About Us

Mid-west Muse C+M



As a girl, Carissa would take all the dollhouse furniture and meticulously arrange them in rooms. She pored over back issues of Architectural Digest and Elle Decor and her dad’s books on antique and reproduction furnishings. Pre-internet, she would watch Jacques Pepin and Lidia Bastianich, writing down every ingredient and measurement in a notebook. Her favorite reads were Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. After finishing a degree in International Business, Carissa decided to continue pursuing her dream of being an interior designer. She traveled to Syracuse, New York to get her second degree. She then went on to work for a design firm in Southern California before moving to Texas.


Melissa would always arrive at the dollhouse ready with plots and storylines for each character. She loved to write fiction, and dreamed of being an Egyptologist. Her first business venture was designing and miniature magazines (about the size of one’s thumb). She lent these out to her classmates for a cent each. Her favorite books were Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time series and The Chronicles of Prydain. Melissa followed her sister to Syracuse and also took up interior design (much to the consternation of one professor). Her first job in New York introduced her to the field of Environmental Graphic Design, which blurred the line between her two loves: spaces and words. She’s been hooked on both areas of design since.


We grew up in the Philippines, a country of contrasts: traditional and modern, Eastern and Western, urban and remote, concrete and seaside. It continues to be a source of inspiration for us. Our parents encouraged a broad world view. We were never denied a trip to the bookstore. We watched tape after tape of National Geographic Specials. Our parents also took us on amazing trips abroad to Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and the U.S. of A. The travel bug bit us and never let go. We like to share the things that interest us—not just the beautiful or the pretty, but the quirky and compelling.