Background of TELL YOUR STORY:

The purpose of this section of my blog is to foster a sense of community with people from all around the world. It’s a space where guests on my site can share their answers and unique perspectives to a couple of life’s important questions. By doing so, they share a piece of their personal story. My hope is that you, the reader, will find value in this community. Whatever stage of life you’re passing through, whatever is on your mind, whatever you may be stuck on, I hope you find some inspiration from the TELL YOUR STORY series. Happy reading!

Introducing today’s guest: Melissa

What inspires you?

Personally, I am inspired by my amazing clients and their drive to bring their unique visions to life. Many of them do this while juggling family, kids, and another job. Nothing makes me feel happier than helping launch a successful collection, and seeing the joy in the founder’s eyes! From a design standpoint, I am heavily inspired by nature, travel, and architectural details. Mother Nature truly is the best designer – you can find the best textures and color palettes! Travel has always been a huge source of inspiration, because I love how every place has its own mood and design language; from the colors, textures, architectural forms, to smells and sounds.

What excites you?

Helping women bring their dreams to life. I love the feeling at the start of a project, where it’s laid out in front of you and you’re just about to dive into the details. The possibilities seem exhilarating and slightly overwhelming, but I love a good organizational challenge! And one of my favorite things will always be seeing a physical sample of a design that previously only existed on paper – it never gets less exciting!

What’s your personal philosophy?

Collaboration over competition always; we all rise together. I’m a strong believer that success is not a zero-sum game – another person’s success doesn’t take away from yours. It’s a small world, even across industries these days, and you never know what connections and small favors will come back to serve you later.

What advice would you give someone who is currently feeling lost or purposeless in life? What helps you or has helped you before in these situations?

Balance is not about fitting everything in; it’s about focusing on what’s important and letting go of the rest. Even then it may not be possible to fit everything in every day, but it is possible to fit everything in over the course of a week, or a month. Sometimes a step back can give a broader perspective where things can fall into place. Also, for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed, stepping away completely and taking a walk through nature or focusing on a yoga flow helps my brain refocus, and often when I return to the problem a solution is more clear.

Have any specific books/podcasts/videos/social media accounts/people had a significant impact on you and your outlook on life? If so, what would you share with others?

Charlie Mackesy’s book “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and the Horse” is a gorgeous collection of sketches and uplifting words, arranged into a rough story. I find turning to any page is uplifting in a time of uncertainty (and somehow is always the right advice!) Similarly, his Instagram feed @charliemackesy is fantastic.

Tell me a bit about your story– what is a part of your story (or your identity) that has most shaped you as a person?

I have been fortunate to travel, work, and live in many parts of the world, and I think this exposure to different cultures and viewpoints has ingrained in me a desire to seek out views that might oppose my own. I think that by considering different perspectives, we can better understand the root of the issue, and adjust our own thinking if needed, or build a stronger foundation/reasoning around our position. I find that this skill set has helped me navigate disputes between coworkers, employees, suppliers, etc in my career and helped me build strong teams. Second, throughout my life I have always railed against being told ‘you can’t do that.’ You can’t be successful as a woman, you can’t make money as a designer, you can’t support your opponent, you can’t work and raise kids at the same time, etc. All that external doubt just fueled my determination to prove it wrong (because it absolutely is), and that is a big part of why I love helping women bring their own dreams to life.

What are you hoping readers will take away from what you have to share?

Follow that voice in your heart – it really does know the way. It may be hard, but it will be worth it.

Do you have a business/project/website/social media account/etc. that you’d like to share? Please share your links below so that I can share them with my readers!

 I help women launch direct-to-consumer fashion businesses, with a focus on handbags and manufacturing in Los Angeles. Everything from business development, design, sourcing, art direction, etc. My Instagram feed is a collection of words and images that inspire me, in the hope that they will inspire others as well.

Follow her on Instagram: @kaia_consulting

Check out her website for more info on her business!

Thanks for reading! If you are interested in joining the community and sharing a piece of your own story with my readers, please reach out to me with any questions, or fill out the brief survey by clicking the button below.

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