MelimeL is a creative artist, graphic designer, poet, and entrepreneur. She is CEO and Founder of design company, MelimeL Digital Art Design, and is co-partner of MELySMAX LLC (with her husband), a company dedicated to the arts and event production, currently known for its successful concert series Smax Music Live and Smax Music Live With Friends, as well as, the co-production of Soul Bliss events in New York and Massachusetts.
MelimeL is a published poet “Beneath the Deep Surface”. The print edition was released in 2006 and the e-book version is currently in the works, as well as a follow up book of poems and a novel. Aside from designing and writing, MelimeL enjoys travel, photography, and performing as a percussionist in her husband’s band (Smax Music). She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Communication Studies.
She is passionate about women empowerment and hosts an annual Women Empowerment Event during Women’s History Month in NYC. She also implemented a new initiative in the fall of 2015, The sisSTAR Loop, an online platform for empowering content featuring women-owned business and professionals. Through the annual event and The sisSTAR Loop, she hopes to inspire other women to excel in their personal and professional lives.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
After graduating from NYU and struggling to find a job, I eventually got a full time position making $25k a year. I thought to myself, this can’t be life. I worked so hard to get a degree, all my life had been about education and getting that degree to make good money because that’s what was taught to us from very young. I realized this was a fallacy and I decided to pursue entrepreneurship instead. The idea that I could be my own boss was very empowering, especially after realizing that working for someone else is just as risky as starting a business. Both options have its pros and cons. But no one can fire you when you’re your own boss.
Tell us about your business.
MelimeL Digital Art Design is a custom and creative graphic design company. We also host an Annual Women Empowerment Event in NYC during Women’s History Month that has been an immense success year after year.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Early bird tickets are available for our 6th Annual Women Empowerment Event in March 2018.
Where is your business based?
New York City.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The first few steps were registering the business, creating the logo and brand look & feel, then setting up the online presence via website, social media, etc., and finally getting the word out to family and friends who were word of mouth advocates until the domino effect kicked in with referrals and new clientele.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
The most effective way of raising awareness of my business and getting new customers has been through social media promotions, word of mouth, referrals, and networking.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
The biggest challenge so far has been building a trusted team. As the business grows, it is important to build a team to help with the bandwidth and certain aspects of the overall business, but it has been challenging. Also this stage in my life in particular has been challenging as I’m a new mom/mompreneur!
How did you overcome these challenges?
The building a team challenge is ongoing, haven’t overcome this one yet. Time management as a new mom has been everything! Keeping a list and checking it daily and weekly helps keep goals aligned and myself accountable.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I keep motivated through difficult times by reminding myself of the why. Why do I get out of bed every day and want to work towards this thing. Reminding myself that the work I am doing fulfills my passion and purpose. Keeping a circle of strictly positive energy also keeps me motivated. I can’t for one second allow or entertain any kind of negativity in my life to derail me from my road to greatness.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I know that there are tons of graphic designers and artists out there, but there’s only one me. The way I distinguish myself is by my approach to business and creativity; creatives have different ways of working and engaging in their work, and this in the end makes the difference in output of that work. I also believe that the world is boundless in terms of potential clientele, so I know everyone can succeed in their own right. Always learning, growing, and developing as a professional helps as well with distinguishing from competitors.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
I recently came across a quote that actress Eva Longoria shared in a magazine article that really spoke to me. The quote was “Women can have it all. Just not at the same time.” This quote hit home because as a new mom, being a wife, and being a woman in a world where women’s rights are still a work in progress in many ways, the idea that “women can have it all” is one that I think many modern women struggle with; this idea that we have to be Superwoman and be able to handle everything life has to throw at us with a smile and looking fabulous doing it. Sometimes our ambitions with career or business clash with our self-care, home and family life, so this quote helped put things in perspective.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
The advice I would give other entrepreneurs is to stay focused on your own journey. Entrepreneurship is a tortured process with a lot of ups and downs, and it can get very overwhelming and stressful. A lot of times the need to feel validated by others or compare our success to others brings about feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt, but everyone’s journey is different. Support and be happy for others’ success, and continue to strive towards completing goals, learning from mistakes, and keeping a positive attitude. This will help keep the fuel going so you never give up. You owe it to yourself to give yourself a chance at realizing your dreams! You have greatness in you!
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
For a long time I did not get the need for Whatsapp if you have the ability to text, but it has become one of my favorites for sharing large amount of photos and video on the fly! Great for communicating long distance and sharing large file size media for promotions, etc.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
The latest book on my shelf is “Whole New You” by Tia Mowry, who is one of my biggest inspirations. Her and her sister Tamera are awesome examples of women making it work while being moms, wives, and entrepreneurs.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m currently learning more about marketing and advertising strategies that are effective and produce results on social media, etc.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months involve building The sisSTAR Loop platform further. The sisSTAR Loop is our latest initiative that was launched in Fall of 2015 and meant to be an extension of our Annual Women Empowerment Event with focus on women-owned business and professionals.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.