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Name: Melissa Mendez

Business: Melissa Mendez Design Studio

Location: Yonkers, New York, U.S. 

Industry: Apparel & Accessories

Reason for starting? Since before I can remember, I always wanted to have my very own business. The sense of drive and independence ran through my veins. After being in corporate fashion for more than 10 years and suffering from what I thought was a heart attack (It was actually an anxiety attack) I realized that no job was worth my health.

Life is short, and I should do something I love and feel a sense of purpose with. This to me is the meaning of success. Waking up every morning and loving what you do. Giving your entire heart to a project and making sure that someone else has a smooth running business.

Related: Read about another design entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? My definition of success is being happy in whatever you do, as well as having a sense of purpose. Becoming rich has never been the focus for me in my business and the funny thing, when I took my mind off of money and focused on service and kindness I began to get more work.

Biggest success: My biggest success to date was helping a clothing line through one of their most difficult production seasons. I recall their production and overseas manager leaving the company suddenly and they were left without a major key person on their team. When the owner reached out to me I knew that this was an urgent situation. After working with them for about 3 months, I was their Tech designer, designer as well as production liaison in NY, after finding another factory to work with. That season through working together, they were able to salvage the remaining shipments and get them to the stores! 

Related: 5 Crowdfunders to Watch: Intelligent Design 

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? One of the challenges I have found is staying on top of social media. In 2016 there is a huge need to be relevant and create a consistent online presence. I would much rather work with clients one on one. Since I know this is a strong area, I have made major efforts to keep my online presence, even to the point of hiring a social media specialist.

Who is your most important role model? The most important person in my life and my role model is my grandmother. She is the definition of class and grace. I recently became a mom and there is some type of magic that happens when you come into motherhood. The advice and wisdom my grandmother gives me transcends my personal and professional life.


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Edited by The Story Exchange