One of our newest artists to join the MADE family is Melissa Balkon who is at the helm of Phoenix Supply Co. Her bright, inventive designs have been a welcome addition, and we can hardly keep her glitter earrings in stock. This month's spotlight is a chance to learn more about her creations.
How did you get started creating your pieces?
During that time, I realized that I was really excited about creating desert and Arizona-themed art because I had just returned to the valley and I was really passionate about claiming it as my home. That’s when the concept for Phoenix Supply Co. was born!
What’s the favorite part of your work/what you make?While the creative process is always fun, it might surprise some people that my favorite part of creating our products is the final step of assembling and packaging them up! This is my favorite part because this is the point when it becomes a “real” product and I just love seeing my ideas become real!
How do you express your creativity through your work?
I love Arizona and I love the desert, and creating my artwork and designing my products really allows me to express that love and connect with other people who love these things as much as I do!
What brings you joy?
Spring in the desert brings me SO much joy. I photograph what are often the exact same cacti every year because every year they feel new and fascinating to me! I just love how the desert can look nearly dead for most of the year, but then burst forth with such beauty every Spring. There’s a really beautiful metaphor for the ebbs and flows of life in that picture.
What challenge(s) have you overcome?
This probably sounds cliche, but Covid was definitely a challenge. I had literally placed my largest orders I’d ever placed only days before everything shut down and all of the artisan markets in the valley were canceled.
While I felt really discouraged for several days, I eventually decided to really try leveraging Instagram stories as a way to connect in a face-to-face manner with my audience, and since then it has become one of the most important and delightful parts of my business!
Anything exciting in the works/coming up for you?
I am excited to start working on our next collection! I collect a TON of inspiration during the Spring, then hunker down in the early Summer to create a host of new artwork and other products—it is a really fun time!
Our next collection typically launches around September. You can stay up-to-date via Instagram @phoenixsupplyco for sneak peeks, previews, and the official launch announcement later this summer.
What do you wish for the world?
Not to get all heavy, but I wish for a cultural shift toward selflessness. Our world has become a harried place, and I think if we’re really honest with ourselves, we often act as if our needs or problems are more important than others.
I don’t say this to be judgemental, because I am at fault in this and need to work on improving at this as much as anyone else. However, I do think a lot of the problems in this world could be alleviated by a global shift toward loving others in the same way we love ourselves.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?I’m excited and honored to be part of the MADE family of artists—thank you so much for choosing to carry my work!