Fly Female Entrepreneurs
Fly Female Entrepreneur: Nicole Marie Melton
Have you ever done business with someone and immediately connected with their spirit? As a beauty PR consultant, I’ve had the pleasure of pitching Nicole M. Melton, former beauty editor for ESSENCE.com, for several clients and from the start, I knew she would be more than just an industry connect. Fast forward a couple years and Nicole has transitioned from the New York City media industry to the world of entrepreneurship with the launch of not one, but TWO brands, Beauty Goes Digital and Melton Digital! Today, I’m honored to share her story with hopes of you connecting with her beauty-full spirit, too:
In Her Shoes: Congrats on your recent launch of Melton Digital and Beauty Goes Digital! For those who are unfamiliar, tell us a little bit about these new ventures and why you think they are needed today?
Nicole: I launched Melton Digital because I am passionate about helping health and beauty brands tell a powerful story online. When you think of beauty and health services, these are companies that have influence over how we feel and what we intentionally do to feel and look better. Ask any woman about her favorite hair care product, and she’ll tell you how it makes her feel. The same goes with working out or visiting a spa. As a beauty editor and fitness instructor myself, I feel confident about my expertise in these fields and it brings me great joy to help my industry peers excel. I’ve spent the bulk of my career in the beauty and health industry and am very clear that these are the areas I’m most passionate about. Melton Digital allows me to solely focus on consulting and coaching beauty and health brands, but more importantly, it allows me to help other people build their dreams.
Beauty Goes Digital is a news website that covers how beauty brands behave online. It’s targeted towards social media managers, digital marketers, tech entrepreneurs, editors and executives. Think of it as Mashable or TechCrunch, but specifically for beauty industry news. There are so many beauty brands creating hot new mobile apps or launching new websites, and Beauty Goes Digital is the news outlet covering all of that and more. The site will officially be up and running with updates every day starting later this month. I’m SO, SO excited about it!
In Her Shoes: As a former beauty editor for ESSENCE.com, you’re definitely well versed in the topic of Black women’s beauty. What is the biggest beauty myth that brands should know when it comes to targeting women of color?
Nicole: I would encourage more makeup brands to expand the range of shades they offer for dark skin tones. I’ve received foundations, tinted moisturizers BB and CC creams labeled “dark” that were too light for me. When you see women with deep, rich skin tones such as Lupita, Viola, Ledisi, Kelly Rowland, Estelle, Gabourey Sidibe…all of these women have gorgeous, deep complexions along with millions of other Black women. Beauty brands are still overlooking this large community of beautiful brown girls and I’d like to see that change very soon.
In Her Shoes: There may be women reading this post who don’t know you, but have personally been impacted by your social media influence. As the creator of the increasingly popular #saladjam hash tag, tell us about the inspiration behind this movement and why you think it resonates with so many women:
Nicole: I adore my Salad Jam community! It started back in November of 2012 totally by accident. I posted a photo of a salad I made at home and decided that I was going to eat a salad every day for a whole week. A week turned into a month, and since January 1, 2013 was soon rolling around, I randomly chose the name “Salad Jam” and posted a salad challenge for New Year’s. It grew organically from there. I’ve been working on Melton Digital and Beauty Goes Digital these past few months, but the Salad Jam blog is on my to-do list for late 2014, definitely. I still eat a salad nearly every single day. The people at Chop’t know me by name! And so does the produce manager at Wegmans — ha!
In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Nicole Marie Melton’s shoes?
Nicole: I’m usually up around 5:30 or 6:00am. In the morning I like to spend some quiet time working on my website or making a to-do list for the day. Once I have my day organized, I spend an hour either reading scripture, devotionals, or watching podcasts. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Steven Furtick podcasts. From around 9AM, I spend the morning working on projects for clients and I usually take a late lunch at around 2:30 or 3:00pm. The afternoons are filled with more client work and client calls, and in the evenings I teach spinning class a few nights a week. On nights I don’t teach, I’m usually glued to my iPad doing more reading, research or working on my websites.
In Her Shoes: Please share (3) beauty “insider” tips with us:
Nicole: My Huetiful Steamer is my best-kept skin secret. Most women know of the Huetiful as a hair steamer, but the facial attachment is a miracle worker. If you have acne-prone skin, over the counter products are good, but nothing will ever compare to dermatologist-prescribed regimen. My acne is under control now, but I still keep my Retin-A and Differin prescription filled in case of emergencies. Also, green leafy veggies and water is essential for healthy skin. There’s absolutely no product that can overcome a bad diet. Fresh, whole veggies and tons of water always does wonders for my skin. If you’re not into salads, try green smoothies! They are another one of my daily must-have items.
In Her Shoes: If I gave you a $100 budget, what beauty products (that you don’t own) would you buy?
Nicole: Hanae Mori fragrance, (okay, I’ll admit, I already own this, but I’m running low so I need a refill!) and I’d put the balance on a Sephora gift card. (Is that cheating?) I practically live there.
In Her Shoes: I know that you’re the queen of fitness. Were you always into working out or is this a newly adopted lifestyle? What keeps you going on the days you just don’t feel like it?
Nicole: I’ve always been very energetic (I was voted “Class Spirit” in high school!) so fitness just fits with my personality. I was never into sports growing up, aside from the cheerleading team, but I bought a gym membership when I was a freshman in college and have kept the same membership current ever since, which has been 12 years now. I enjoy working out for both the health and energy benefits (I get so sluggish when I skip workouts) and the community that it has created for me. I’ve met some of my closest friends through fitness-related activities or events. Now that I’m a spinning instructor, I’m grateful for the chance to be a part of someone else’s fitness journey. My students inspire me and they keep me going.
In Her Shoes: Do you have any exciting 2014 plans for Melton Digital/ Beauty Goes Digital you’d like to tell us about?
Nicole: This summer, I will be hosting an intimate digital workshop at my home for women who are interested in learning how to create online content and manage social media for their beauty or health company, whether they’re a hairstylist who wants to attract more clients or a personal trainer who wants to start a healthy living blog. Picture 5 to 8 women sitting around my dinning room table with our MacBooks, drinking iced coffee and building our websites and social media calendars together, step by step. Ahhh! I cannot wait! I’m really big on community and I love sharing resources and creating environments where people can make friends and learn from each other. God gave each of us unique gifts, and I’m determined to use my gifts to bring the best out of people and be of service in every way possible.