We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I have found that the driving factor behind any successful brand is passion. Creating your own brand is demanding in terms of time, emotional strength, and thought power. I haven’t met a single business owner who found success by going in halfway. You have to be passionate about what you do, why you’re doing it, and who you’re doing it for. After facing a handful of challenges, I created my brand based on a passion for helping others build their financial strength, which often times starts with organized bookkeeping.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Boring is often the first word associated with accounting and bookkeeping. I can guarantee you that Hello Missi is anything but boring. I hold a CPB license, but I refer to myself as a “Financial Wizard”. I’m highly organized, but also super creative, which is how I got here… At the beginning of 2020, I was a jet-set event manager working with high profile companies on behalf of a small production company headquartered in Tempe. In April, when the Coronavirus all but wiped the event industry clean, I found myself without any event responsibilities and only bookkeeper roles to fulfill. With the knowledge I had, I dove head first into some creative bookkeeping, pandemic loan applications, and found where every penny could be saved, which included half of my own salary. I did whatever it took to keep staff employed for as long as possible and still give the company something to come back to when the pandemic blew over. During all of this, I experienced some moments of heavy panic but, as a finance major in college, I was equipped to financially survive an economic crisis. I paid off my car in May (four years early!), jumped on the sourdough starter quarantine bandwagon, and found some enjoyment in “forced early retirement”. When will we ever again be ordered by the government to sit still? After I found the end of Netflix, I got bored and worried. So, I started looking for a job in a very saturated market. Over the course of six weeks, I sent out 67 resumes, which resulted in two interviews and zero job offers. It wasn’t until a friend sent me a lead to a job inquiry on Facebook, that turned into an interview and a permanent job offer as contracted role. Hello Missi LLC officially launched August 14th and in the first month, only saw exponential growth and engagement. P.S. If you’re wondering what happened to the production company, they’re doing great and their first major event in seven months kicks off next week. I can’t wait to get back to producing their books.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A few of my favorites places and faces include Postino’s, The Sicilian Butcher, Unphogettable, Zia Records, Merchant Square, Succulent Hair Co, Chupacabra Taproom, and anywhere that serves tacos.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All of my professional support and encouragement comes from Clyde Betts (ADV Productions), Kim Klimczak (FH Accounting), & Jill Smith. My tiny fan club at home is my bestest friend, Kim Blackburn, my four awe-inspiring teenagers Emma, River, Autumn, & Raela and my loudest cheerleader is Rowley Sisson, without whom I would miss out on a whole lot of awesome stuff, including my own potential.
Kim Blackburn Photography