We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Hibbert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, what inspires you?
First and foremost, Motherhood inspires me! My daughter inspires me – everything that I am and do, is for her. She inspires with her fearlessness, vibrance & boldness and is a daily reminder that my greatest job as Mother is truly a gift, with the pleasure to lead her into greatness.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have a non-traditional journey to Beauty – taking the road less traveled and many risks along the way. I fell in love with beauty as a teenager and decided to explore my passion even more by enrolling into Cosmetology School while in High School in Portland, OR. I enjoyed becoming more confident and proficient with my gift without compromising school and sports, so I attended beauty school on weekends. Upon graduating from High School, I simultaneously completed the Cosmetology program but rather than pursue Beauty further as a career at the time, I decided to embark upon the next phase of my life, College! I proudly enrolled and attending Fisk University in Nashville, TN. I never questioned my decision because, I distinctly remember a quote from Oprah, she said “education is freedom” and that inspiration, along with my desire to fully embrace the HBCU college experience of excellence was all I needed. No one can ever take away what I earned! Days after arriving on campus, I discovered an abandoned salon in my dormitory – there could not have been a more perfect scenario! I raced to the local Wal-Mart for cleaning supplies and happily cleaned-up the salon space where my friends and I began offering Beauty services to students on some evenings but mostly weekends. Thinking back, it was essentially my first taste of entrepreneurship and I did not recognize it at time because I was truly doing what I loved, and school was my primary focus. After graduating college, took a leap of faith and moved to New York City on a one way plane ticket, one suitcase and 10 pre-printed resumes where I quickly landed a job in Brand licensing and from there, I embarked upon a Corporate Marketing career that spanned 14 years, working for the largest brands, agencies and entertainment conglomerates in the world. All along, Beauty was beckoning me in a bigger way and while I tried transition corporately to beauty brands, it just was not happening. I could not let another decade pass and not realize my dream and the more I tried to pivot in Beauty as a corporate professional, the more I realized, I may have to walk a different path. I thought to myself – how could I not be enough, I have a stellar resume with big brands under my bel, I know Beauty, I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Business, surely I am qualified? After dusting disappointing off, in May 2012, I decided to take matters into my own hands, I walked away and went from employee to beauty entrepreneur within a few months. It was thrilling and scary at the same time. There was no certainty that I would succeed or be able to pay my bills – but I have always trusted myself and believed in the power of my vision backed by faith in God. I learned quickly that humility, perseverance, and resilience are among the many character traits one must have when embarking upon anything new. I face many obstacles when I entered the Beauty industry, it was not easy, but I never gave up. In just three months of my new venture into Beauty, I landed a client who was talent on a popular reality television show with VH1. I found it to be divine timing that I would end up in Entertainment as a Beauty professional – the impact at that level was visible and it was just what I needed to confirm, I made the right decision. Since then, I have worked with every major television networks, on countless television shows and noted productions. I have had the pleasure of working on major Beauty campaigns and with top Magazines. I have hosted and participated in successful Beauty events around the world and event wrote my first book “Face Your Beauty”. One of the things I am that is most memorable is my work has brought me into rooms with some the most talented, successful, and wealthy people on the planet. People who I have dreamed of meeting or working with – I have done it! I have experienced the holy grail of Beauty, Entertainment and Entrepreneurship in just under a decade. I do often celebrate myself because I never wavered and I always carried myself with Professionalism, Excellence, and an astute Business mind, to navigate this incredibly competitive Beauty industry, while staying committed to make a name for myself and stand out.
These days, I get to sit, strategize, analyze, and create from a different perspective. No longer standing daily “behind the chair” providing beauty services, but pulling up a chair at the proverbial table – pivoting right back to the Corporate realm, where I am making more impact. My brand and business have evolved to such a beautiful place where I can confidently own my destiny. Over the past few years, I have been able to successfully come full circle, partnering with Beauty Brands as Consultant as I work with c-suite executives in brand & product marketing, product development, advertising, and campaign management. I am thriving, doing what I love everyday – the Business of Beauty & Marketing, combined! God is great and faithful and none of this would have been possible if I did not believe and honor my own journey in Beauty. I have always had a vision and kept my eye of the goal – to be a thriving Executive in the Business of Beauty, helping brands succeed, while meeting the needs of Women every day. I am here to serve – to give & inspire, but ultimately, I am here to be an example to my beautiful daughter, that anything is possible!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Malibu – it’s the jewel of the city in my opinion. I love to be near the ocean – nothing is more relaxing. My little beach getaway is Paradise Cove – rent a cabana, bring my favorite bubbly and it is the making of the perfect day. Then there is the incredible dining at Geoffrey’s and seafood at Nobu – exquisite and the perfect environment to celebrate yourself, just because. I love taking my daughter to the parks in Malibu, many are overlooking the ocean and we get the best of both worlds. Up the coast of Malibu, there is also a cute, family-owned farmers market where I get the freshest produce – fruits and vegetables. For me, Malibu is a whole vibe!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout the support, love and encouragement from the many people who I have never laid eyes on but show up for me on social media every day. Even when people do not know you personally, they very idea that they will be the first to show up at an event to support me, be the first to purchase something I am offering, to drop me a DM with stories of how I have encouraged them. Those are the people I would like to recognize because it has not gone without notice. Thanks to social media, no one can ever feel like an island and I must show gratitude to those who I may not know personally, but still show up for me. So, thank you to my social media squad, I appreciate you!