We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Beckwith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
The work life balance is always in flux, but so important to manage and stay ahead of throughout the ebb and flow of business responsibilities. After 10 years+ running my own business I still haven’t mastered a perfect balance but instead have embraced the shifts and know some weeks will be intense with deadlines and overlapping projects and other weeks will be slow. I just try to watch for those pendulum swings and not let things get too far in either direction. Staying organized is key… each day I prioritize my to-do list and tackle the hardest things first being mindful of timelines and due dates. Friday afternoon I always hold for admin duties, invoicing, touching base with clients on project process, clearing our my inbox and just wrapping up the week so I feel good about shutting down my computer for the weekend.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I went to college for Fine Arts, studying ceramics and design with the assumption I could walk out of school one day and launch into the the world and sustain myself as an artist. But without much experience I just focused on gaining full time employment and ended up in an outdoor industry marketing position right out of school that took me in another direction for several years. I have no regrets and had some amazing experiences that shaped my life but also knew it was just the first job to get me toward a different career path. I always had art as a hobby and taught art classes in my spare time but yearned to make it more of my life – to be creative for a living instead of just working to have time to be creative at nights and on weekends. So 5 years out of college I went back to school specifically for Graphic Design to combine my Art degree with the Marketing experience I had gained. It worked very well as I was able to position myself not only as a Graphic Design creative service provider, but also support marketing and advertising goals for my clients. During this crazy pandemic year, our world turned upside down and I had to ramp down my graphic design business to stay home with my young kids and support their online learning needs. Thankfully, I had these other creative endeavors to fall back on and began making more art in the time I could spare – watercolors, printmaking and pottery – and learned how to sell these products in retail and wholesale markets.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the mountains, so would plan a little getaway up the hill to ski, visit hot springs, hike, bike or just enjoy the views and the great outdoors.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, mom and friends have supported me through the years with the ups and downs of owning a small business. This past year with the pandemic, I leaned on them more than ever for emotional support and as a sounding board as I tried to find new revenue streams and other income ideas.