Melissa is a style consultant, personal development coach, speaker, and yoga teacher whose mission is to empower people and instill confidence through style and wellness. She’s big on time management, self-love, and positive body image.
SO, HOW'D YOU GET STARTED?
When I moved to LA, I had a full-time job and started assisting celebrity stylists on the side. I was getting up early, taking my marketing calls, and assisting stylists with whatever red carpet they had in the evening. Eventually, the styling took over and I did it full time. But I quickly realized I didn’t feel fulfilled. Doing editorial is fun, doing red carpet for award shows is exciting, but there wasn’t a greater purpose. I was an image maker. I wasn’t doing anything that brought change into the world. Then I realized some of the talent I was working with had awful self-esteem issues. They didn’t want to come out of the fitting room, they hated their bodies. Also around that time in 2010, my sister, who suffered from bipolar and depression, ended up taking her own life. I had this whole wakeup call. I was helping people create this image, but they were struggling on the inside. And that’s when I knew I had to focus on style with a purpose. Helping people be as confident as they appear. And that’s when my company Melissa Chataigne Style was born.
BIGGEST AHA MOMENT?
After working with celebrities and realizing they had a lack of confidence and also my sister dying by suicide — that was the aha moment for me. That women need to love themselves on the inside as much as on the outside. And that’s when I created my company.
"I define success as freedom. Freedom to create, freedom to connect, freedom to empower, freedom to travel."
ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU'RE MOST PROUD OF?
When I look back at a workshop I’ve done, and the audience is realizing their style, or connecting with their core values, and then they message me later on and say, “Oh gosh, this was so incredible, I’ve changed x, y, and z.” It happens all the time. Being a stylist and being able to be a changemaker is my biggest accomplishment.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
I define success as freedom. Freedom to create, freedom to connect, freedom to empower, freedom to travel. As I’ve gotten older success is more about flexibility than money and status.
SECRET TO PUSHING THROUGH WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH?
Finding gratitude in daily accomplishments. Change happens in short bites every single day, even if you don’t realize it. Sometimes you get overwhelmed, or the outcome is not what you want, but writing down three things that went well at the end of every day keeps me positive. Counting your own wins, being your own cheerleader, and counting gratitude is crucial to success.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Fashion. Owning your style. Helping people be their most powerful selves inspires me. That’s really the motivation for what I do every day.
HOW DO YOU REACH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL EVERY DAY?
Taking time for myself. I start my day with my cell phone out of my bedroom. I open my eyes and kiss my husband, I go straight to my meditation mat, and I meditate. I just take some time to clear my brain and repeat a daily mantra — it’s usually whatever comes to me first. Then I take some time to do some vinyasas to just wake up my body. Then I drink tea and write down three things I want to accomplish for the day. I usually do a self-care letter to myself. It’s a manifestation practice — writing what your life will be like in a year from now or five years. Then I start my day. All those little pieces in the morning help me reach my full potential. Taking care of myself to fill my cup before I fill anyone else's cup is the most important.
ULTIMATE LIFE HACK?
I pick and plan my outfits based on my week. I take some time on Sunday to see what meetings I have and what my week looks like, so then I have some stuff laid out and I can get ready more efficiently.
"Taking care of myself to fill my cup before I fill anyone else's cup is the most important."
GO-TO PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
I block schedule my workflow. I have an egg timer and I set it for each task. So if I’m writing a blog post, I’ll set it for an hour. It helps me to divvy up my time and be able to take breaks. Having a solid workflow is the key to life. I use Asana and it alerts me on what needs to be done that week. Setting a timer really helps me so I’m not wandering off. I also schedule video calls. In LA, everyone is late. Traffic happens. Things happen. So I decided to start scheduling calls through Zoom. I have people that I want to connect with often and we’ll do a virtual tea or coffee. We’ll both have our beverages and we’ll connect on camera, face-to-face. I get things done quicker that way than meeting in person.
PIECE OF ADVICE?
Passion doesn’t always convert to revenue. You can have a passion for fashion as I did, but I worked for years without getting compensated enough to live. That’s why I had my corporate job. So after you find your passion, figure out if there’s a market for your business. If you have to, work two jobs to get started.
Taking time for me in the morning. Meditation, journaling, yoga or stretches. I’m a tea drinker. I drink my matcha, and my ashwagandha, all that mushroom stuff. I also have a shot of apple cider vinegar every day. I swear by it.
IF YOUR FRIENDS COULD DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY IN ONE WORD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Vivacious. I bring a lot of energy with a little sass and class. [Laughs]
FAVORITE SELF-CARE PRACTICE?
I love hot baths. Like a legitimate beautiful bath bomb with some Himalayan sea salts, and some lavender oil, and some jazz. That is some self-care. It’s my Sunday ritual, so I don’t have the Monday Scaries.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?
I’m hitting the road this spring and conducting sorority workshops. I’ll be helping them prepare for recruitment with their presentations, their outfits, and their personal development. That’s my passion. I love helping women find their power. It's been a beautiful shift for me and a lot more speaking opportunities are coming my way.