Melinda and I went to high school together – that’s just how long we’ve known one another. When I first dreamed of building Kuel Life and the Kuel Shop, it was my Pine Crest Alma Mater peeps that stood beside me, no questions asked, ready to help me; no matter what.
Well before there was a platform, much less a SHOP, Melinda said ‘YES’ to me. I am honored to have her as a friend and a Kuel Chief in my shop. You can shop her handmade, 100% silk scarves right here.
KUELLIFE: What type of business do you own/run?
MELINDA: I own two businesses. Melinda Abrams Creations and Moving Leaders. Melinda Abrams Creations is the name of my Art company. I create custom silk scarves with a message, acrylic pours on canvas, and acrylic pours on wood. I also create collages that become silk vases, or wood wall hangings.
Moving Leaders is the name of my consulting company. MovingLeaders, delivers experiential training and development programs that inspire personal leadership, enhance collaborative relationships and teamwork, encourage authentic communication, build trust, address conflict, and ultimately help people navigate change.
What’s common between the two businesses is creativity. Through Moving Leaders I help people create strong cohorts with expanded capacity to reach goals. Through Melinda Abrams Creations, I tap into my own intuition to create art that inspires me and others.
One of the reasons that I often include words or phrases in my art is based on my work coaching leaders and teams. Often to support a person to connect to their deeply held values, it helps to have a concrete “touchstone”. Something real that reminds them what matters to them most. This helps them choose behaviors that reflect their values and helps them to navigate change. I’ve found that women undergoing chemo are comforted with a scarf that has words on it that either inspire them to have faith, or remember who and what they love. I’ve loved creating a special scarf for a couple about to be married…and writing the words that they ascribe to love. One of my favorite commissions was for a 15 year college reunion. On that scarf I wrote the words of their class motto.
Of course you know that my work in art and consulting has led me to create the BadAss Beautiful Series. I define BadAss Beauty as the swagger one feels when they release into one’s self—ALL of one’s self. While it’s an incredibly bold and brave way to be, it’s also a little bit vulnerable, definitely intriguing, very sexy, and completely freeing. It’s “thrive no matter what baby!” because your badass self in all her beauty cannot be held back. I’ve painted badass beautiful on scarves and I’ve created a two day program for people to attend to dive deep into their own badassery.
KUELLIFE: What prompted you or drove you to become an entrepreneur? When?
MELINDA: I became an entrepreneur after having children. Before children I was a teacher and Assistant Principal in the public schools of North Carolina. After children, I wanted to continue to do work that I valued while also having the flexibility to be incredibly present in my children’s lives.
KUELLIFE: What’s your biggest struggle?
MELINDA: Balancing all of the different things that I really enjoy doing. Currently I run an art show, called Arts on Market. It is a bi-annual community art event celebrating creativity and regional artists. Arts on Market provides a place for artists to show their work and connect with the public…and it provides a place for the community to shop for unique hand crafted art made by people in the area.
Coupled with running the show, I am making my own art, facilitating groups through moving leaders, and hoping to have more badass beautiful weekends….all while remaining committed to spending quality time with my husband and our young adult children.
KUELLIFE: What is your biggest fear as an entrepreneur? How do you work through it?
MELINDA: My biggest fear is that I won’t find the people who want the art that I create, or the learning that I cultivate….nor will they be able to find me. I work through it by working through it. I just keep creating and offering, and creating and offering.
KUELLIFE: How do you measure your success?
MELINDA: I measure my success by the energy and satisfaction I feel.
KUELLIFE: Finally, what advice would you give other women about taking an entrepreneurial path?
MELINDA: Don’t worry about knowing all of the answers. Just do what you love….make mistakes….learn…let people help you…follow your bliss…and grant your badass beautiful self full permission to show up, be heard, and be embraced—and when she isn’t celebrated, know that those aren’t your people. That’s ok, they are someone else’s. Yours are searching for you and can’t wait to find you.