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Rising Stars: Meet Melody Proud

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melody Proud.

Melody, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I am the founder of Live Love St Pete. We are a non-profit fundraising organization. We sell “Live Love St Pete” branded merchandise with 100% of our proceeds going to help underserved children in St Petersburg. I was first exposed to the needs of children in Saint Petersburg when I helped with a Thanksgiving Meal program we did at my church. We provided meals for 80 homeless families in one St Petersburg elementary. During the project, I met the principle of the school and learned more about their struggles. The children see their school as their community. Yes, they get a good education but they also need so many other things like uniforms, breakfast food, backpack, school supplies and sometimes sock, underwear and shoes and hygiene items. A lot of times the underpaid teachers and administrators pay for these items. After this project, my husband and I started helping the school with things the kids needed as well as just incentives for testing and good behavior, special events and lunches and we also provided Christmas gift!

After helping this school, I felt like if there is one school that needs this help, there are probably several more… unfortunately, I was right! In order to help more schools we needed a revenue source. I thought instead of just asking people to donate money we’d make it bigger and get the community involved. My experience was people who live in St Pete love it and people who visit here love it too. I decided to sell Live Love St Pete T-shirts to help raise money. Our unique skyline St Pete T-shirts have became very popular people love the look of the T-shirt as well as the great stuff it does to help St Pete kids. So we added more Live Love St Pete merchandise… the more we sell, the more we can help St Pete Kids. A year into our mission, we are currently helping six elementary schools and we donated 0ver $10,000 worth of resources!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Honestly, it’s been pretty smooth. We sell our T-shirts at three vendors in St Pete… The Merchant on the Pier and on Central as well as 400 Beach Annex. We also sell at markets in and around St Pete. All but one market has welcomed us with open arms. We’ve sold at big events like Localtopia and Shopapalooza, the Corey Market and other smaller venues and we are always well received. However for some reason, the ST PETE Saturday Morning Market will not let us sell our merchandise there.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I ran an advertising agency for 25 years. We serviced local, regional and national clients. I have always been on point at all times to help our clients with creative ideas like a creative ad campaign, a creative advertising package or a creative graphic. I can come up with ideas and I can give direction on it, but I leave the design programs to the professionals…unfortunately for them with me over their shoulders.

As the president of the agency, I was always solving problems for my clients, employees, vendors, etc…I love looking at things differently to find the best solution. Possibly the person I was helping hadn’t thought of making them feel better about the situation! I’m not a quitter…sometimes to the detriment of the people negotiating with me. As Tom Petty said…I ‘Dont’ back down!

How do you define success?
I define success as being able to using the skills that I have been given to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Pricing:

  • Live Love T-shirts are $28 on line including shipping

Contact Info:

  • Email: Melody@LiveLoveStPete.org
  • Website: LiveLoveStPete.org
  • Instagram: @LiveLove_StPete
  • Facebook: @LiveLoveSaintPete

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