Raspberry interviews Melanie Pace
Hi Melanie! Let’s jump right in. What is your purpose here on planet Earth?
To help as many people as I can -- whether it’s through fashion, through kind words, through action – it could mean a number of things. To help people feel better about themselves and to leave a lasting impression – ultimately, my motto is simple: Be a good human.
How did you come to be where you are right now?
A leap-of-faith. Honestly, the word “no” has really driven me to keep going. A long time ago, a colleague told me that the best business practice is to be nice to everyone – from the janitor to the CEO – that has always stuck with me. When I styled Giuliana Rancic of E News, while it was one of the greatest memories of my life, it was making the janitor smile that I will always carry with me.
Why did you decide to create a business as a fashion expert?
It’s kinda always innately been in me to do so. True story: when I was younger, I would take my Barbies’ clothes and I’d place them in my drawer and pray that when I woke up, they would fit me. Growing up, I was always the girl cleaning out my friends’ closets and editing their outfit selections.
Instagram is one of your strongest social media platforms, which works well because of the visual nature of what you do. How have you leveraged this platform to grow your business?
Instagram (and social media in general) allows me to reach people from all over the world - brands that I may not have heard of or had access to before, people being able to partner/collaborate with you just by seeing all of the facets of your business – brands are able to see and identify alignment just through pictures alone.
What does your current business model look like?
I have a small team – a marketing & PR team, a team of interns, and an assistant who helps keep me organised and on top of my blogging.
It sounds like you have many passions, Melanie! Lots of the Raspberry readers are also multi-passionate. Do you feel like you need to narrow your focus, or do you see yourself as someone with a diversified business?
I don’t have any plans to narrow down my focus. Part of the reason I love what I do is because there are so many opportunities to do different things. And because I have so many passions, it’s been helpful to work for myself – I’ve turned my passion into money. I feel like you should always use all of your abilities – don’t waste them.
Work vs life balance – how do you keep this in check?
When I travel for work, I tend to try and institute fun as much as possible – whether it’s by catching up with old friends, making new ones, going to see the must-sees and do the must-dos, etc. Also, while Mondays are hated by a lot of people, I tend to take the day to myself and not schedule any meetings. I spend those days doing what I need to do for me.
What three key lessons have you learnt in your entrepreneurial path, which continue to carry you forward?
1. Be kind to everyone – from the janitor to the CEO (as I mentioned before).
2. Don’t take no for an answer. Let it fuel your drive for more yeses.
3. Keep moving forward. Whether it’s personal or work-related, I say this aloud to myself multiple times a day. “Keep going. You’re okay”. I know it’s scary, but KEEP moving.
What doubts or fears have you had to face through running your business?
That I’m going to fail – that I won’t have enough money to support myself. Sometimes I have to tell myself that I actually am more successful than I was in college. I’m more successful than I was in my first year of business. I really have to remind myself of that over and over. The fear of failure drives me to try new things.
Do you have any advice for fledgling stylists?
Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away. Sure, you might have to do some free work in order to build up a portfolio or make a name for yourself. Don’t be too prideful to be someone’s assistant. Don’t be afraid to reach out and don’t be afraid to follow up more than once. Lastly, don’t be afraid to take ownership and know your worth.
What's next for you?
It’s Friday as I type this. So what’s next is a glass of wine - a tall one at that. BUT in my career, I am coming off a high of being in NYC where I appeared alongside Rachel Smith and Frankie Grande on Amazon’s Style Code Live. I had a fun collaboration with Rent the Runway while there. With all of that under my wing, I’m looking forward to focusing more on more on-air opportunities while also being the face of my business.
Please tell us your favourite:
Book: In my business, I tend to read online articles in addition to a lot of magazines and digital publications.
Early morning activity: Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. Email. In that order, usually. And I love The Skimm.
Late night activity: Netflix, HBO, or Showtime.
Gourmet snack: Apples with peanut butter.
Melanie Pace is a distinguished fashion advisor, on-air style expert, and wardrobe stylist. Frequently featured on panels as a style virtuoso, her strengths include editorial styling (print, TV, photo and video), event hosting, covering red carpets, and consulting on wardrobes for private clients.
The Florida State University alumna plunged into the fashion industry as a visual merchandiser with Anthropologie. A year later, with a degree in both Fashion Merchandising and Business, Melanie began her own styling and wardrobe consulting business and has been trailblazing the industry ever since.
Covering a multitude of topics such as fitness, beauty, travel, and interior design – Melanie’s blog has offered readers guidance and inspiration towards achieving their own goals, all from a relatable perspective. Her style is dynamic; it’s desired and accessible, and her ability to create current looks with any budget sets her apart from the rest. MelaniePace.com.