Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get started with your current career path/business journey?My name is Melissa Mitchner, I kind of stumbled into the pet grooming industry 8 years ago. I was inspired by a reality human hair show called Chicagoiscious. Within 90 days I emptied my savings , started my company from the living room of my project apartment and opened my my brick and mortar The Bark Shoppe. Prior to that I had one job that helped accelerate my career, I worked at Best Buy. I started as a line level associate and left the company after almost 9 years as a district administrative assistant.
How are you overcoming challenges during the pandemic as a business owner?
I had to pivot very quickly, we have recently launched a mobile grooming truck to help continue to meet the demand of the pet grooming industry and implement new policies and procedures at our physical location. I am staying optimistic about the future and continuing to cut expenses.
What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
Tenacity and faith. I trust my next chapter because I am co producing my life. I work extremely hard and never give up. I grew up in the poorest congressional district in the nation and if I can make it through that, I can do anything. There is really not anything else that could be worst than that environment, so everyday is a step closer to accomplishing my vision.
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
I wanted to please everyone but I soon realized you teach people how to treat you and you must have the right systems and policies in place. So from the beginning you can train your consumers.
What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?
I am working on networking and building my professional sisterhood. Women are amazing and together we can continue to create and break barriers. We can do anything and I truly believe that.
In what ways are you taking care of your personal well being and what are your #selfcare tips?
I have recently committed to dedicating one hour out of my day for me, everything will be on hold for an hour until I am full. I can't pour from an empty cup.
How are you inviting others to take a seat at the table #virtually?
I am apart of a few female groups where we share business info, discuss books in our book club and share opportunities for us to be better human beings overall.
What impact has Luminary made in your career? eg: Business Generated, Revenue, New Clients, Career Connections, Advancement Opportunities
Luminary has afforded me the opportunity to meet and connect with great women. I found out after sharing in conversation, that I knew more people by a few degrees of separation that are members.