Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
Melanie: I was born and raised in Houston, 32 years going strong. I currently live about a half mile from the house I grew up in, which was one street from my Aunt’s house and two streets over from my Grandparent’s house.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have a 5 and 2-year-old boys. A 9-year-old angel boy who passed away in December.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I grew up showing Appaloosa horses. I traveled all over to different competitions with my family. It was definitely some of my most favorite childhood memories.
Favorite local things to do in Houston?
I love Houston restaurants and I’m always up for trying a new one. My favorite event in Houston is the Houston Rodeo. My family has always been involved in it, one way or another. I love throwing on my jeans and boots, seeing all the animals, eating yummy food and listening to great music. My family takes full advantage of the 3 weeks it’s going on.
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
I love El Tiempo on Navigation. Aside from their amazing fajitas and margaritas, their customer service is above and beyond. They make us feel like family each time we go. Ask for Erica she’s the best!
What is your go-to activity for yourself for pampering or for fun?
I always love a good pedicure but nothing is better than a girls night out. Dinner and a movie with my favorite ladies… good conversation really heals the soul!
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
I’ve never been one to stick with a good routine. I try to live in the moment with my kids. Some days my house is a mess but we had a fun day or weekend making memories! On the very practical side, I keep a drawer full of snacks, and a shelf with plastic bowls and cups that my kids can reach themselves. I also let my son get his own milk in the morning. It gives me a few extra wake-up minutes even if I have a small mess to clean up.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I own One Sign Day, a custom yard sign rental company that provides fun greetings all over Houston, including West University and surrounding neighborhoods. We have been in business for a year and a half and specialize in stork birth announcement signs, birthday and graduation signs. I also do custom vinyl work including decals. I love running this company. It allows me to still be a part of my kids day-to-day life and contribute to my family’s income.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Because of the type of business I own, I get to speak one on one with the person who is ordering my products. Referrals play a big part in my business being able to grow. People have been so kind to pass on my name to other friends and family in the area. Other local businesses have let me leave cards and coupons in their stores. Store owners have been amazing at giving me great advice on ways to get my business name out to the public.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
Thankfully I work from home and my job allows me to have a very open and flexible schedule. I try to let my kids be a part of what I’m doing. My 2 year old loves to stand on a stool next to me and color while I’m putting vinyl together for a sign. Find something you enjoy doing. Cut yourself some slack. Some weeks seem more overtaken by work and others are all about the kids. I think it’s about going into your work (whatever that may be) with very clear priorities of your time and the goals you are wanting to achieve.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Don’t have a big wedding. Keep the money instead. Ha! Seriously though!
Don’t be in a hurry to grow up! Enjoy your time being single or with your spouse. Travel! Travel! Travel!