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Conversations with Melinda Aguirre

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melinda Aguirre.

Hi Melinda, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’ve always been creative and artistic so when my mother-in-law gifted me my first sewing machine I was thrilled. I knew I wanted to work for myself and I wanted to put my creativity to good use, that’s when I came up with the idea to start a small business. I wasn’t exactly sure yet what I wanted my small business to be but I decided to get started anyway.

The pandemic had just started so I taught myself how to sew masks. Before you knew it, I had started Meli J’s Boutique with the help of my husband and family. At that point, I knew I wanted Meli J’s Boutique to be for quality modest clothing in the future.

My husband and I moved to South Carolina from Wisconsin a little over a year ago and that’s about the time I decided to get serious about my small business. I left my job and have been pursuing my small business full-time. I graduated from masks to hair accessories and more.

Mel J’s Boutique now has a website and has participated in different markets. I also have had the wonderful opportunity to have my products sold at a boutique and hair salon. I’m excited to say Meli J’s Boutique is doing what I originally wanted to do, which is sell modest clothing. This fall I will be coming out with skirts!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Having my own business has not been easy. For starters, I didn’t really know how to sew. So there was a huge learning curve. I remembered a couple of basic steps from high school but everything else has been self-taught. The first mask I made took me all night long to make.

Another struggle was the fact that I started during the pandemic. I remember telling co-workers, family, and friends that I wanted to start this business and some were supportive but others didn’t really believe it would work out. That was a struggle because it meant I really had to believe in myself if I was gonna make this happen.

I struggled with comparing my chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10, meaning I struggled with comparing myself to others. There has been plenty of other struggles along the way but if you’re going to create something amazing, expect to struggle.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a seamstress and I specialize in fashion design. I do anything from sewing to marketing for my business. I’ve been able to share my creativity with others and seeing how much they love and appreciate that has made me so proud.

My products are really great quality and I do what I can to give my customers the best. My personality, style, and creativity will always be something that is unique to me and sets me apart from others.

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