In recent years, celebrities of color such as Rihanna and Kayne West have taken great strides in dominating the beauty and fashion world. They have broken through stereotyping and prejudice, opening the door for young entrepreneurs to create their own unique creative designs and fashion companies and Melissa Mitchell isn’t an exception.
Melissa Mitchell has been determined to follow her dreams no matter how many doors have been slammed in her face the last few years. She is the sole creator, designer and artist of her company – Abeille Creations. Mitchell created inclusive branding of her designs through social media and her style is heavily influenced from her vibrant Caribbean roots.
The self-taught artist and designer has already created 600 original pieces of art including some 40 plus life-size murals. But she is most known for her signature styled head wraps, kimonos, turbans and wrap skirts. Her designs have been featured in magazines such as SHEEN, Art Basel and Vogue.
Mitchell firmly believes in divine intervention and that God has been directing her every step since her first painting. After her father passed away in 2010 she felt her life had lost direction and she wanted to break free from the typical 9 to 5 work day, by doing something that would inspire others. In 2014, she was stuck at home due to a snowstorm, and she could feel God motivating her to paint, so she started doodling and since then, Mitchell has been an unstoppable force.
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I’m out here securing the legacy for my children’s children, and carrying on the torch of greatness passed on to me by my ancestors. It’s an honor and a privilege to be chosen for such a task. Many times I am overwhelmed by the weight and responsibility of excellence , but I remember when I DID NOT have things happening for me. So I pause to take a break when needed, but I get right back on it. . . . Sitting in meetings with my @spanx team is an absolute out of body experience. I cannot even properly put it into words. I am forever humbled by this path. Gratefulness is the only word truly appropriate. Soon, the world will see what we’ve been cooking up. . . Thank you @ryanlifto for being there from day zero —-when I was doing art show in hair salons. Lol. .
When Mitchell heard about the Spanx Illuminate-Her contest, she let her faith and convictions guide her into applying. Plus, her friend and mentor, Kevin Williams played a key element in entering the contest. Mitchell expressed to Williams that she thought her work was too bright and loud for the Illuminate-Her contest and Spanx was all about being conservative and about the basics. Williams urged her to apply anyway, as she would never know until she applied.
On the last day of being able to submit applications, she was still undecided as to whether she should apply or move on to another venture. She prayed while standing in her kitchen about the situation, and divine inspiration finally motivated her to submit three of her paintings that she currently had hanging in her apartment. The picture that was hanging in her kitchen where she had asked for God’s direction was the one that was selected as the winner of the Illuminate-Her contest.
Being the winner of the Illuminate-her contest, meant that Mitchell got her next global deal that she was waiting for but with Spanx. The collection is called “The Melissa Mitchell Illuminate-Her Collection by Spanx”, which includes at the moment a Bra-llelujah bralette and an Under Statements thong. Spanx loves Mitchell’s bold and Caribbean inspired designs, as they evoke feelings of joy and inspiration. The new Illuminate-Her collection sends proceeds to the Black Girl CODE.
The Black Girl CODE is a non-profit foundation that is dedicated in providing technology educational opportunities for young African American girls.
Mitchell wants other young entrepreneurs to know that her success did not come overnight, but is a result of lots of hard work and prayer. She believes the only way to make your dreams and goals manifest, you need to believe in yourself and be patient with yourself.