Cosmic Unicornz fire the imagination

It’s one thing to like what you do. It’s another to love what you do. Now to live and breathe what you love? That’s something special. Melissa Thyden can honestly say that she is a part of that elite group.

A 2010 graduate of University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a major in illustration and minor in art history, Thyden combines her love of art and fashion to create one-of-a-kind, hand-painted and handmade works of art with her business, Cosmic Unicornz.

“I’ve always loved illustration and art, but I really have a passion for fashion. I wanted to find a unique way to combine painting and artwork with fashion,” Thyden said.

A Sutton native, Thyden became involved in art festivals when she was younger, including stART on the Street. “I was selling my paintings [there], but then, I started painting on anything I could get my hands on ~ shirts, bags, shoes, etc.” Thyden said. “The shoes really took off. Before I knew it, everyone wanted to buy a pair of my hand-painted shoes. I ended up making an online store,” she said.

From this, Cosmic Unicornz was born. “I am trying to start a fashion, pop-art line and just keep expanding on it. It’s been my dream my whole life to have my own clothing company,” she said.

Cosmic Unicornz

Besides creating and running her own business, Thyden also works at Gallery Z in Providence, R.I., as an art gallery assistant and at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, leading art-making workshops and assisting with family programs.

As for the name, “Cosmic Unicornz,” Thyden wanted something that reflected the pop art-inspired work.

“The name plays into what my fashion is about. It’s for girls with a bold sense of style who want something fun and original,” she said.

In regards to what inspires her, Thyden says the ’80s is it. “I’m really inspired by My Little Pony, Rainbow Brite, Lisa Frank … that’s our generation” she said.

Custom work is also a huge part of the business. “I can do any kind of custom work. I’ve gotten a lot of requests from brides who want shoes for their wedding,” she said.

Thyden has displayed and sold her work in Boston’s SOWA Open Market, Cambridge Open Market, Salem Open Market, the Wickid Etsy Shopping Event in Hingham and a craft fair at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton. She will also participate in an exhibit at Gallery Z called “Spring” in April.

Cosmic UnicornzThyden has also been a vendor at Vans Warped Tour, which she will do again this summer. Additionally, a pair of her shoes was featured in The Huffington Post in October of 2013. In 2012, one of Thyden’s illustrations was featured in Nylon Magazine.

In a world where many things are mass-produced, Thyden is confident that her work stands out. “We are entering an era where everything is mass-produced. Hand-painted or made products are becoming more special and sought after,” she said.

As for prices, shoes range from $40-$60, depending on intricacy; shirts are about $20; and jewelry ranges from $15-$25.

Don’t live in the U.S.? Don’t worry! “I ship everywhere overseas. I’ve already shipped to France, U.K., Ireland and Australia!” Thyden said.

Thyden is surely living her dream and advises anyone else with a dream to never give up. “People can do whatever they want if they work hard enough. If you have a dream, all you have to do is take a step forward every day,” she said.

For more information about Cosmic Unicornz, visit or shop at 

By Rachel Shuster | Photos by Erin O Photo.