Mom Muse | Melissa Rountree
Mom of two Melissa Rountree has had a long love affair with fashion. Prior to being a realtor with Dave Perry‐Miller Real Estate, she spent her career in luxury goods selling Dior and then Chanel to Neiman Marcus. (We can only imagine the heaven that is her closet!) After her second child, she decided it was time to stop traveling, so luxury real estate seemed like a good choice. Melissa is well known around town for her impeccable style and stays connected to her fashion roots by emceeing fashion-related events and through organizations like Fashion Group International. Last year, she was recognized with the CultureMap Stylemaker Readers’ Choice Award for her impressive styling skills.
At the Paddle8 Dallas launch with Tina Craig, founder of SnobEssentials.com.
At the Fashion Stars for a Cause event benefitting the Suicide and Crisis Center.
Emceeing the Styles Fashion Show for Mockingbird Station.
Talking about her styled looks at at the CultureMap Stylemaker fashion show.
Another priority in Melissa’s life is health and wellness. She started teaching aerobics back in college and has always enjoyed the interaction of fitness classes. Leading a determined group to push past their limits is so inspiring to Melissa, and thus she makes time in her busy schedule to teach classes at the Bar Method. She also volunteers her time to exercise with her son’s class at school and encourage the kids to stay active, just one of her many volunteer activities (keep reading for more!).
Teaching class at Bar Method.
Melissa teaching fitness to her son’s class at Highland Park Presbyterian Day School.
Melissa lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband Bob and their two kids, Morgan (12) and Charlie (5).
MSL: Describe your style in five words or less.
Elegance with an edge. I like a very simple silhouette, but go more trendy with shoes or accessories.
MSL: What’s the one item in your closet you can’t live without?
My black sheath dress. It goes with anything and works for any occasion. I just change the accessories and shoes.
Melissa and her husband Bob.
At the SPCA Fur Ball with Cynthia Smoot.
MSL: Whose style do you most admire and draw inspiration from?
Coco Chanel. She believed in women wearing clothes for style and comfort. She went against the corsets of the time and introduced us to the little black dress, jersey fabric, and long‐lasting durable quilted leather bags. She used a lot of men’s materials and made them into fashion for women. I know that any piece I’ve ever bought from Chanel I can pull out in 10 years and feel put together. Coco Chanel believed a woman should always have style without the worries of today’s fashion.
MSL: A beauty secret you are willing to share?
Less is more! Women on their own are so beautiful. Makeup should be an accent of your beauty and never a mask. In terms of daily routine, I use a lot of coconut oil. I use it as a moisturizer, eye cream, in my hair, and I cook with it too!
MSL: What is your favorite part about being a mom? Biggest challenge?
My favorite part of being a mom is when I see the pride in my kids’ eyes after they’ve accomplished something and all they want to do is run and tell mommy! There is nothing better in the world than that feeling. The biggest challenge is balancing it all. As a woman, you want to be the best at work and with your kids. I’ve convinced myself that they will be high‐achievers as long as they see mommy dedicated to them, work and the community.
MSL: Tell us about your favorite charitable causes.
There are a number of causes I’m passionate about! Currently, I’m one of the 12 Fashion Stars for a Cause. It’s a fantastic charity founded by Yvonne Crum. Each year she chooses 12 women in the community to raise awareness for the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. After visiting the center and seeing what it really means to save a life right there on the hotline, I was touched very deeply.
I also support the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society, as well as the Leadership University Park group. I love our community and want to be up-to-date and aware, not just in my role as a realtor, but as a citizen on what our future looks like and understand how we maintain the structure that has made it so great. In addition, Armstrong‐Bradfield Preschool Association is something I’ve been a part of for years. It’s a fantastic way to give money to the elementary schools in our neighborhood, but even more so, to meet other families and create bonds with parents and children prior to them starting kindergarten.
After joining the Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center, I found out my mother had breast cancer. Knowing now that we are able to provide funds to make life better for children with cancer means even more to me because of my personal experience.
Finally, Fashion Group International (FGI) is a fantastic non-profit organization as it brings creativity, fashion, art, and beauty together. Funding for designers is more important than ever.
At Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars event with actress Linda Grey and Neiman Marcus’s fashion guru Ken Downing.
At the Art Ball with Robin McMonigle.
Melissa and Bob at the Cattle Barons Ball Underwriter Party.
MSL: Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to hear.
Generally the biggest reaction I get is when I tell people I grew up on a farm in Nebraska. If you wanted a Starbucks, you would need to drive about 30 miles to find one. The day I turned 16, I drove those 30 miles and got a job at the mall selling retail and I was hooked. However, I do need to go back often to just be outside and reset.
MSL: What’s your best style advice for other moms out there?
Just be you! Wear what’s comfortable and invest in the right items. Buy a great pair of jeans and save on the trendy top you won’t wear next season.