Photo by Josiah Kopp
1. She has been a champion of women in the community
From founding a nonprofit with a mission to help female business owners improve and scale, to starting the mosaic district which houses eight female entrepreneurs to becoming the new Executive Director of Ladyboss Lifestyle, an organization that started to strengthen the presence and power of women in the Midwest business community, Melanie has made it her mission to support women.
About Ladyboss Lifestyle
Ladyboss Lifestyle, formerly known as Ladyboss Midwest, is an organization founded to connect and empower women through digital and in-person events, creating community for and with women. Ladyboss Lifestyle offers events like their yearly retreat, monthly events and connection opportunities through their weekly podcast, online community, newsletters and social media platforms.
Did you know?
Ladyboss Lifestyle Group on Facebook has 9.5K members and a total of 20K followers/subscribers across all platforms.
2. She is deeply ingrained in the community
In addition to everything listed above, Melanie has started a handful of other businesses during her career and is currently the founder of Mosaic Interior Design. All of these experiences have allowed her to make countless connections in the community.
3. She places a high priority on wellness
Throughout the years, Melanie has been very vocal about her former struggles with addiction, anxiety and self-sabotage. Through those struggles, she has found a renewed sense of purpose and shares her steps for betterment with those around her.
5 Health Hacks for Fargo
1. When in doubt, sweat it out.
“I’m obsessed with hot yoga. The class has to be at least 95 degrees and nothing is more soothing for my soul—and my body—than a good Bikram or Vinyasa flow. Hot yoga feels more like a good therapy session than a workout, especially in the winter. Right now, my favorite places to go are Yuj Yoga and Indigo Bloom Yoga & Wellness.“
Check page 76 for a feature on Yuj Yoga Founder Allison Grippe.
2. Splurge on good skin care products and services.
“I used to buy cheap facial products. The year I became Mrs. North Dakota International 2020, I decided that I would take the time to learn what was best for my skin. I went to Fargo Center for Dermatology and their team put together the perfect plan for my skin. I could immediately tell the difference and I felt so much more confident wearing less makeup.”
Did you know?
Mrs. North Dakota International 2022 was Misty Ibach.
3. Lift weights.
“As a woman, I used to worry that I would bulk up if I lifted heavy weights. I’d do all the cardio, which was fine, but I noticed how much quicker I hit my fitness goals when I included weights in my regime. I used to be intimidated but I downloaded an app that shows me exactly what to lift and helps me track my progress when I’m working out at the Y Downtown.”
4. Rest. Rest. Rest.
“Learn how to be still. In the last number of years, I’ve been practicing ‘active rest’. It’s difficult for me to sit still and do nothing. By turning off the screens and reading a good book, or taking time to journal, my body is still but my mind is occupied. It helps center my mind so that I can be present when I need to be.”
5. Find a friends or community who can support your goals.
“I used to think that I didn’t like group classes. Turns out, I’m much more likely to stick to whatever I’m doing when I had even just one person who knows my name or can hold me accountable. I also push myself harder when I’m able to celebrate small wins with someone else. I love the community and vibe at Fly Fitness.“
Melanie’s Places to Go
1. Fly Fitness
“I love the community, the coaches and the vision behind Fly. It’s never about competing with the person next to you, but instead it’s about believing that all ships will rise together. I also love that it’s downtown.”
Melanie is not the only trendsetter suggesting Fly Fitness in this magazine. If we had to guess, we think it’s definitely worth a try.
2. 46 North Pints & Provisions
“I’m a sucker for a good salad, especially with new goals for the new year. One of my favorites is the Spinach Berry Salad at 46 North and I always add salmon for the extra omega 3, 6, & 9s. If I can eat my vitamins, rather than take them, I’ll do it!”
3. Lovely Lash Company
“When n I’m going to spoil myself, I’ll stop in at the Lovely Lash Company for a lash nap. Their chairs are so comfortable and I’m passionate about supporting locally-owned, female ran businesses.”
Lovely Lash Company co-founder Brea Binstock is a veteran of the Army National Guard and was featured in Fargo INC!’s 2021 veteran issue.
“I don’t get my nails done often, but if I have something special to go to, I will see Krystal at Nailtique. She’s so fast and friendly! I absolutely loved what she did for my nails.”
5. Twenty Below Coffee Co.
“Going to 20 Below Coffee is like going to the caffeinated version of Cheers. I feel like everyone knows my name and my drink. I am also obsessed with their bottomless Turmeric Tea, which also fights inflammation!”
“My desk at work looks like a supplement pharmacy and my extra strength turmeric pills sit front and center!”
-Brady Drake, Editorial Director
1. Mas Tequila
“One of my favorite restaurants right now is Mas Tequila. I love to sneak away from work for their lunch menu. They are the only place in town with empanadas and I’m obsessed with them.”
2. Ritual Prenatal Vitamin
“I recently had a baby and started taking these vitamins while I was pregnant. My hair, nails and skin have never naturally looked better!”
