BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES
Although Melissa Wilson had experience creating cosmetics for her sister and friends, she never fathomed the momentum her craft would gain. “I did not intend to start a business. It was a happy accident,” she admits. A surprisingly well-circulated Facebook post about her first product, “Purdy Lash” (now known as Eyelash Growth Serum), led to sales of over 165 bottles in the course of just several weeks. Today, Wilson has sold Melnaturel cosmetics in over 30 states and even Australia.
Wilson, eager to make her business official, turned to the Western Dairyland Women’s Business Center. There, she spoke with a Business Development Specialist and received help creating a business plan, researching the cosmetic industry, and developing financial reports. “Jacob and Karman from Western Dairyland were open arms ready and willing to help me start and grow my business … They also helped counsel my many questions and all the unknowns that come with starting a new business,” Wilson shares. “[They] made me feel confident and that Melnaturel was worth pursuing.”
Additionally, Western Dairyland assisted Wilson in applying the 2017 InnovateHer challenge, as well as the Red Letter Grant, which she received.
So where is Melnaturel going next? Wilson plans to continue steady sales on her website, Melnaturel.com, while expanding wholesale relationships with stores, boutiques, and salons both locally and nationwide. Melnaturel products are currently sold in five different stores in Eau Claire, Hudson, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Wilson, also the full-time Marketing Manager at CVTC, confides that working both full-time and as an entrepreneur has been “highly entertaining and rewarding.” She attributes her success to her entrepreneurial spirit, work experience, and education in marketing, business, and project management.