This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating seven amazing female founders who’ve started companies based on the idea of helping out other women. Whether it’s a business for women, or to help support women (or both!), each one has a mission Team SN stands behind.
Sometimes you find an Instagram friend—er, Influencer—who feels like just that: a friend. For once we’re actually not talking about Arielle (though obviously she’s our BFFL), we’re talking about Melissa Wood of Melissa Wood Health, founder of the MWH Method. We love how sisterly Melissa’s vibe is, and the fact that her entire business is based on helping women learn to love themselves. Both her personal and professional journeys have been about finding balance in her life—raise your hand if you can relate to that! Which is exactly why Melissa created her company: To help women find peace, love, and acceptance wherever they are, and no matter how little time they may have. The MWH Method is a triple threat, combining movement, meditation, and mindful eating so that you can not only look good, but, more importantly, feel good. Since her words of wisdom stream right to your living room, you won’t get stressed about adding another thing to your to-do list (that’s how well she knows women).
When something doesn’t feel right, it’s usually not. Your intuition will always guide you on the right path. But it’s up to you to fully tap in and listen.
Something Navy: How did you come up with the idea for your business? What was the journey like?
Melissa Wood: The foundation of my business was truly built by authentically sharing what I love and what personally helped get me to a great place within myself. After I had my son I was on a quest to feel good in my body again, but I didn’t have hours to spend in the gym. I created these flows from the foundation of all the movements that made me feel my best, and slowly started sharing them on social media. The more I shared, the more I connected to my audience, and understood what they gravitated towards. I would carve out time each week, set up my $24 tripod in my living room, and film my flows from start to finish, and I didn’t edit a single thing. By keeping it raw and real is where I believe I started to build up a subscriber base which ultimately led to the business I now have today.
But the truth is long before I ever had the idea of this evolving into an actual business, I honed in on what fully lit me up. I believe no matter where you are on your path, when you fully connect to what makes you feel the most fulfilled, unimaginable things blossom in all aspects of your life.
SN: What were some of the roadblocks and how did you overcome them?
MW: Before I moved everything onto my own platform, I was sharing my workouts elsewhere, and it got to the point where I didn’t feel completely in alignment. I was told that if I made the move, I wouldn’t be successful. When you’re in a position where your gut is telling you one thing, but someone is basically saying you’re going to fail, you begin to question yourself and ask if this is the right move or not. I’m here to share when something doesn’t feel right, it’s usually not. Your intuition will always guide you on the right path. But it’s up to you to fully tap in and listen.
SN: How did you go about finding the “right people” to believe in your vision in evolving your social platform through a digital app?
MW: To be completely honest, I’m still looking to bring in a lot of the “right people” as I grow. I’m so grateful to social media for bringing in almost everyone who works for me into my life. The main thing I look for are people that have strengths that are my weaknesses but have the same underlying love, passion and loyalty in working for MWH for the long haul, not just for the time being. For me, it’s all about growing and evolving together as a team. Building a team was the best investment I ever made!
SN: As a mother, you are certainly an inspiration for finding balance in your life. What has your experience been balancing the personal and the professional?
MW: I look at it less as a balance and more about prioritizing what matters most to me. I’m very fortunate to be in a position where I get to spend as much quality time with my kids as I do—getting them up in the morning and out the door, and then coming home for dinner, bath and bedtime is what’s important to me. It’s a true luxury that I don’t take for granted.
What’s really working right now is not saying “yes” to things that are “maybes.” I’ve been getting really clear with myself about where I want to put my time and energy. My family comes first. So for example, if there’s something special going on at B’s school, I always try to work my day around that. However, if there’s a day it just doesn’t work out, I try not to be hard on myself. I strive to be present in both our everyday routines as well as special occasions, as I believe this is what shapes our children.
SN: What has been your experience with the mom community?
MWH: The mom community are die-hards, and being able to connect with them in the way I do is what fulfills me the most through this work.
SN: What have been the most validating moments or milestones along the way?
MW: The most validating moment as a mother to me is when I tuck my son in bed at night and he tells me I’m the best mom in the world. I know he’s young and all kids say this to their parents, but I feel it in my heart. Elanor just started saying, “I love you,” and I could actually melt from all the love I feel from my babies.
As a boss, I could give a list about building our website and app, but the most validating thing is waking up every day and loving everything I do. Loving the work that you contribute to the world is the best feeling in the world.
SN: What advice would you give to mothers who are trying to balance all areas of life?
MW: Stop trying to balance everything, and prioritize the things each day that make you feel your best. When you get really clear with where you’re putting most of your time, it helps carve out more space for the things that give you a greater sense of peace and ease in your mind and body. For me, meditating and moving everyday is what makes me better in every area of my life. So even if I meditate for 10 minutes and move for 20 minutes, I’m legitimately a much better version of myself than when I do nothing.
SN: Who are your female role models?
MW: Maryanne Williamson, Michelle Obama and Diane Von Furstenberg. Oh and Oprah…but isn’t she everyone’s?!
SN: What do you wear when you need to feel powerful?
MW: I love a great suit with an oversized jacket and slim fit ankle bootie.
SN: How do you self-care?
MW: Meditation and movement are my medication. Carving out just 20 minute to get something in (even if it’s 5 min meditation and 15 min of movement) it makes all the difference in how I show up for my day. One thing that’s really been working at night after a crazy day is turning off all electronics 30-40 minutes before bed to wind down. It’s seriously done wonders for my sleep. And prioritize rest! We need so much more sleep than we think.
SN: What’s the best advice you ever received?
MW: Start now. Don’t wait until you’re ready. You will become more ready as time goes on while, you’re learning along the way. If you have something burning inside you to share, slowly start doing it. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Coming from a recovering perfectionist…it will paralyze you. Do everything with love and it will move right through you.