Melissa Melonson is the Founder and CEO of Lumi Agency, a creative digital agency, and Lumi Hospitality, a division of the agency dedicated to luxury hospitality and travel clients. A true Hartford advocate, while growing her business in the city, Melissa also created the media property weHartford. She was a 2019 Hartford Business Journal 40 Under Forty honoree, is an active board member for Achieve Hartford, and participates on the marketing committee for the Bushnell Park Foundation.

Melissa told the Hartford Chamber of Commerce about her experience with becoming a part of Hartford and why she’s happy to be doing business here.

Why did you join the Hartford Chamber of Commerce?

MELISSA MELONSON: Over the past few years, I have personally experienced the value of networking with and mutual support from other Hartford businesses. The Hartford Chamber of Commerce allows for that central connection and communication so we can stay apprised of local business news and find ways to work together. Not to mention, Executive Director Julio Concepción and Director of Small Business Development Shannon Mumley have been great resources whenever there is a need or a question—especially through these recent challenging times.

Why Hartford? How did you decide on the location for your business?

MELISSA: Originally, I chose Hartford because I loved the small city atmosphere for our growing agency. Having worked in New York City for years, it was so refreshing to meet a community of people within a city atmosphere who knew each other and truly cared about each other’s success. Our first office was located on Pratt Street downtown, which was a perfect place to get to know many of the city’s leaders and top organizations. And, while we loved downtown, we found a new home this year in Parkville, where we could immediately feel the fresh creative energy.

Tell us about the neighborhood and what makes it unique.

MELISSA: Parkville is quite a special place and I expect a lot of exciting growth for this artistic neighborhood over the coming years. Not only is it full of local artists and unique businesses that we can partner with professionally, but my team also loves the access we have to Parkville Market, the KNOW GOOD Market, Hog River Brewing, and many more experiences that the neighborhood offers.

What is the best thing about working in Hartford?

MELISSA: For me, it’s the potential. Hartford has so much potential and opportunity and, as a business owner and entrepreneur, it feels like a sandbox for my creativity. I’m excited to continue with my personal involvement in the city’s growth through the organizations I’m involved with, my media property, new community events, and more. I can see the future of Hartford and I want to be part of creating and molding that vision.

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