Financial consultant Nancy Mellon channels her inner fashionista moonlighting as a personal stylist for cabi clothing.
Before her lucrative, 37-year career in private wealth management began, Nancy Mellon’s first job was at Godchaux’s, a luxury department store in New Orleans. She entered the executive training program and after two weeks became the assistant buyer for designer sportswear. “That’s where the fashion thing started,” says Mellon.
Though she was well and truly bitten by the fashion bug, Mellon’s education at the University of Mississippi had her headed towards business and finance, so after working at Godchaux’s, she flipped the script and went on to become the first female stock broker for Morgan Keegan. But her love of fashion and dressing well never faded. “It’s just something fun I’ve always done,” says Mellon. “I’ve worked 37 years on Wall Street and I owned a boutique. I’ve always had some kind of fashion stuff going on.”
For many years, Mellon lived with husband Mark and their two children in Tampa, Florida. “He’s [Mark Mellon] the National Sales and Marketing Manager for Valmont’s coating division,” says Mellon. “He’s a galvanizer.” During the pandemic shutdowns, Mark began working from home and enjoyed it so much, he never stopped. “His office wasn’t tied to the plant in Tampa he’d worked at his entire life,” says Mellon. “That gave me the opportunity, the springboard to finally get back over here.”
In 2020, they fell in love with Bay St. Louis, sold their house in Tampa and made the move. Since day one, Mellon has been highly active in the community. “[We] absolutely adore living in the Bay and I’ve jumped in with both feet!” she exclaims. In three short years, Mellon has become the Vice Chair for Arts Hancock County, “some people call me the chair of vice,” she laughs, a member of the Rotary Board, and the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. “ I am real involved in Bay St. Louis and am trying to keep it a place apart . . . and make it even better,” says Mellon.
Though she’s led her life as a successful businesswoman and mother, Mellon still loves dressing up. From getting glittered and bewigged for the Muses and Iris parades in New Orleans, to donning her best pair of fishnets and dancing in the streets with Bay St. Louis’ own Raw Oysters Marching Krewe, Mellon enjoys any excuse to try on new looks. It’s a trait which makes her side gig as a personal stylist for cabi clothing a perfect fit.
Based out of Southern California, cabi is a 20-year-old, women owned, women designed clothing company founded on the belief that clothes can change people’s lives, and that women are “relational connoisseurs,” bestowed with the gift of connecting. With this premise, cabi offers an elegant, but relatively affordable clothing line available online, and with the help of over 3000 stylists across the country, a uniquely personal touch.
Rather than going to a brick and mortar boutique, trying on clothes in cramped fitting rooms bathed in harsh light, a cabi Fashion Experience is much more inviting. Typically held in someone’s home, the entire experience is social, laid back, and much more fun. “You can relax on the sofa, look through the catalog, or look at it online, or look at the actual samples and try on the clothes,” says Mellon. “You’re right there standing in my guest bedroom, and we get the right size for you and you’re happy.” The best part of this experience? It’s wherever you want it to be. “I’ve set up on porches and in dining rooms, kitchen and hair salons, you name it!” says Mellon. “It’s [the set-up] all very contained and very navigable.” Over the past few years she hosted numerous events in Bay St. Louis at spots like Mockingbird Cafe, Sassy Bird Interiors, and Hairworks.
The clothing at cabi is designed by and for women. The colors and styles are made to mix and match and colors stay true. “ Navy is always navy, black is always black,” says Mellon. “If you rip a pair of navy pants, you can get a new pair and they’re still going to work with your navy jacket. I call it Garanimals for grown ups.” Sizes run from 00 to 20 and everything is skillfully cut and finished.
Through cabi clothing Mellon also offers a service called Curated by cabi. Shoppers can pick out the clothing they want for an entire season, Mellon can parse it out so you aren’t hit with a huge bill all at once. She can also help with fit and helping people find their own style. “I try to get people to go a little out of their comfort zone – mixing colors, maybe mixing patterns, accessorizing,” says Mellon.
In line with cabi clothing’s identity, Mellon truly believes the “clothes make the woman” and though dressing well has been proven to give you an extra edge in the wild world of business, other intangibles outweigh that aspect. “[Being a stylist] is a creative outlet for me,” says Mellon, but mostly “It’s fun getting people dressed up and making them feel good.”
*Article originally published August 2023 in The Shoofly Magazine