In January of 2015 I packed myself up into a little Ford Focus and drove from Utah to Maryland
to take the next step in our relationship with a man I loved dearly. I was kind of starting over, so
if it didn’t fit, it didn’t ship.” This means that literally everything I owned made that four-day
trip, though a blizzard, to the East Coast with me.
I knew one soul in Maryland when I left Utah, and driving away from my home state and
everything I’d known for so long was one of the most frightening things I’d ever done at the
I tend to be a bit of an introvert so one of the things I was most concerned about was how in
the world I was going to make friends. It’s not like I was in school and could make friends there.
It’s not like I am the type of person who likes to hang out at bars and make conversation with
random strangers. However, one thing I DO like is drinking wine. So before I left Utah I found a
group of women in Maryland who held a monthly wine night/happy hour, and I joined.
It just so happened that their January event was on the same day that I arrived in Maryland. I
stopped by what would be my new home, dropped off my stuff, took a quick shower, and
hopped back into the Focus to go drink some wine and meet some Maryland women
I had no idea at the time that this group of women would very quickly become my village. I had
no idea that they would be the people who help pick me up when I’m down, who make me
laugh all the time, and who support me in all of my crazy endeavors such as starting a business
from scratch and becoming a physique competitor.
Within this village of amazing women, I found my best friend. We met that first night in
January, but it was in May that Melissa (or Mel, for short) and I discovered that our list of
favorite things was very similar, and very specific: Jillian Michaels, Grey’s Anatomy, new and
delicious foods, deep conversations, and alone time! We’ve been two peas in a pod ever since.
She’s my rock. She’s been with me through the entire roller coaster ride that has been my first
four years in Maryland: Personal relationships ending, Indellibelle starting, floods, expansion,
physique competitions...she’s been there for it all. She’s endured frantic middle of the night
text messages and phone calls, teary talks over wine, carb-starved craziness, my need to dress
up her pets, and my inability to make decisions that don’t relate to Indellibelle. She even put
together a very nice funeral service for my fish, Blue, who died while I was at home in Utah a
couple of years ago.
She’s always been the one in the wings making sure I’m ready for what life has to throw at me
and then cheering me on with all her might.
Mel isn’t just my cheerleader, though. She’s her own person with lots of opinions. She stands
up for what she believes and encourages all of the women in her life to do the same. She can
curse like a sailor and is unapologetic about it. Mel will tell you that she wasn’t always this way, that it took many years and many painful missteps to find her way. But now that she has, she’s
passionate about helping others find their own confidence so that they can find their way, too.
Now it’s time for her to step out from behind the curtain so we can team up in a new way.
We’ve both got so much we want to put out into the world and we’re going to do it together!
Please stay tuned for more from Mel and for OUR NEW PODCAST: Beauty And The Bleep!!!