In this Stories From the Heart, one young lady shows us how she went from working at a gas station to becoming a sought-after fashion illustrator displaying her work at one of the most iconic holiday shopping centers in the city, the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park.
Melsy's Illustrations is indeed a dream come true for Jamel Saliba. She's now living her dream, but not before working at a gas station and at an office job.
“I was at work stuck in my job, felt like I couldn’t leave because I had to pay rent. I then turned to illustrating as a creative outlook,” she said.
Saliba started illustrating every day after work, posting her creations on social media and, on the weekends, selling her illustrations at local markets in Boston.
On a holiday trip to New York, she took a stroll through Bryant Park, and set her sights on selling Melsy's Illustrations here.
She applied, interviewed and got a coveted booth, tapping into her 401 (k) to make it happen.
After four seasons at Bryant Park, Jamel now has a deal with hallmark cards, has been featured on Forbes-dot-com, and has fans lining up around the corner to buy her Illustrations. “I feel like a girl who just had a hobby and it's still my hobby and it's just.. it's crazy to me.” You can find Melsy's Illustrations at the winter village in Bryant Park closest to the corner of 42nd and 6th.