Our Team


Mel Charbonneau

Founder + Chief Visionary Officer

Mel is an entrepreneur, writer, runner, mother and coach who creates spaces for women to own their stories.

After graduating from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor’s in public relations, Mel enjoyed working for various organizations where she focused on building authentic brands, telling impactful stories and fostering community. She then earned her master’s in communications from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, often studying in the evenings after putting her daughters to bed and working her full-time job during the day. Before making the jump to entrepreneurship in 2012, Mel was the director of communications and marketing for a world-renowned neuroscience research center located at the UW–Madison.

Since launching Fellow Flowers a decade ago, Mel’s creativity and imagination have been woven into countless designs, quotes, programs, experiences and unforgettable moments. Her words have impacted the lives of thousands of women, all with her simple invitation and reminder to women that they are stories worth telling.

In 2015, she and her husband Jason opened the doors to 608 Threads, a screen print and design shop located in Madison, Wisconsin. While Mel and Fellow Flowers started as the anchor client to grow this shop, 608 Threads has now serves over 500 clients nationwide — small businesses and global corporations alike. Mel spends a great deal of her time working on the sales and customer relations side of this business.

In nearly every spare moment she has, Mel is on the basketball court coaching her youth girls team or immersed in the diverse passions of her three daughters. Whether it is a soccer or football field, a basketball or volleyball court, a gymnastics lesson or performance, watching her girls do what they love is a priority above all else.

Mel lives in McFarland, Wisconsin, with her husband and three daughters. 


Jennifer Patterson

Chief Business and Operations Officer

Jen is a business owner, entrepreneur, back-of-the-pack runner and self-proclaimed problem fixer.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Dayton and a Master of Social Work degree from University of Cincinnati, Jen began building a career as a clinical social worker in the foster care system working with at-risk teens. Shortly after her children were born Jen realized she wanted more flexibility in her life and less time spent on the road, so she started a side hustle that has grown into her own investment and real estate holdings company which she continues to run alongside her husband.

In between their other projects, Jen and her husband devote a great deal of their time to running their medical mission foundation Operation Walk International and bringing much needed orthopaedic care to developing and underserved countries, most recently Guatemala and Columbia.

Since meeting Mel at a Disney Princess expo in 2013, Jen always felt somehow, some way she would play a bigger role in the flower movement. Little did she know what was in store for her. At the end of 2019, Jen joined Mel  as co-owner and managing partner of Fellow Flowers, fulfilling what had only seemed like a crazy dream that she dared to speak out loud.

Jen lives in Lima, Ohio, with her husband Jim. They are empty nesters living with two bernedoodle “puppies” and spending as much time as possible visiting their son, two daughters and new son-in-law. 


Katie Vaughn

Editorial Director

Katie is a writer, editor, artist and creative who loves sharing stories about women, families, art and adventures.

After earning undergraduate degrees in journalism and art history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master’s degree in journalism from Stanford University, Katie embarked on a career that would lead to working at a handful of magazines, freelancing for many more and starting her own that celebrates family life in Wisconsin, in addition to publishing two travel books about Madison. 

At Her Whole Story, Katie enjoys creative conversations with Mel and Jen and helping to bring products, programs, projects, storytelling and social media endeavors to life.

Katie lives in the Madison area with her husband, daughter and son. She loves running, art, interior design, reading and as much travel as she can fit into her calendar. 


Collaborators + Contributors

We also rely on a collective of women who help bring projects to life, including Angie Krey, Kim Anderson, Cami Jacobs, Tracy Behm, Amy Pigott and Steena Cirves. 

Thank you, ladies. We are grateful for the ways you share your gifts with us!