Snapshot: Melanie Mattegat
Occupation: I am the owner of Julie Allen Bridals on South Main Street. I am the most experienced bridal gown person in the state of Connecticut with 47 years of experience. Julie Allen Bridals is the longest-held family owned and operated bridal shop in Connecticut. My mom was Julie Allen and started the business in 1970 out of her home. I am generation number two and now my daughter Lauren is generation number three.
Family: My husband is Jay and our two children are Lauren and Jacey. Our son-in-law is Dan Morehouse and our beautiful new granddaughter is Madison Jean.
Pets: We have two beautiful Hungarian Vizslas named Chloe and Hailey. Both are 6 years old. Hailey was a rescue from a pet shop and Chloe came from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia from our dog breeder.
How long have you lived in Newtown? I came to Newtown when I was in sixth grade, so when I was 12 years old. I went on to graduate from Newtown High School. My family is originally from New Jersey. I've lived there, in Massachusetts, and throughout Connecticut, but Newtown has always been home base.
What do you like to do in your free time? We are very family-oriented. We have family dinners on Saturday and Sunday nights religiously with my husband's cousins. On the weekends I'm either cooking or we're going out.
What is your favorite travel destination? We had a house in Florida that we sold in 2016. Up until then we liked to go to Disney World. My husband and I are thinking of going back again soon.
What is the best part about Newtown? I love Main Street in Newtown; I love the homes and the architecture. It's such a great environment.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My mother. She taught me how to be a strong, resilient, flexible business person and to adapt to different environments and different circumstances. She also taught me that being tough is okay and that people respect people who aren't wishy-washy.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? I would choose Marcus Lemonis. He has a show on CNBC called The Profit. He goes in and coaches businesses. I have learned so much about people, product, and price just by watching his show.
Who is your favorite musical artist? I love Bad Company. I just did the drummer's wedding. I also love Chic; my neighbor who lives across the street from me is in it. I enjoy listening to music on Pandora, because I have a very diverse musical library. At the store I have on Diana Krall, The Four Tops, and Henry Mancini, but at home I'll listen to music like Michael Jackson.
Do you have a favorite TV show? The Profit.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? To just keep it real. In my business it is easy to get caught up in the glamour of what you do, but the most important thing is to remember to stay grounded.
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