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