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Name: Melissa Chappell

Hometown: Orem Utah

Current Residence (City, State): Springville, Utah

Education: Some college, several certifications in the field of Childbirth

Professional Background (brief, please): I am a teacher, trainer and speaker.

What you wanted to be when you grew up: A psychologist and a mom.

What you are: I am a doula (birth assistant) and doula trainer. I have also worked as a childbirth educator for over ten years, and six months ago I started working as a raw vegan chef and teacher. I have held several positions in various entrepreneurial businesses and currently serve as a women’s health (mostly childbirth) advisor for a humanitarian organization serving Ethiopia, Ghana, and Peru. I am also a public speaker, speaking on childbirth and body image. Presently, I’m working on a sex education curriculum and a book about body image.

Brief Summary of your Start Up:

RawMelissa is a business that serves the vegetarian, vegan, and raw food communities. I offer personal chefing, group and private cooking and food classes, nutrition coaching and Feasts (a celebration with my client’s friends, family and lots of great food). I also sell raw vegan desserts to several health food stores in Utah County.

Company Website?
http://www.rawmelissa.com
http://www.childbirth-services.com

They are both still in process and have a few bugs to work out (especially the latter, sorry for the pop-ups) but they are very accurate in describing my work.

What inspired you? My entrepreneurial parents. They have been more supportive than you could possibly dream of.

How long have you been in business? 6 months with RawMelissa and over 10 years in the childbirth business.

How did you fund it? My childbirth business needed no more funding than the extra dollars out of my own pocket throughout the years because there is a natural cap on how many births a doula can physically and emotionally attend, but I’m am currently looking for funding to expand my food business as I can’t keep up with demand and have started using employees.

Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? My parents. (Can my dad be a Fairy Godmother?).

Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups?

I have a lifetime membership in the entrepreneurial training and support organization called IBI International. I was very involved for several years, but have been less involved since they have changed their focus from small business to large corporations.

Current Business Challenge? Success! My business is growing faster than I can keep up. I need funding to meet the demand.

What are you doing about it?

My business has a great rate of return – very high profit margins, so I need only a small amount of capital to get to the point of being able to expand exponentially. I am working on finding several investors who are interested in investing a small amount with an interest rate return rather than a share in the company. (The previous sentence is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offering). ☺

Favorite motivational quote

I have about a million of them, but I was thinking of one today: “Every ‘no’ you get brings you one step closer to your ‘yes’.” I don’t know who to attribute it to. Probably every motivational speaker has said it at one time or another.

Family?

Three glorious children. Two amazing parents. Three beautiful brothers.

If so, how do you balance family and business?

I have FOUGHT to stay at home with my kids as much as possible. The doula business works well because I only do 2-4 births a month. I’m on call, but when I go to a birth, their generally with family and then I’m off again until the next woman calls. My average time at a birth is 8 hours because moms usually don’t call me until they are ready for some extra support.

The food business has been a little more challenging but I try to take them shopping with me, or to the kitchen as often as possible and I usually only work away from home two days a week.

To be honest, probably the biggest reason for my starting my own businesses is so that I don’t have to go to some nine to five job and can be with my babes.

Favorite book?

I love reading so much, that I have a favorite book list. However, Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver will always remain one of my favorites. I also like reading books about the struggles women in other countries face. I just finished one called “Meena.” She was the women who started RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan). You can’t imagine what these women fight every day, just for simple freedoms like painting their nails. Every time I get discouraged I think of them and how strong they are.

What do you do to relax?

Read, sew, write, exercise, garden, cook, watch movies.

What do you want to change most about your world?

I have worked and will continue to work for the rest of my life for the respect and humane treatment of women.

What are you most proud of?

Well, if my first answer: my children, weren’t allowed, I would say: all that I’ve accomplished so far.

If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use?

My first inclination was to get political about precious stones, so maybe I shouldn’t answer, and say instead, that I would weave together a halo of flowers if I were called upon to design a tiara. ☺

What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses?

Just breathe.

Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)?

My parents.

Would you be interested in being a Fairy Godmother to another woman entrepreneur? (I am working on a secure system to do this, any ideas?)

At the basic level of course.

What business subjects would you feel comfortable mentoring in?

Basic start-up principles. Executive summaries.

Would you be interested in going to lunch with other women entrepreneurs for a “networking tea party”?

Yes.


  1. Deron Brunson

    While at the health food store I bought your Cheesecake, it was excellant. I was wishing there was more of this and I became curious as to the orgin of this great treat. And that’s what brought me here. If there is an investment opportunity please let me know.

    Deron Brunson
    801-571-3199




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