Melanie Abrantes 
Woodworker, Studio, Oakland
Please, can you give us an introduction on who you are and where do you come from? 
I grew up in Houston, Texas and moved to California to study Product Design at Otis College of Art and Design in LA. I gradually ended up moving up north to start my business Melanie Abrantes Designs where I design and make my line of cork and wood products for the home.

Can you explain to our reader which path brought you to work with cork?
I am half portuguese and I grew up visiting portugal during my summers to see my grandfather. That is where I saw the amazing things you could do with cork and all of the potential of a material that is very untapped in the US.

Is there any designer or artists who has influenced you in a special way? 
I believe that my professor and mentor in school, Tanya Aguiniga, was a huge influence. She was a really inspirational teacher that helped me grow as a designer and she also was the first woman I saw who owned a successful small business that was based on art and design.

For how long are you in this studio and is there a story you can share about this place?
I have been in this studio for 1.5 years now. It was an old tomato factory before it was converted to office spaces, I just love all of the charming brick walls and quirks about old buildings like these!

When do your best ideas come to you?
Right before I sleep.

Can you describe your job in 3 words?
Labor of Love.

San Francisco in 3 words?
Quirky, Fun and Original.

What is your favorite place to eat in SF?
Plow in Potrero Hill....sooo good!

Do you have a secret boutique or space that you love in SF and you'd like to share with us?
One of my favorite places to go to is Flora Grubbs in the Dogpatch, it is literally plant heaven and always makes me want to build a jungle in my home.

What are your favorite spots in town when you want to relax?
I love to hike at the Bernal heights hill. It is a hidden gem of SF, you can have a 360 degree view of the city and is always way less crowed compared to Twin Peaks.

Thank you so much Melanie for your time and your good energy!  More details on Melanie's work directly here:

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