CHATTING WITHCHATTING WITH

Melissa Akkaway

The brain and heart behind The Particulars and The NICE Pack.

Melissa Akkaway has always been pretty... particular. Since launching The Particulars five years ago, she has interviewed over 100 of the most particular—and successful—women out there. In 2021, she launched The NICE Pack, the wear-with-everything waist bag / crossbody / clutch that's been spotted on Gwyneth Paltrow, Mandy Moore, and many more.
Here's an inside look at some of Melissa's own particulars.

The Everydays:

Morning Routine in 5 Words: 
Turn on coffee (my husband sets up the coffee every night so its ready right when we get up) Athletic greens + take 1 hyaluronic acid vitamin + drink water + coffee + pack lunches + check email
The best product you use in the morning: 
I love Goldfaden radiance repair serum and PurErd soothing rose toner.
Bedtime Routine in 5 Words: 
Snuggling with my son reading! 
The best product you use at night: 
Augustinus Bader the retinol serum
Who you spend your days with:
My husband when he's not working, my two boys—9 and 13—and, of course, my giant 135 lb dog Blondie.
Favorite Work Outfit: 
I love Mother denim, a simple flat- current faves by Miu Miu and Jamie Heller paired with a black, gray or white tee from The Great. Lately, I've been incorporating more belts into my looks and just recently bought a timeless brown leather with gold detailing from Celine. If it's chilly, I grab a Guest in Residence cashmere cardigan.
Go-To Coffee or Tea Order: 
Classic drop coffee with half & half and ½ stevia or 1 pump of hazelnut. 
The tv show or movie you always recommend: 
I'm currently loving the show Drops of God on Netflix but my fav movie is Devil Wears Prada so that’s always on my list. 
The dish you make when you have friends over: 
Guacamole and a cheese plate…that may not be considered a meal! Truthfully, I am not a great cook.

The Special Days:

Favorite Vacation Destination: 
Costa Rica. I love waking up early and surfing the warm water with my two boys and my husband. It's my extra special happy place. 
Favorite “Fancy” Look: 
I bought this gown-length black lace Chanel dress 10+ years ago and it's so timeless that I've been able to wear it a bunch of times to different black-tie events. I like to pair it with my platform Saint Laurent heels, black bottega clutch and a statement earring. 
Favorite Show / Concert / Performer you’ve seen: 
Post Malone at the Hollywood Bowl 
Favorite way to celebrate yourself: 
A massage or a mani/pedi or with a cocktail. My drink of choice is Casamigos blanco margarita—not too sweet!—with salted rim. 
The best gift you’ve ever received: 
Jewelry from my late grandmother. She kept meticulous notes with each piece she gave me which I treasure more than the actual jewelry. Well not completely - you know what I mean!

The Funny Bits:

Your High School Persona: 
Cheerleader, track runner and all around rule follower 
Best Costume You’ve Worn: 
My husband and I dressed as Amy Winehouse and her husband Blake for Halloween many many years ago... Pre-kids. 
Your most particular particular (the little thing you’re pickiest about!): 
How I pack my luggage! And a weird one, how I load the dishwasher

Where We Can Find You:

Socials: IG @the.particulars and TT @the.particulars
Current Location: On a plane but mostly in Malibu
Favorite Spot to Consume Content: At my desk 
Where You Work: Home office in Malibu

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More from Melissa:

Over the past 5 years, you’ve interviewed over 100 women entrepreneurs for The Particulars. What traits or particulars have you observed that successful women share?
All of these women have passion and are not afraid to ask for help. They surround themselves with other strong women that they are able to lean on. Each of them has their own deeply interesting story of their lives leading up to the launch of their businesses or their careers. Most of them have strong family bonds with specific family members (Dads, Grandmothers, etc.) that have guided, drove and supported them on their journeys. Many of them draw inspiration from these loving family relationships.  Many of them memorialized their “big break” by treating themselves to something special or were given something special by a loved one. 

What emerging brands do you have your eye on right now?
I feel like I am buying lots of Toteme, Khaite, Mother, The Great, etc. And through The Particulars, I've gotten to meet some really cool founders of brands I'm absolutely loving—Pistola Denim, Love Thy Rival, and so many more.

Your TikTok has taken on a life of its own—it’s a behind-the-scenes look at your life at home, your closet (!), your take on the oversized Frankie Shop blazer, and more. How do you think TikTok has changed the landscape of what brands and people share on social media?
I started my Tiktok at the beginning of the pandemic to just try something new and have fun. I love it because its much more casual, less organized and I can just have fun and film silly videos or "what I bought" videos and get feedback from the community. I love the growth of Tiktok and how you never know what post or piece of content is going to resonate with people. For me it’s a creative outlet to style looks, say and do funny things and be super authentic. 

You recently relaunched The Particulars website and business. In addition to new interviews, lifestyle content, your gift closet, and more, readers can now shop The NICE Pack right alongside some of your favorite brands. What are you most excited about with The Particulars 2.0? 
I love curating product so having many of my favorite brands alongside my content gets me excited. I have curated shops based on items that I use on the daily and new brands I am excited to share with the world. I am also excited to start our interviews again because we have some exciting people in the pipeline. Lastly, its incredible to see something come to life after many months of work and, let's be honest, some doubts too. I hope everyone loves the site as much as I do. Let me know what brands you want to see!