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Daily Inspiration: Meet Melissa Maxwell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Maxwell.

Hi Melissa, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Zuri Moneek Boutique started three years ago as a dream wanting to offer unique and eye-catching clothes to women of all shapes and sizes. Zuri stands for “Beautiful” in Swahili and Moneek is my middle name. The goal is to always make women feel beautiful. This whole idea came about when I lost myself. I’m a wife, a mother, and career woman. I’m doing my everyday activities of life, I began to lose myself and my drive to want to be dressed up. I felt like I lost my mojo of being stylish. You see, I was always the girl who made sure she was DRESSED. My shoes and accessories had to match my outfit. I would take time in putting my outfit together. But somewhere, I stopped doing it and I had to do soul searching and much needed self-care. In the search of finding myself, I realized that a lot of women who are mothers, wives, and work daily lose themselves in the everyday routine of providing for others and fulfilling their jobs in their homes. I had to start loving me more and making time for me. When I realized this, I started dressing myself up and becoming more confident in the woman that I am. I started LOVING me again. In that, people would ask me, where did you get that outfit, or they would say “I would have never thought to wear an outfit like that.” The light bulb came on and I created Zuri Moneek Boutique.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
OMG not it has not been a smooth road. You have to have courage, a good foundation, and a good mindset to be in business. Business is not for the faint. I remember when I started my first business before Zuri Moneek which was called Zuri Moneek. I failed tremendously. I still think about it and laugh. I started it with no plan, minimal knowledge, I cared about what others had to say, and basically I didn’t have any of my ducks in a row. So when I was ready to start Zuri Moneek, I knew I had to do it right by learning from my mistakes. It’s still never easy and there are days you want to quit, but you have to feed your mind with positive thoughts and focus. Most entrepreneurs fail several times before they get it right and I’m determined to succeed.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am an IT Engineer contractor for the government. I currently work in a male-dominated field. As a woman and a woman of color, I pride myself in being an Engineer. I remember when I use to work at a call center job and flip pizza in a college on the military base as a single mom because I knew that my part-time job of making pizzas every day I would be able to meet someone in IT that would allow me to get my feet in the door. I was going to college as well, and a lot of times it’s about who you know when you want to work for the government. In due time (literally three years), I met a man who gave me the opportunity to work in IT, but I had to get certified first in order to get the job and he said he would give me a chance. The certification was for Security+ and I only had a month to pass it. I studied so hard, and I was nervous to take the test but I was determined to get in this career. I wanted more for my twins and myself. I passed the test, I called him and said “When can I start?” He asked me what I was talking about and I literally told him to check his email. When he checked he laughed and told me, “Alright, I didn’t think you would do it.” I was hired two weeks later. My twins, determination, and hard work made me realize in this moment I can do anything I put my mind too and that mindset would set me apart from others because one “No” won’t stop me from achieving my goals. One failure won’t stop me so I know Zuri Moneek will be successful.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
During COVID-19, I learned that the world is full of opportunities and there is so much you can learn from the internet and others that you can make it. During COVID it showed me the power I had inside of me to still achieve my goals and find alternative ways to keep my online store going. I learned how to take my own photos, makeup, hair, and that helped me save money. Thank you YouTube University.

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