Melanie is a self-proclaimed ‘accidental entrepreneur.’ Early in her career, she was laid-off when the office where she worked closed. Unemployed, she was unsure of her next steps. After some thought she decided to go into business for herself, using her sewing talent to design and create curtains. Without any thought to a business plan she went to work, and created countless window treatments, bedding and accessories for almost 25 years before putting away the sewing machine. During that time, she assisted her husband with the office duties of his part-time electrical business, led a local Mother’s Morning Out babysitting co-op, volunteered as a Girl Scout Leader and served on the Board of Directors for the Junior Woman’s Club of Wake Forest.
Altoona Hoist & Crane is born
In 1999, Melanie and John decided to open their own business: Altoona Hoist & Crane, Inc. They picked up roots and moved to Central PA (business plan in place this time) and met with SCORE volunteers who offered advice and support. Melanie was responsible for the office duties, while John handled sales and service. In 2005, they sold the rapidly-growing business to a key employee and returned to NC.
A volunteer becomes an employee, then Your Social Media Gal is born
Still creating curtains and drapes, Melanie yearned to do something new, but the economy had taken a turn, and employment was hard to find. So she turned to volunteering at the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, which led to a wonderful opportunity. Melanie met business owners and elected officials, learned more about the local business climate, and found a desire to help these business owners be successful. She made it a priority to learn as much as she could about helping other businesses and organizations be successful using new marketing techniques like social media marketing and email marketing. She read articles, attended webinars and seminars, and joined workshops, eager to learn these new digital trends, and share this with the chamber membership. After years of sharing her knowledge with the community, a trusted colleague urged Melanie to jump off the deep end. On June 1, 2012, Melanie launched Your Social Media Gal.
Awards and Recognitions:
2009 Rolesville Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year
2013 Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion
2014 Constant Contact All-Star Award
2014 Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion
2015 Constant Contact All-Star Award
2015 Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion
2015 Official City Partner Google
2016 Google Trusted Verifier
2016 Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion
Melanie and her husband John have three grown daughters of whom they are very proud. They have a spoiled Yorkie, Gracie and 2 rescue kitties, Benny and Henry. She hopes to someday have a small flock of chickens in the backyard.
When not working, Melanie enjoys spending time outdoors, camping with friends and family, and finding new trails to walk. She is an avid sea glass collector, and enjoys making crafts from found items. One of her favorite things to do is make good food to feed the people she loves. She volunteers at her church and with NEW Backpack Buddies. She enjoys thrift shopping, as it feels like a treasure hunt, and reading books by some of her favorite contemporary authors, including Elizabeth Berg and Anita Shreve.