Melissa Vartorella

1. Who are you?

I grew up with my dad in the US Navy and my late husband was in the Air Force, so I have lived all over the country. I have had many opportunities to learn and experience more than most people. I am married to Donavan Vartorella, and have been for 17 years with 4 children ranging in age from 25 to 15. I also have 2 dogs, Murphy and Noodle. I have worked as a nurse, a seamstress, finish carpenter, crossing guard, jack of all trades, and tour guide. I have been at the Edison Birthplace for at least 12 years, I believe. 

2. What is your job at the Birthplace?

I suppose technically I am classified as a tour guide, but what I actually do there varies widely, artifact conservation, cleaning, repairs. Building displays, painting, minor electrical, some building maintenance, as well as making items to sell in the gift shop.

3. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Many people come to me for help or advice with many different things: pet advice, medical advice, home repair advice, and craft advice.

4. Some other things about me:
I practice a lot of old crafts. I spin my own yarn that I knit with. I also do woodworking, woodcarving, basketry, leatherwork, candle-making and I am also a professional seamstress.