Melody is the founder and CEO of Fred and Far, a Self Love Pinky Ring jewelry company promoting women's self commitment and self-love. We asked her on her entrepreneurial journey, beauty tips and routines, and personal insights on how she leads her life true to her self.
Let's start with your entrepreneurial journey!
Q. How did you start your Self Love Movement company, Fred and Far?
By early 2015, I had achieved every one of my personal milestones: graduate school, entrepreneurship, marriage, home ownership, and even children (twins!). Despite having it all, I wasn’t happy enough to enjoy any of it. I realized that in striving to reach these milestones, I had prioritized everything and everyone above myself. I hadn’t practiced self care in years, and had lost my connection with my true self. Creating the Self Love Pinky Ring was how I reclaimed myself. I wore it each day, and used it as a reminder to be, love and choose myself - daily. Within weeks I felt a seismic shift in my well being. That’s when I knew I had to bring this ring and movement to other women. I spent a year developing the ring and brand, and launched in early 2016. Thankfully my story resonated, and within months the Self Love Pinky Ring went viral on a global scale. I’m especially proud of all the stories we’ve collected and shared from the women who have joined Fred and Far. Together we are changing what it means to be a whole, worthy, chosen and loved woman.
Q. What fears did you face while starting your business and how did you overcome them?
The foundational fear I faced was having no idea what I was doing. I had no experience in either jewelry or e-commerce. Every step of the journey was completely new, and was decorated with as many failures as successes. I overcame them by 1) staying true to my vision for the Self Love Pinky Ring and the movement it empowers 2) never giving up. My husband and I have a family motto: Godfreds never give up. (We’ve instilled this in our kids, too. They really embrace it, which is so affirming, since one of my goals is cultivating a generation of self-loving women while they are still girls). Persistence is probably the most important quality for an entrepreneur to have. I could have given up a dozen times already for varying reasons. I’m so glad I didn’t.
What are some tips on bringing your ideas to life?
My top five tips for bringing your ideas to life:
Just start. Seriously. So many entrepreneurs - especially women - wait for an idea to be perfectly formulated and expressed before bringing it to life. I’ve found that ideas evolve best when they’re being used. Start lean: achieve the minimum viable product and go to market. Slowly evolve and refine until you achieve product/market/fit. We live in an unprecedented time - we have access to many of the same tools established global businesses use as well as a global customer base.
Be Authentic. Choose an idea that is authentic to you, and then share it with the world - not just the idea or the finished product, but your journey to creating it, to building your business, and your “why” - the reason you started it all in the first place. Be the voice and face of your brand. You’ll be amazed at how willing your customers will be to support you when you trust them with your true self.
Do your own PR. Once you start a business, vendors will come out of the woodworks and pitch you on their services. Despite working with multiple PR companies, none were able to get the results I was able to get on my own. Cultivate relationships with editors and freelance writers, seek out opportunities for thought leadership, and create your own buzz on social channels and your website by creating and sharing powerful content.
Learn Digital Advertising. Facebook and Instagram ads are without question one of the most powerful tools for scaling a business quickly. Just like PR, digital marketers will find you and convince you to give them thousands of dollars to run your digital advertising campaigns. The problem is if you don’t understand how digital marketing works, you won’t be able to assess the impact of their work, and worse, you won’t be able to provide the assets they need to be successful. Facebook offers a free digital advertising training called Blueprint. I highly recommend every entrepreneur go through it before doing her own ads or hiring someone to do her digital advertising.
Plan for Success. When I started off, I was selling one Self Love Pinky Ring a week for the first few months. And then due to some unexpected press, I started selling 100 rings in a day. I was not prepared for my success. I had to scramble to create inventory, secure packaging supplies, and build my team to handle our sudden sales volume. Now, I plan for my success. I ensure I always have adequate supplies, support and infrastructure.
Q. How do you cope with failure or rejections?
Fail, fail again, fail better. That’s one of my favorite expressions. Failure is a sign of life. It means you’re trying. When I fail, I take the lesson and move forward. I try very hard not to take it personally anymore; which is what I did for a long time. A failed product launch used to mean that I’m a failure. Now it means that it’s time to learn a lesson and move on to something new.
Q. What do you do when you get insecure?
When I’m insecure, I ground myself through my gratitude practice. I take myself through all the things I have to be grateful for, including the impact I’ve made. It’s easy for me to dwell on my failures or unrealized potential, as that’s a lifelong pattern of behavior I’m working on changing. When I’m faced with my insecurities, I shift my focus. I change the narrative. I decide the thoughts that get to make a home in my heart and body. So insecurity might visit - but it’s not invited to stay.
Please also share your beauty routines and tips with us!
Q. What are your go-to makeup product?
Two Faced Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer
Q. Go to Skincare Product?
Sunday Riley CEO Glow Vitamin C and Turmeric Face Oil
Q. Go to Hair care Product?
Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray
Q. What is your skincare routine?
Morning: Philosophy Purity face wash followed by SPF moisturizer.
Evening: When I’m bringing my skincare A game, I use micellar water to remove makeup, Purity face wash, witch hazel toner, Differin retinoid gel, CEO Glow face oil. When I’m desperate to crawl into bed, I still take off my makeup with micellar water because when it comes to skincare, something is exponentially better than nothing.
Q. What is your hair care routine?
I alternate between shampoos to keep my hair fresh. Right now I’m using Redken’s All Soft shampoo and conditioner and Aveeno Pure Renewal shampoo. I also cycle in Drybar’s purple shampoo to ensure my blonde stays blonde.
Q. What is your body care routine?
My body care routine is pretty basic. Bar soap in the shower, the occasional sugar scrub to exfoliate, and Supergoop sunscreen if I’m going to be in the sun. I should be using lotion all over - especially my hands - but I don't’ love the sensation. I’m working on that.
Amazing. Thank you for sharing that! Now, let's move on to your personal Insights...
Q. What makes you, you?
My ability to make people feel seen and understood. Whether in person, or more often now, through a product, poem or DM exchange, my creativity has always been my lifeline to other people; it’s what allows me to connect with the world and our collective emotional experiences. As a teenager I used to write poems for my friends to help make sense of their feelings. Today as the founder of Fred and Far, I’ve written the book The ABCs of Self Love to inspire each of us to connect with our true selves, and I write poetry daily on Instagram. I’m grateful that while I launched Fred and Far with the Self Love Pinky Ring, it has really become an outlet for me to explore the human experience and express my true self as a writer; that’s why I call myself the Self Love Philosopher.
Q. What do you do to live true to yourself?
I’m grateful that I’ve aligned my work with my true self - that has been the greatest shift in my life. I started my career as an attorney, which was completely wrong for me. Even though I was good at it, it only fed my ego - not my soul. In contrast, Fred and Far is the truest expression of who I am on all levels.
Q. What would you say to your younger self?
Melody! When you get the A-, don’t criticize yourself for not getting the A+. Embrace all that you are instead of destroying yourself because of what you are not. You are abundant, Melody! The validation you’re seeking from others will never make you feel whole. You are whole already as you are, within yourself. Melody! I love you. I am in awe of you. You are pure magic from head to toe and will make an indelible mark on the world simply by being you -- so enjoy the journey.
Q. Lastly, what does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is authenticity. A woman who is herself, and relishes herself, that is the most beautiful thing possible.
These are really great insights and tips.
Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring journey and insights, Melody!
For more information on Melody or Fred and Far, visit Fred and Far