Melissa Gonzalez

CEO & FounderCEO & Founder The Lionesque Group

Continually pushing the boundaries of experiential retail, Melissa Gonzalez is an award-winning innovator, seasoned visionary, and brand storyteller. As Principal at MG2 and Founder of The Lionesque Group, an MG2 Studio, she and her team have pioneered the integration of physical environments and cutting-edge technologies, helping companies such as Tempo, Nordstrom, and Burrow foster foundational consumer engagement and evolve their offering. Melissa is the author of The Pop-up Paradigm: How Brands Build Human Connections in a Digital Age and has produced more than 200 brick-and-mortar experiences across the country for both fast growing DTC and digital native brands as well as established retailers looking to think differently. Her projects are dedicated to creating immersive moments in a way that drives ROI and helps clients convey compelling stories to their audience. She has received prestigious recognitions including: one of WWD’s “25 Most Influential Women Leaders of 2022”, one of the ‘Top 10 Women In Design’ of the year award by Contract Magazine, was recognized as one of the Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn in 2019, and as design:retail’s ‘Top 10 Retail Design Influencers of the Year’ in 2018. Melissa has also been quoted in The New York Times, Morning Brew, Forbes, Glossy, and The Wall Street Journal and is creator and host of the Retail Refined podcast which explores the in-store technology of the future. A sought-after speaker, Melissa has presented at Shoptalk, World Retail Congress, NRF’s Retail’s Big Show, and Vogue Business Summit. When she’s not recording podcasts or dreaming up innovative retail spaces, Melissa can be found seeking inspiration in unexpected places (like skydiving from 10,000 feet).

Bachelor Degree in Finance and Spanish
podcast Podcasting
digital-marketing-1 Digital Marketing
social-media-n Social Media Marketing
brand-develop Brand Development

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Recent Posts


On a recent late Saturday afternoon in SoHo, a father and daughter, who appeared to be around 8 years old, strolled along Broadway in SoHo. She carried a bag from Harry Potter New York. They walked up to the doorman at Sloomoo Institute, located at 475 Broadway, with their digital tickets in hand. She gave the doorman a high five and showed him the wand she had picked out while her father explained that they had just come from the Harry Potter store and had hopped on the N train to get to SoHo.

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Retail Experts Debate the Future of Physical Stores

As the fog of the last few years fades away, retail brands are finally beginning to glimpse an outline of the industry’s future. What they see is a familiar landscape evolving in several directions at once: a little more curbside pickup here, a few more local popups there, and a whole lot more tech integration all around. For the brands that stay true to their fundamentals and survive what remains of this current period of disruption, it’s a bright future—a future that promises all the innovation and excitement of the industry’s past.

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NRF 2022 Retail's Big Show

What’s in the Shopping Cart for the 2022 National Retail Federation’s Big Show?

Justin Honore - January 14, 2022

In just a few short days, from January 16th through the 18th, the National Retail Federation will launch Retail’s Big Show in the shopping capital of the world, New York City.

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Melissa Gonzalez of MG2 & The Lionesque Group On How To Create A Retail Experience That Keeps People Coming Back For More

Justin Honore -

Even if you’re a product company, you must be a service company too. That’s number one. I think one good example of a brand delivering a holistic approach and serving the customer is Ulta. If you go to an Ulta store, there’s a beauty advisor on hand to answer your questions or assist you with your needs. The store offers beauty services for hair, skin, makeup, lashes, brows, etc., so for customers, Ulta is now a one-stop-shop, where they can meet with an expert, get styled, and then have product at their fingertips.

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