An interview with Sparkle by Melanie
You know how some folks say we’re all brought into each other lives for a special reason? Well that’s how I’ve been feeling a lot lately. Tonight I want to introduce you to a wonderful lady that I’ve been given the opportunity to collaborate with, promote some of her fun products, and mentor her a bit for some of her new initiatives. These new relationships help us grow and expand not only our network, our businesses, but also our perspectives and our hearts. Not only am I making new business connections but I’m also building new friendships – this is the best of both worlds!
Tonight I’d like to introduce you to Melanie!
I put together some questions for her to help us get to know her and learn more about what she does and what her dreams are – after all, sharing those dreams with each other is how we make magic happen and inspire and motivate each other!
Introduce yourself and share a bit about your businesses and what you do.
Hello all! My name is Melanie!
It’s a bit hard to explain what I do, as I dabble in a lot. I guess you can sum me up as an entrepreneur. But I rarely address myself as such.
I started slowly growing into an “entrepreneur” in 2014 when I launched my Etsy Shop Sparkle by Melanie. It was actually started on a whim. My best friend and I were discussing how much we like shopping for beads and other pretty things, so we bought a bunch and started making jewelry! It’s not my most successful means of income but it was a great place for me to begin. Take a peek – I just added some fun vintage pieces!
In 2015 I discovered Poshmark. It all happened while I was shopping for a cosplay outfit for Halloween (I am a SHERLOCK fanatic and wanted to be Molly Hooper). Poshmark grabbed a hold of the shopaholic in me and never let go! As I learned more about the possibilities of the app, I decided to use it as a business venture. I attained my state sellers certification and launched my boutique of the same name, Sparkle by Melanie Boutique. It has been active since March of 2017 and as of today I have made over $9,000 in sales. I promote my boutique through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
In the summer of 2018, I discovered a cool website called Teespring. This site allows you to design and create your own apparel and gift items. I was instantly hooked and started designing like crazy! A challenge I’ve had with this avenue is that you have to market your items like a madwoman. So I created an Instagram and a Facebook page for just this. Despite my efforts with social media marketing, I have still found it challenging to drive traffic to my shop. A solution I’ve found is to work with influencers to promote my apparel. You can check out Laura’s post here. And be sure to check out all my fun designs in my shop! Maybe we can even work together!
And my journey continues. Laura recently inspired me to look into influencer marketing. I spent some time researching what it takes to become an influencer. With that, I’ve been slowly building my Instagram and other social media followings. I have also joined Glambassador to build more partnerships like the one Laura and I have. My goal is to reach 5k Instagram followers and then really start taking on promotions for others.
Adding on to my plate, I started working with affiliate marketing. I am currently an affiliate for five different retail brands. There is a lot to learn about affiliate marketing. I’m doing my best to figure out how everything in the land of social media marketing still works, while hard-pressed for funds to expand myself freely. It’s a hard mountain to climb but I’m learning as I go!
What is it about fashion that draws you to it? Why is it such a big passion for you?
Honestly, I love everything about fashion. Personal styles, all the different colors, designs, patterns, and textures. Also, the fact that it can give you insight into an individual’s personality. You can be who you want to be in front of those who have never met you and have no predisposition about you! It is a passion for me because I have always loved dressing up and the whole experience of shopping!
You recently launched a blog. Tell us a bit about it and what some of your goals are for it this year.
Yes! I started my fashion blog to compliment my social media efforts. This has also prompted me to start writing again after nearly two years, and about something other than fan-fiction! My blog is only a couple of weeks old (it’s just a baby!). My goal for this year is to gain a significant following with at least 2-3 comments per blog post. I’m just a newbie to the blogging world. You can check me out here. Leave a comment and let me know how I’m doing!
What are two challenges you’ve had with your businesses & how have you been overcoming them?
Not sure it’s so much as multiple challenges as it is one with a ripple effect. My biggest challenge has been limited financial resources. I have a super high rent and not too big of paychecks from my full time jobs. Based on my experience, it seems the only real reach for audience I’ve been able to get is with paid advertising and that budget runs out quick! Getting traffic to my sites has been quite a struggle. To recoup, I’ve been trying to discover ways to drive traffic that don’t cost money.
Highlight three of your favorite products and tell us why they’re your favorites.
The shoes in my boutique…any of them. People love shoes!
The super colorful printed leggings on my Teespring site.
The earrings in my Etsy shop. These have special meaning to me because of the time and energy I put into making them.
And just for fun – what are five of your favorite things?
- Clothes, duh!
- Shoes, more duh!
- Daydreaming about what could happen if I had more money!
- Ice Cream and Smores
Here’s all her links so you can check all her fantastic stuff out!
Stay in Touch: Updates & Promos
Sparkle by Melanie Instagram (Etsy)
Sparkle by Melanie Boutique Facebook Page (Poshmark)
Thank you so much Melanie for sharing your story with us! Being a new entrepreneur can be quite the rocky road, as many of us know. But the passion we have helps keep us going. I know this world is still fairly new to you but girl you will succeed! We grow a little bit more with every stride!