Never give up. Sometimes I felt like giving up during the challenging days, but I remember my mother saying to me, “Melissa, no is not an option and neither is quitting.”
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing
Melissa Muszynski is the owner and lead designer of MBM Design, which is a full-service interior design firm in Connecticut. She provides her clients with an elevated approach to interior design by empowering and collaborating with her clients to see the beauty in their homes and the impact interior design has on a family’s personality and lifestyle. Melissa brings over 15 years of experience in communications and project management to deliver high-quality projects to her clients across.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Absolutely! I grew up in New Britain, a city in Hartford County, Connecticut and lived in an apartment with my parents until I was 10. As an only child of two hard-working parents, I had to keep myself entertained, which meant rearranging our apartment and decorating the living room every weekend! It drove my mother crazy. I remember her coming home from work almost every night and asking, “Where are the pillows and what did you do with the lamps?” I just couldn’t help myself and should have known back then that I would eventually navigate into the world of interior design.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite quote is, “we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” Each and every day we have an opportunity to experience something new and to pursue our dreams. We need to step out of fear mode.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Yes, the Wizard of Oz. I remember watching it when I was a child and when Dorothy said, “there is no place like home,” it truly resonated with me. Now, I often share that quote with my design clients to help them see just how important our home is to us. The life we want to create begins inside our home — our home is the heartbeat of our family.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
Before the pandemic began I was in the field of public relations. I spent 15-years building brands, handling crisis communication for state agencies and teaching college level communication classes. While I enjoyed the work that I did, it was not enough for me and it was at a turning point in my life and career.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
When the world is upside down, it is our home that keeps us grounded. I left my corporate job and launched MBM Design to help others bring love and joy to their home. I worked tirelessly to bring awareness of my new business by connecting with people in the industry. I did this day after day and never stopped. I never gave energy to the pandemic, meaning I didn’t let it take over my business or affect it. I just kept working and kept connecting with people. I kept moving forward.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
Yes, I sure can. In March of 2019 I suffered a major concussion. In a split second my life had changed. I had to give everything up and for an entire year I stayed home recovering. I couldn’t walk, drive, read or care for my family. It was a major turning point in my life. After months of being home and seeing how much joy it brought me during such a terrible time in my life, I realized how important our home plays a role in our mental health. It is our sanctuary and our place of comfort. I wanted to bring passion and creativity back into my career and what better way to do that than interior design. My husband supported me 100 percent.
How are things going with this new initiative?
Business is going great! Within a year I turned an idea into a six-figure business! It is an amazing journey and the best experience of my life thus far. I love meeting new people and connecting with them.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am so grateful for my husband, Michael. He has turned into Mr. Mom and does it all — distance learning, cooking, cleaning, bath, and bedtime. Without him I wouldn’t be where I am today both personally and professionally. He has always been there for me through the good times and the bad. I am lucky.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
Never in a million years would I think I would become business owner during a pandemic. Our mindset can make or break our dreams. Nothing else. It is our thoughts and opinions of ourselves that shape us. Nothing else. I really want that to resonate with people. That is my story. Never giving up on the dreams I wish to achieve.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Never give up. Sometimes I felt like giving up during the challenging days, but I remember my mother saying to me, “Melissa, no is not an option and neither is quitting.”
- Stay Positive. Positivity brings changes, happiness and helps you manifest your dreams. I practice gratitude and positivity each day.
- Stay Focused! Each day I write down what I need to accomplish and I try so hard not to deviate from it.
- Stay Driven. I launched a business for a reason and that is to help people. Focusing on what drives me and helps me grow and learn.
- Stay Calm. I have a big personality and a lot of energy. I can get worked up easily like a lot of us can. Throw in a pandemic and home schooling while running a business and there were times I wanted to crawl into bed, but I didn’t. I would take a breath, take a walk and get refocused again!
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
The news does not make us anxious; we make ourselves anxious. I surround myself around positivity, love and light. I just keep moving along and stay positive.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would create a movement to fuel love into the lives of others through connection, kindness, compassion and empathy.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
This is great! I would love to meet with a world renowned female entrepreneur to connect with them and learn about their story as well.
How can our readers follow you online?
They can follow us on Instagram @melissambmdesign or our website at www.mbmdesignco.com
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!