Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Sundance Eco-Hideaway Lounge At The Chateaux in Park City Benefited Guard A Heart Foundation


(Photo Credit: Chateaux at Silver Lake)

Debbie Durkin has done it again, and this time at the gorgeous Chateaux at Silver Lake in Deer Valley, Utah. Durkin, a sustainable film and television producer, hosted the Eco Hideaway Gifting Suite, which featured live entertainment for three days and a bevy of lifestyle luxury brands and services for guests. The Artists Stage, where live entertainment was featured, was presented by Aviir Diagnostic Laboratories and Guitar Center benefiting the Guard A Heart Foundation. Featuring performances by former NFL players and contestants from The Voice, the lounge was the place to hear great music during the festival. The bands that performed donated to the Guard A Heart Foundation and received a Tru-Risk heart assessment test (valued at $1,500) in exchange for their support.


Sound City member with Daryl Hannah (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Members of David Grohl’s Sound City dropped by and dazzled lounge guests with a chill performance couch-side.  The performance included Rami Jaffee (The Foo Fighters and The Wallflowers), Jonny Kaplan (Jonny Kaplan and the Lazy Stars), and Jessy Greene, a violinist who performs with The Foo Fighters. Actress and Activist Daryl Hannah, nestled a few feet from me, popped up on stage to sing backup with the band as well. Hugrz Boot Wraps, one of my favorite new finds from last year, made an appearance at this year’s gifting suite. Each faux-fur wrap goes over your old boots so that you can change up your look with many different styles and accessories. I wore my mink wraps all weekend!

Durkin Entertainment hosted a VIP Charity Brunch on Sunday to benefit Ascend Alliance, a Utah non-profit, where two hundred guests were treated to live entertainment and a fashion show featuring event brand sponsors.


Hugrz Boot wraps, featured in the foreground (Photo credit: FashionManiac.com: NATIVE WINTER: THE CALL OF THE WILD feature)

Guard A Heart offered Tru-Risk Heart Assessment tests, their bling tees and bags, and nutritional supplements from Tosi Health. Additional sponsors included the Spa at the Stein Eriksen Lodge offering treatments and an amazing gift bag of skincare products.  I experienced my first oxygen facial at the Lounge, which Madonna has been seen using for years. The spa section was giving foot massages as well. Some of my favorite beauty products were Moroccon Oil products, intraceuticals with a silver pen that shoots out liquid for anti-aging and Phytomer, another wrinkle cure.

Award-winning New Zealand Lighting and Furniture designer David Trubridge furnished the space with giant colorful lights on the ceiling. Luxurious Minky Couture offered their custom designer blankets and scarves, Michael Foster offered 100% organic Egyptian cotton men’s scarves, and BX of Napa was serving wines and BX Bubbles champagne while launching their eco-friendly cork leather “Cork Couture” fashion accessories. They even had handbags and iPhone cases made from cork!

Whole Foods Park City offered an array of gourmet organic packaged foods and beauty products, such as Hint Water (amazing!), Sibu Omega 7 chocolates, and amazing skincare products like 100% natural daytime sea buckthorn Sibu facial cream and seed oil and revitalizing eye lift creme with polypeptides from DeVitaLamborghini Travels offered men’s and women’s luxury watches, wallets and silver gift collections. The Eco Lounge was a fun place to be at Sundance this year.


Michelle Katz with writer Melissa Curtin.

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