Melyna Cruz: Onward + Upward

insight

Melyna Cruz: Onward + Upward

Dec 18, 2020

The DAVIS logo was created with the onward + upward ethos in mind. It is both our legacy and our vision for the future. We're interviewing 20 people in '20 to find out what onward + upward means to them (along with some other interesting details you might not pick up on at the jobsite). Keep up with this series to get more insight into the DAVIS team!

Meet Melyna Cruz, Marketing Communications Coordinator

Melyna helps strengthen DAVIS' brand across the industry as part of our Marketing Communications team. We sat down with her (over a phone call) to talk about her New York history, the iconic DAVIS logo, and more. Keep reading to learn more about Melyna!

LIFE AT DAVIS

So how long have you been working at DAVIS?
Five years!

How has it been for you so far?
This is my first corporate job, so there was a lot of learning to do, but it’s been so great.

What were you doing before DAVIS?
After I graduated from FIT, I was a freelancer at a small agency – there were only three people! Coming to DAVIS was a big change for me.

You went to the Fashion Institute of Technology – what was that like?
FIT is broken into two schools – there’s the design school and the business school. I can’t draw at all, so I went to the business side. I took courses on corporate communications, marketing, and other things like that. It wasn’t very design-heavy—but, now I work in designing for DAVIS!

How was the adjustment from that connection to the fashion industry to a job in construction?
I had to learn a lot. My role required a lot of writing for DAVIS at first, and representing the company externally, so I had to make sure I knew my stuff. I was constantly reading industry blogs and learning construction processes. That helped me grow a real appreciation for the industry. Then, I saw an opportunity to work in branding and design at DAVIS, which has been awesome.

What’s the biggest challenge you face as someone working in design?
I’ve always had a very structured personality, and in design, there aren’t as many strict rules to the work that you do. It took a lot for me to let go of that structure within me and start thinking out of the box, and I’ve developed a much better mindset for that creative aspect of branding.

We’re proud of our logo at DAVIS—our colors are defined, and the arrow represents our mission of always trying to be better. So, I’m really enjoying it.

What makes DAVIS great, to you?
The company attracts great people. It’s important for me to be able to laugh with my team, and at DAVIS, we’re able to do our work and achieve success while having fun with each other and laughing together. I’ve made some amazing friends here.

LET'S GET PERSONAL

So, you went to FIT – and you’re a New Yorker at heart.
Definitely. I lived in a house in Queens until 5th grade. We had a front yard and a backyard, though, which is very rare for the city! After that, I moved to uptown Manhattan to an apartment building. My neighborhood was predominantly Dominican, and we played on the city sidewalks all day.

Living there also helped me connect to my culture and get better at my Spanish. I wasn’t born in the Dominican Republic, but I became pretty fluent in Spanish from spending so much time in that neighborhood and being so immersed in Dominican culture.

Do you miss NYC?
You know, I never thought I would stop living in the city, but I don’t think I could go back! I’ve learned to appreciate so much since moving down here. I like being able to hear the birds chirp in the morning instead of pigeons, and I like being able to see the sky. Things are calmer here, less rushed, and I like that.

You must miss the pizza, though.
Oh, I miss it every day! I miss Pizza Haven, on Broadway & 207th. I’d get a cheese slice, a pepperoni slice, and a medium fountain Coke if I were there. They still exist, and the original owners are there. A lot of the small, family-owned pizza parlors are closing in the city, though, which is really upsetting.

Is there any other type of career you could have seen yourself in?
I think I always knew I wanted to work in an office setting. When I was little, I would gather papers on top of a hamper and pretend to be in an office. I’d walk around making “adult talk,” which was just pretending to talk like my mom. I knew I wanted to go into marketing, though. In high school, I took some marketing classes and knew that’s where my passion was.

How have you been dealing with this year?
This year definitely made me slow down and appreciate time with my family and loved ones. There’s so much uncertainty revolving around us and having them around me has been helpful. Even if it’s just sitting down with them and doing a puzzle, I’m making sure to spend quality time with them, because I’m lucky to have them. I’m also lucky to have a house, and a great job! There’s so much that we often take for granted.

One last question – what does Onward + Upward mean to you?
We have to keep paying attention, in multiple ways. In our industry, we should always be aware of what trends are popping up, and how to stay on the cutting edge. We also can’t forget what’s going on in the world outside of our industry, and to move forward appropriately, we need to operate with a moral compass and do what’s right.