3. Sephora Lip Gloss: Glossed in #Blessed
“I really don’t love wearing a ton of lipstick, but love lip gloss. I recently found this Sephora brand lip gloss and am obsessed. It’s the perfect nude and compliments my minimalistic approach to make up wearing!“
4. The Red River
“In the summers, I like to walk or bike along the Lindenwood trail. Sometimes, I grab my hammock, a book and snacks and chill by the river for hours. I’ve also rented and borrowed kayaks. I drop them in the red and go upstream first so I can float back and relax. A lot of people leave town for the lakes so it’s always really quiet and peaceful.”
Kayak rentals are available at Lindenwood Rentals for just $10 an hour!
“Create the Love is a great account that Mark Groves runs. It’s all about human connection, healthy relationships and has relatable memes that make me laugh.”
Shop (Local Store)
“Mint + Basil is one of my favorite home decor, apparel and accessories stores downtown. I love the vibe, along with their beauty accessories and eccentric book selection.”
Tip: If you want a unique gift for a friend or relative, this is your jam.
“IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara is amazing. My makeup bag is simple, so I want what I buy to make a huge impact. This mascara tricks people into thinking I’ve purchased lashes. It lengthens mine, brightening my eyes and helping me look better rested, even with the 7-month-old at home!”
“The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg was life-changing. I wanted to create new habit loops and patterns in my life, like working out, not see-sabotaging my diet or professional goals, etc. This book helped me slow down and learn how to create better habits and retrain my brain to think differently about goals, habits and the future.”
“Everything Happens For a Reason” by Kate Bowler has inspired me over the last couple of years. Kate bucks the saying, ‘Everything Happens for a Reason,’ after discovering stage four cancer in her body. It addresses toxic positivity while continuing to inspire people that they can overcome obstacles in their lives. When bad things happen, it’s ok to reflect, rest and discover a way of thinking that isn’t victim-focused. It beautifully holds the space of the unknown.”
BodySpace – “This app shows me exactly what workouts I need to follow based on my goals, enters it into a calendar and makes going to the gym much less intimidating.
I love the YMCA Fercho. I love that it has been a staple downtown for years. It is super close to where I work. I love the staff. And I’m obsessed with sitting in the sauna, especially during the winter! As a new mom to a seven-month-old, I like that I can bring my baby with me and drop him off in the childcare center.”
What are health, wellness and beauty to you?
I’ve stopped looking so much at my weight when it comes to my health. I used to count calories and obsess over the number. Today, I’m more concerned about how my clothes fit and if I’m getting the right kind of calories. Personal beauty is more about walking in confidence, not comparing myself to other people. I used to try to copy what others were doing that looked good on them, and have invested more time in focusing on what makes me feel good about myself, imperfections and all.
How have your views on those things evolved over time?
I used to limit my caloric intake and obsessively work out. Many years ago, it was unhealthy and I wasn’t even strong. I was only skinny. Today, I want to be strong enough to increase weights and challenge my strength. I used to be afraid of bulking up, but have realized that my body probably won’t do that with basic gym attendance and a healthy amount of cardio. These days, I wear much less makeup than I used to. So many times, I’d be putting it on and my teenage daughter would say, “Mom, you look better without it.” I’ve adopted that mentality and many days leave the house without it.
What is something you have been doing lately that you are proud of in regard to these things?
I had a baby after 40-years-old and my body is just different than it was in my 20s. I’ve been mindful about giving myself grace for the season I’m in and celebrating the body that has re-created life three times, rather than shaming myself for not being in my skinny jeans.
What are some health/ beauty options in town that you have utilized that have not already been listed?
I love my hair stylist, Kristen Cigelski. She’s been doing my hair since I was 21 and I absolutely love what she does. I’ve really appreciated learning about how to take care of my skin at Fargo Center for Dermatology. I decided that if I invest more in my skin now, then I get to spend less on makeup!
What is one important lesson you have learned in your life that you think our readers should know about?
1. Self-care is more than what gym you go to and what vitamix you have. Self-care includes taking silent walks without documenting it on Instagram. It includes journaling, camping and quiet kayak rides with a good book. One summer, I spent so much time on the water, just meditating. I’d bring my hammock with me, and just fall asleep on the side of the Red River. Learning how to be quiet took a lot of time.
2. As a woman, I’d spend so much time looking in the mirror, hating what I saw. It always felt disappointing because it didn’t match what I saw in magazines or on social media. Back then, I would never have called it self-hatred, but that’s what it was. One year, I went to a retreat where we were guided through an exercise of self-acceptance and healthy selflove. Part of the homework was to go home and bless the parts of our bodies we complained about. That night, I went home and looked at the stretch marks on my stomach. Marks I’d complained about when trying so hard to get a flat stomach after having kids. Instead of complaining, I thanked my body for reproducing life and blessed it. I went through all the parts of myself I didn’t like and blessed them with similar sentiments. It was very spiritual. Whenever I catch myself feeling down about extra weight or marks that I used to think should be photoshopped, I think back to that exercise and thank my body for the miracles it’s created.
1. “This is what I try to do! I think it’s important to pay attention to how you feel rather than how many calories you are consuming.”
-Brady Drake, Editorial Director
2. Head to issue.com/fmspotlight to check out the March 2020 issue of Fargo Monthly which is aptly name “Treat yo’ Self” to find out more about some great options in town for self-care.
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