Meet Melissa of "IQ Test"

IQ Test is the newest addition to the Co-Op.
Melissa uses fabrics discarded by cutting
factories. Massive amounts of fabric are just
thrown away, and her goal is to raise awareness
and do her part to help save these usable pieces
from the landfills.

where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids Iowa.

how did you come to be in nyc?

I moved to NYC because of music, I visited the first time with a band.. then on a visit I went to a party where I heard some great music and I decided to stay… then I moved here!

when did you start making things?

I started making things as a child. I started making clothing when I was 11.

did you go to school/ were you trained?

I studied performance and video art..

when did you begin to sell what you were making?

I started selling clothing at 17.

what is your ultimate goal with this line/ your work?

To help keep fabric out of the landfills. The fabrics I am using now are salvaged from cutting factories. I hope to eventually get the factories to recycle the off cut fabrics. For now I salvage what I can. I am finding places that will buy the fabric wastes so the fabrics can deliver it there and get paid rather than to the landfills.

how do you see yourself expanding/ how do you want to grow?

I want to sell in a few places abroad too.

describe your process?

I look for fabric, I find fabric, I look at it, feel it… then I begin to sew it..

describe your work space?

My work space is homey, it has shelves and tables and two sewing machines.. I have a collection of fabric covered Chinese boxes I have collected from the street in China town.. I store tools in these.

where do you find/ get inspiration?

I just try to have fun and make things to wear!!

when you hit a wall, what do you do to get out of your funk?

I go for a bike ride, do some thing different, take a breather..

what are your thoughts on the co-op?

I love co-op’s my mother made a co-op preschool when I was 2 I have liked them through my life, I have been a member of a couple food co-ops too.

what do you see of the future of bushwick?

Think Bushwick will keep growing and growing.. I have been in this neighborhood since Feb of 1999. It has just steadily grown.. It has a lot of room for growth. I don’t think another sensational hood will take it over…

what do you plan on doing at the co-op?

I plan to sell clothing at the co-op and spread the word on some of the environmental issues I and concerned with.. The fabric waste that is going into the landfills, the huge amounts of plastics that are polluting our oceans and other big business environmental problems..

Look for Melissa and her newest creations at our next First Friday Event,
May 7th 7-10pm

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