A new side­line suits THE YOUNG & THE REST­LESS’ Melissa Ord­way (Abby) to a T

ABC Soaps In Depth - - Feature Intervie - — Julie McEl­wain

“It will only get bet­ter from here!” Ord­way de­clares. “I’m su­per ex­cited for what the fu­ture holds!”

Melissa Ord­way has a lot on her plate these days. When she’s not play­ing Abby on THE YOUNG & THE REST­LESS, she’s busy de­sign­ing a T-shirt line that she launched with her hubby, Justin Gas­ton (ex-Ben, DAYS OF OUR LIVES). Named Liv+Soph af­ter their daugh­ters, Oliva, 2, and So­phie, eleven months, the col­lec­tion of­fers T-shirts for moth­ers, ba­bies and chil­dren. “Justin and I talked about do­ing this for a long time, and we were like, ‘How do we even get started?’” she shares with a smile. “But then, one day we were like, ‘You know what? We have this idea, so let’s just sit down and make it hap­pen!’”

Be­com­ing an en­tre­pre­neur has been a learn­ing process. “We have all these ideas, but ac­tu­ally get­ting there is more dif­fi­cult than we thought it would be,” ad­mits Ord­way. “We’ve had to learn how to use Pho­to­shop and all these other pro­grams! Then it was, ‘How do we open an on-line store? How do we deal with get­ting credit-

card pay­ments?’ It’s the de­tails — it’s all in the nitty-gritty!

“I had set all these dead­lines,” she adds with a laugh. “I was like, ‘Okay, we’re go­ing to re­lease a state­ment on Mon­day, and we’re open­ing the store on Thurs­day,’ but then the night be­fore, I was sit­ting in my liv­ing room and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what about this? We for­got about the pack­ages to mail the shirts!’ But we knew that we were go­ing to make some mis­takes along the way. It’s al­ways scary to start some­thing that you don’t know any­thing about, but we’re do­ing it as a fam­ily.”

“We’re do­ing this to­gether as a fam­ily — it’s a very mom-and-pop op­er­a­tion!” smiles the beauty with her adorable daugh­ters.

Fam­ily Af­fair

In­deed, it was Ord­way and Gas­ton’s fam­ily motto — “Wear love ev­ery­where you go,” from the Bi­ble verse Colos­sians 3:14 — that in­spired the line. “I thought it would be re­ally cute if there were mother and daugh­ter shirts that matched, but you could also wear the shirt by your­self or with your daugh­ters,” shares the beauty. “Our idea was to have the shirts match, but the kids’ shirts have the mes­sage on it, and the adult shirts have the scrip­ture verse in a smaller font. So the moms could wear it, but you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to have a big mes­sage on your shirt!”

A Higher Pur­pose

Even though they are still in the start-up phase of their op­er­a­tion, Ord­way says that she would love to ex­pand the line into dif­fer­ent col­ors and even a dads T-shirt line in the fu­ture. But for now, their fo­cus is on their cur­rent busi­ness, in­clud­ing mak­ing sure 10 per­cent of the prof­its go to Olive Crest, an or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to help­ing chil­dren in foster care and fam­i­lies with adop­tion. “Justin and I have worked with them for about a year now,” she says. “We were su­per-ex­cited be­cause not only does the money go to foster chil­dren, but also — and this is my fa­vorite part — it helps fam­i­lies adopt through the foster-care sys­tem. Ev­ery­one knows Olivia is adopted, and adop­tion can be very ex­pen­sive, and that turns peo­ple off some­times. Olive Crest helps fam­i­lies adopt. This is a cause near and dear to Justin and my hearts, so we’re ex­cited to, in a small way, help!”

Ord­way be­gan her ca­reer as a model but says that didn’t give her any spe­cial in­sight into the fash­ion busi­ness. “I wish!” she laughs. “As a model, you get your hair and makeup done, and then you stand there while ev­ery­one else does the hard work!”

The ac­tress-turned-de­signer says the line is made from or­ganic cot­ton. “I want my girls to wear things that are good for your skin, good for the en­vi­ron­ment, good for ev­ery­thing all around, so be­ing eco-friendly was im­por­tant!”

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