Melissa Marie Fogarty is on a mission to help women entrepreneurs build successful brands. She knows that when women succeed, we all succeed. Her own story is one of grit and determination. During 2021 while many were going through hard times due to covid, she started her own business – and never looked back. In this interview, Melissa shares her top tips for building a successful brand and pushing others toward success.
What causes are you passionate about?
As Pothead Parent TM gets bigger, I want to do as much as I can for the Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform. I want to help all the individuals, including mothers and fathers who have been wrongfully incarcerated for a substance that is considered a medicine in our home and many others. So many families have been destroyed due to this and being someone who is a huge supporter of cannabis use recreationally and medicinally, I know I want to make a change to this.
What is your favorite hobby?
In my free time I like to help others and volunteer. I enjoy creating local events with like-minded small businesses, especially for my fitness followers, mommy moment group, and cannabis advocates. I also enjoy Indoor Cycling, working out, spending time with my family and friends, and watching anything and everything on Bravo.
What drew you to your college or university major?
When I was in Kindergarten, I wanted to be just like my teacher. She helped children learn in a warm healthy environment and that’s what I wanted to do. I started at Niagara University then transferred to Fredonia. After student teaching in multiple schools, I realized that working in the education system was not for me. Teaching to test was not what I wanted. As a child with ADHD and learning disorders that weren’t diagnosed until college, school was very hard for me growing up. In university I was learning how to teach students on many different social and cognitive levels, yet I found it very hypocritical that my professors weren’t able to understand how to work with me and my learning disabilities. After graduation, I looked into the idea of opening a Spanish inclusive preschool or daycare center, before venturing into the world of business.
What is your highest level of education?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood-Childhood Education B-6 from Fredonia State University.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I have endured a lot in my life. Others have tried to take me down and I’ve even been hurt by my own self. I’ve been depressed, suicidal, and suffered from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse both as a child and an adult. I suffer from bulimia, gain 100lbs from pregnancy and binge eating in two years. I have a 2-year-old son who is blind in one eye and will have to undergo surgeries periodically for his entire life. Instead of letting all my past trauma get me down, I have and will continue to grow from whatever life throws at me. Manifestation and inner self work has allowed me to get to this point and nothing will ever get in my way. I want to share my story with the world in order to inspire others with experiences like mine, or at least just show them they are not alone.
Here are three powerful statements we noted from Melissa that we believe are to be life changing.
“There’s no room for complacency when you’re an entrepreneur. You have to be constantly hustling and pushing yourself to the next level.” This is something that Melissa Marie Fogarty knows all too well. Ever since the launch of Pothead Parent, Melissa and Derek have started to make a positive impact towards humanity for the better.
“The most important thing is to be authentic. People can see through the BS – they want to work with someone who is real.” And that’s exactly what you get with Missy. She’s passionate about helping others, and it shows in everything she does.
“I also think it’s important to be flexible. Things change, and you need to be able to adapt.” That’s certainly been true in her own life – when she started her business, she had no idea where it would take her. But she’s gone with the flow and made the most of every opportunity that’s come her way.
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