It's Just Melis! Solo and loving it
Melissa Melnychuk may be the queen of transformation after what life has thrown at her! Social media watched as she transitioned into single-parent status, and then we witnessed the (amicable) break-up of her long-time business partnership. She’s now solo and hitting her stride, big time! With over 50K devoted followers on social media, her humour, authenticity and vulnerability is a perfect combo for mega-success.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of The Holistic Parent.
1. Tell us about yourself
My name is Melissa, and I am single mother, raising three biracial children. I’m currently separated after being married for over 9 years, and thankfully have an amazing support system and dad that has stepped up and lives with me, in order to help me with my children (he goes by #GrandpaJEFF on my Instagram).
I have two roles right now, one being a life/mindset and transformation coach for women. I started my online business a few years ago, and then from that developed SHIFT Mindset + Training where I work with women both one-on-one and in an online group (I call them my SHIFT Squad). I focus with these women on self-love, shifting their perspective of themselves and ultimately helping them move and chose high vibe foods to help them be the best possible version of themselves. The rest of the time I share my life over on Instagram and Facebook under, "It's me, Melis," where I give raw, unedited exposure to my life as a single mother and entrepreneur.
2. How did you get started in this business? And what drew you to the social media space?
I have been a trainer and holistic health coach for over 10 years so the shift to creating an online business was a very natural move. My social space, however, under @its.me.melis originally started out with myself and my business partner over 5 years ago. We had a television show on the Rogers Network called Vanessa + Melissa. Our online community grew with us over the last few years, and more recently we each have branched out with our own brands, which is when I launched It's me, Melis.
3. Do you identify with the term “influencer”?
I tend to not use that term. I never want to be known for influencing people, I want to give my tribe permission to be the best version of themselves. To step out of their norm, to laugh, to love, and to embrace life through the trials and the joy. I consider myself a content creator when it comes to working with brands, but I am so much more than an “influencer.” I’m a mother, an entrepreneur, I have struggles and I am just sharing my real life experiences.
4. Can you tell me about your success online? How did you build your following?
Originally, it was because of the TV show I was co-hosting. However now, I have finally stepped into a very vulnerable space, sharing my struggles as a single mother, what it is like to raise biracial children, to start and grow a business. And sharing all that I have found my tribe has grown both as single moms being able to relate and find someone who is a voice for them in the social space, but also in general being a mom, full of flaws online is appreciated by my entire tribe (single or not).
5. How do you feel about the attention you get from being a public figure?
I love any and all attention! LOL. Just kidding. I love to perform, so I love making people laugh, love or open their minds to a new idea or perspective. However, specifically for myself, because I am raising biracial children, I have been on the receiving end of some very hurtful comments towards myself and my children. Until I started in the online space I did not realize that there are people out there who would write comments towards my children and their race. I just didn't. That being said, I have worked very hard to spread love, and also ask my tribe online to spread the message of love and inclusivity.
6. How does your family feel about your career choice? How do they influence the type of content you produce?
My kids love it! They have been on the receiving end of some cool opportunities and fun experiences from my career. They also know that my job it to help other moms, and they tell people that which I think is so cool. They are a part of my content, however, with my oldest I always make sure he is okay before I post things. I’m sharing my life as a single mom, so my family is a huge part of that online.
7. You’ve gone through some pretty big changes over the last year or so. How do you feel about those situations playing out on a public forum, like social media?
In the beginning, I kept most of it to myself. I did not know how to share it, or if it would be well received. Then earlier this year, I really started to open up and I found that was a game changer for my tribe online. I think the more real I am, the closer I am with my community. I just make sure that whatever I share is in a respectful way.
8. What your favourite part of your job?
The humans I get to meet, call my friends, and experience life with!
9. What's been the most challenging part of doing what you do?
Figuring out when to shut things down. This job is about my life, which means I can find myself online a lot. I have really had to learn to shut down my phone and social, and work in general so that it does not over consume me.
10. Where do you see your career going? Is this something you see yourself doing indefinitely?
I would love to start creating content specifically for single mothers, helping them in the first year and beyond. I am currently creating a fitness app that I hope to launch this year, and continue to do public speaking. I would love to eventually write a book, and travel the world with my children and sharing that as well. Truthfully, I have no clue. I am open to where ever the Universe directs me or whatever it sends my way!
11. Any tips for someone starting out as a blogger/vlogger (specifically in the parenting space)?
Be real, and authentic to yourself. Find your message and share it. Don't compare yourself. Set aside time for content creation, social media posts and responding and make sure that it does not consume your entire life. The lines can become blurred., so make sure that you set your boundaries from the beginning. Oh, and most, importantly, create a schedule! That was life changing for me.
“RAPID FIRE” QUESTIONS
1. Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?
C-O-F-F-E-E. Wine or beer during Oktoberfest
2. Night owl or early bird?
3. Favourite thing about being a mom? Least favourite?
That I get to raise humans! Like, I made a human! Least fav: That I have to be responsible all the time. I suck at that! LOL
4. What do you love about living the region?
I love that we have a beautiful community that our children can grow up in.
5. Favourite thing to do with the kids in the area?
Going to all the parks, and strolling Uptown Waterloo.