CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR | MELISSA NAGY | COMBINING WORK + MOTHERHOOD AT HOME
Combining a home based business and motherhood can be challenging, but Melissa Nagy of Melissa Nagy Design is thriving while doing just that.
Melissa can you share a little about yourself with us?
I'm mom to 3 amazing boys and partner with my husband for 16 years. Originally from Akron I attended Kent State University, graduated with my bachelor's in Marketing then moved to the Youngstown area 10 years ago for a job with a financial wholesaler. After 7 years, I realized I wasn't happy with my job and wanted to get back into the creative field. So took a part time position as a creative marketer for a technology company. After settling into my part time job, I decided it was time to follow my ultimate dream of starting my own business.
How did Melissa Nagy Designs come to be?
I was always a creative child and knew I wanted to do something in the creative industry when I grew up, but it was my children who inspired me to start my own business. Like most parents I wanted to be able to be with my kids. Starting my own business allowed me to be flexible and create my own schedule. I decided to specialize in graphic design and content marketing because of my love of art, technology, and helping others reach their goals. I love being able to join forces with other local businesses and help them grow with my services of design and marketing.
Where do you seek inspiration?
Nature. I love being outdoors and whenever I get stuck in a rut, I find myself loading the kids up and going for a hike, finding some park we haven't been to and just trying to see things differently and get away from the computer screen and technology for a minute.
Who or what would you say has been the biggest influence on you and your work?
I don't know if there's a single influential source for me, but am mostly influenced by my love of print design and artists: typographers like Paula Scher, designer Debbi Millman, artists M.C. Escher and Salvador Dali and entrepreneurs from Seth Godin to Marie Forleo.
Can you tell us a little about a typical work day?
I typically plan out my week of main tasks on Sunday so I know what's in store. I start each morning around 6AM and check my email and social media platforms from my phone before rustling around the house. From there, I plan out my tasks according to any client requests. I typically get a couple of hours in first thing in the morning before starting the day with my kids. I break for a few hours to give my attention to my kids and get them outside for a bit. I have to admit, I often check my phone during this time or take phone calls in case something else comes up. After lunch we have quiet/nap time and that's where I get a few more hours of work in. I take a second break for the day to prepare dinner and have family time once my husband comes home from work. 8:30 is always bedtime for my youngest kids, and then I'm free to work as late as I need to. I usually try to finish up by 11PM.
Any advice you have for mothers who are running a business from home while raising children?
It's going to be hard but try to create a schedule that works for you and your children. I went into this thinking I could easily switch back and forth from working to making breakfast but realized quickly I don't work that way. Once I set aside chunks of time for work and for the kids, things worked better; they knew what to expect and so did I. I also have a planner that I schedule out each task no matter how big or small so I don't forget what needs done for my clients and seeing it written out helps me stay focused once I have my two hour block of time.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned running a business?
It's just as hard as people say it is! There are lots of long days, working at all hours of the day and any day of the week. Having a strong support at home that understands you and your drive is also key to being successful.