This Bergen County Native and mom of three, has recently launched Melissa Strauss Interiors, and interior design company. Melissa’s creativity and sense of style on any budget is what initially peaked our interest. However, it is her infectious smile and wit that showed us how truly special this Bergen North Mom and her business really are!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Bergen County
Melissa: I have lived most of my life in Bergen County. I grew up in Old Tappan and went to Northern Valley Old Tappan High School. My husband and I moved back to Bergen County in 2011. We first lived in Ramsey and then we moved to Ridgewood in 2016, where we live now with our three children.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Melissa: Sabrina is 5 years old. My twins, Whitney and Thomas, are 3 years old.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
Melissa: When I was in High School I worked at a hair salon as a receptionist, and before I left for college, the owner of the salon taught me how to give a guy a decent haircut. She suggested I get a buzzer, bring it to school, and charge guys for a haircut – and I did it. I gave my friends haircuts all the time, in exchange for spending money, or drinks! Now, I cut my husband’s hair, son’s hair, and my dad’s hair occasionally ! I don’t think my husband has been to a barber in 12 years!
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Melissa: My oldest was only 22 months when we brought our twins home, so my mom was my “right-hand” woman! She came to our house every day. She came early in the morning and didn’t leave until it was dark. Without her I don’t think I would have slept, showered or eaten when the twins were babies! Even now, my mom is there for me no matter what. She has always put her children first. And, honestly, when you have twins, its all hands on deck! I’m so grateful for the help of everyone in our family.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
Melissa: I LOVE to do anything my kids get super excited about! All three of them really love animals. We have been to the Bergen County Zoo, the Bronx Zoo, the Stone Harbor Wildlife Sanctuary, the Norwalk Aquarium, The Delaware County Fair…the list seems endless! This fall, we went to Turtle Back Zoo with friends and got to feed the giraffes which was so amazing to experience with them! And recently, we have established “Strauss Family Game night.” We sit by the fireplace, have snacks and play a game as a family. It’s been awesome to just hang out together and laugh! I feel like those moments are my absolute favorites.
Are you involved in a business venture? Please share!
Melissa: Before my kids were born, I worked as an Account Manager in the creative world of advertising. However, for as long as I can remember, home decor has been a real passion of mine. I love the way a decorated home can make you feel. Whether it be my old Hoboken apartment, or condo in Secaucus, or my current home in Ridgewood, I have always aimed to make my space feel welcoming, cozy and personal when I walk in the door. No matter what my budget has been over the years, I found ways to make a simple space feel polished and put together. I’ve helped families decorate their homes by choosing paint colors, rearranging existing furniture, purchasing new pieces, incorporating fabrics into a to a room, dressing up a fireplace mantel and all of these things have made a huge impact. I just love to do it!
Recently I started Melissa Strauss Interiors where I can create spaces for people to make them feel happy and comfortable. Everyone deserves that!
How has the Bergen County Community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Melissa: Personally, I have found the support of women in our community to be remarkable. In today’s society, it seems like working moms, stay-at-home moms, moms who work from home, are banning together to support one another and I am thankful for the support I’ve received. The camaraderie has inspired me to build Melissa Strauss Interiors. I’ve witnessed many local moms hustling at their jobs while still being amazing parents, so I thought, why can’t I do the same? Not only are these women inspirations to me, but they are becoming role models for our little ones too! I say count me in!