We had the good fortune of connecting with Melonie DeRose and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melonie, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
It’s all about our customers. From the development to every product, to the ingredients we put in our snacks, to the way we design our packaging, we focus on what our customers want and need and that is what we deliver. We are constantly asking our customers what they like (and don’t like), why they like our products, and how we can improve. Our business was designed for women and created to bring healthy and nutritious snacks to women because snacking is not one size fits all. Our success stems from this. We created our company to deliver natural snacks that empower women and we are guided by our drive to help women become better versions of themselves. We empower women to feel ALIVE. I believe that any success that we experience comes from our mission of achieving this bigger goal of helping women.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Running a small business means you get to be a jack of all trades every day. It’s exciting and scary…I have learned to laugh a lot! There is so much growth and satisfaction that comes with it though. With Empact, I’m most proud of the brand we have created, the incredibly tasty and nutritious products that we make, and most of all, the women we have helped and empowered along the way. Inspiring women is what inspires me and that passion is what got me where I am today. I have had an unconventional career path from working in government relations, becoming a corporate and securities attorney, owning a fitness company, and now owning a natural snack food company for women. (By the way, it all started when I worked the salad bar at a small restaurant in Austin, TX.) It was not easy and everyone has challenges. When you own your own business, the challenges are so frequent that you have to build up your tolerance, but this comes with time. I’m actually pretty risk-averse, and by the way, this character trait doesn’t go well with running your own business, but now when we face a challenge I look at it as a learning opportunity. Most of my hardest challenges have resulted in something amazing happening. So the lesson is, I don’t let the challenges define me. I get to define my story and my vision is powerful enough to overcome whatever challenge of the day I might be dealing with.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In Denver: For restaurants, I love Crepes n’ Crepes, Park Burger, Hopdoddy, True Foods, Los Chingones, Jing, Denver Central Market, Uchi, and Snooze. I would definitely recommend checking out Union Station, Wash Park, the Highlands, Denver Botanic gardens, the Denver Aquarium, Larimer Square, Denver zoo, Stanley Marketplace, and Cherry Creek for shopping! In the surrounding areas I would check out Red Rocks, Estes Park, and Boulder. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family (best husband EVER and 3 amazing independent daughters). Our customers deserve a special shout out because we would not be here without you. (We also have an incredible team of mentors and advisors, and amazing partnerships with a couple of non-profits!)