’s sure to make time for gallery openings and the like in her crazy busy schedule.

This maker has the coolest go-to soundtrack when she’s in work mode: Old school Missy Elliot and audiobooks! Um, awesome combo. Melanie also swears by two life hacks: 1) always keep a change of shoes and some make-up at work for a last minute social affair, and 2) when she feels the dreaded maker’s block, she gets herself a good ol’ piece of chocolate and a little brain break. We’ll be taking tips from her ;)

What do you love about Melanie and her work? Share in the comments below!

Haven’t registered for Re:Make SF yet? Be sure to snag your FREE ticket here!