Mighty With All Trades - Founder Mel Edwards
Mighty With All Trades
- Screen printed towels and unique theater gifts that will get friends and family talking!
At long last Broadway is back! And it feels absolutely amazing.
If you're anything like this writer, you've probably already taken in a show or two...
or even three. After all, who's counting? We've waited long enough for this moment to occur, so let's enjoy it without guilt.
Which show is your all-time fave or soon-to-be obsession? Chicago, The Book of Mormon, Waitress, Girl From the North Country, the venerable To Kill A Mockingbird, Hamilton, The Lion King or Come From Away? Hey, you could make a case for each and every one of them.
The important thing, though, is that Broadway musicals and dramas speak to each of us in unique ways. We relate to the story, actors and the score in a very personal manner.
Our favorite shows touch us emotionally; some get us thinking and looking at the world from a different perspective. Others just get our toes tapping and oh-so ready to get up and dance in the aisles. Or, as Lionel Ritchie might say, start dancing on the ceiling.
There's nothing like the rush that runs through the audience when the theater lights dim and the stage becomes the center of attention. As the spotlight hits the actors, onstage a magical scene starts to unfold and you know that you're in for a very special evening.
But here's a thought; where would the actors we adore (and the audience!) be if it were not for the behind-the-scenes tech professionals who create the show's scenery, props and costumes? After all; they are the ones responsible for painting vivid colors on the stage's canvas, so to speak.
It's the hard-working technical crew who help bring a playwright's muse to LIFE for
theater-goers, not just on Broadway but in theatrical venues, both large and small, all over the nation.
And, yes, that also includes High-School auditoriums where the next generation of actors and backstage creatives are being nurtured.
Enter the multi-talented Mel Edwards, founder of an exciting brand you should get to know, Mighty With All Trades.
Mighty With All Trades was created to shine a light on the all-too-often talented but unsung individuals who make theater the incredible experience that it is.
Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater and dance scenic technology from the University of Texas at Austin; Mel Edwards is both a tech professional and a teacher.
Mel's professional background as a theater tech encompasses a stint at the Studio Theater in Washington D.C. as well as serving as technical director at Tal Lostracco's Summer Theater Camp. Mel's been working with Tal for a while now and
enjoys every minute of it.
In addition to crafting a mind-boggling array of products for Mighty With All Trades, Mel teaches technical theater, (the backstage part of the production), to students at Rouse High School in Leander, Texas.
It was, in fact, Mel's students who inspired their teacher to launch her brand, Mighty With All Trades.
"As a tech director and teacher, I saw a need to celebrate my students and empower them as professionals," said Mel.
"I enjoy teaching my students that everything is within reach and their artistic opinion matters. Students in my classroom are exposed to scenic painting, set building and costume construction, to name a few subjects. I am always looking for new techniques to teach my classes. I encourage them to be life-long learners and to never, ever rest on their laurels, no matter how successful they may become."
"Being a big-time musical nerd, "continued Mel; "I decided to merge my love of Broadway and all things tech, especially screen printing, to create a product line that you won't find anywhere else."
And that's not just hyperbole, either. From Stage-Face makeup bags and eye-catching Hamilton wine charms to colorful tech crew button packs and Mel's signature hand-pulled,screen-printed towels, there is truly something for everyone at Mel's online shop.
Every towel print is hand-pulled by a real person. That means that Mel doesn't use machines to create these stunning flour sack towels. It's an involved, painstaking process. But the end result is well worth it.
Mel designs all of her towel graphics on Adobe Illustrator. Each hand-pulled towel utilizes 2 to 3 colors but some products, like the Rent towel have 4 or more colors.
The designs on these towels totally pop! You'll want to order more than one, for sure. Choices include Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies, In The Heights, Dear Evan Hansen and so many more.
Ready to start shopping? Well, the good news is that Mighty With All Trades is currently offering a couple of outstanding promotions.
Aplez.com readers can take advantage of a coupon code giving them 10% off their
entire order. Just enter aplez10off at checkout! Mel is also giving customers free shipping on orders of $35 or more.
Aplez.com was intrigued to know the story behind the brand's name. Mel was more than happy to fill us in.
"As a technician, I have had to learn a vast array of skills in order to be able to do my job. I can sew, solder, weld and draw, so you could say that I became mighty with all trades. When I first thought about opening up my own shop I wasn't exactly sure what the product line would be, but I knew that I wanted to represent backstage techs."
"When I started designing products, I realized that every technician is special and brings something of value to the table. Most of my students learn several different skills. So, I thought the name was very fitting when it was applied to a tech being mighty with all trades."
It would be quite remiss, at this point in time, if we didn't ask this dedicated musical lover which Broadway productions hold a special place in HER heart.
"The first musical I ever saw was Cabaret. I was so blown away by the spectacle of it and all the moving parts. I could see how much fun the performers were having onstage and I knew that, in some way, I wanted to be a part of it."
"I would have to say that my all-time favorite musical, though, is The Producers. But I love the Book of Mormon and Little Shop of Horrors. Although, right now I'm on this huge Prom kick."
Mel conveys an effortless passion for what she does. It's serious work grooming the next generation of backstage theater pros while also running a thriving business and, oh, by the way, being a mom. Which in and of itself is a full-time job. But Mel has a ton of fun doing it.
The children in the family most definitely share their mom's passion for the theater. Mel and her kids had, in fact, just returned from a four-day trip to a theater festival, when Aplez.com caught up with her.
We asked Mel where she could see Mighty With All Trades going in, say, five years' time.
She thought a moment before answering.
"Right now, I don't have any plans for a brick and mortar shop. But I really want to get more into in-person events and markets such as state thespian festivals, theater conventions and, maybe, Broadway Con, one day. I would like to grow my brand enough so that I can give back to my fellow tech community, whether that be through educational resources or industry support."
One thing is certain, as far as Mel Edwards is concerned the possibilities within all of us are limitless. It's all about realizing your potential no matter what your field of passion may be.
"Theater has allowed me to utilize all of my skills and even learn new ones. I am proud to be part of an industry where sawdust in your pockets is an everyday thing. I like to say that it's not worth doing unless you get to paint, dirt, or splinters under your fingernails."
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