Melissa McCray is a savvy business lady and a fabulous curator, but most of all Melissa is a connector. She truly believes in bringing women together and supporting not only her entrepreneurial vision but also that of others. She is one of the co-founders of Two Webster (formally Curated) gathering beautiful items to showcase in one place. Until recently, their unique finds were only found at pop up shops, but lucky for us they now have a beautiful online business. Melissa also runs POP 91, bringing together other women-owned small businesses a few times a year under one roof. It is a one-stop-shop for unique and fabulous finds and a great way to support local business owners.
I met Melissa years ago in my early Boston days, and our paths have crossed over the years at different trunk shows and events with other women entrepreneurs. I always love running into her pop up’s where I feel the energy of women coming together in a collaborative setting. Melissa and her partner Kiki have a fabulous eye and some of my favorite pieces in my house have come from them, like my favorite orange ceramic bowl that adds a pop of color to my mantle. She is definitely someone who inspires me, and someone that I am excited to continue to learn from and collaborate with as I move forward with my blog. I feel fortunate to be connected to Melissa.
Here is my interview with her
What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
“You can’t be everything to everybody.” Meaning decide what you are as a business and stick with it so you can be true to your clients and yourself. I am a self-proclaimed “do-er” who rarely says no, so this piece of advice has been helpful to me personally and professionally. In a small business, I wear so many hats but all in a way of supporting our mission statement.
What other women do you admire, and anything you want to share about them?
So many! I come from a long line of strong female personalities and I admire them all for different reasons. One grandmother was a true matriarch of a large, and tight-knit extended family. She lived until her 90’s, dying of a broken heart shortly after my Mom died. My other grandmother was a pioneer in the real estate industry, working hard and giving back to her community during a time when women did not often work outside the home.
The woman with the biggest impact on my life is most definitely my mom. She sadly died in 2011. She was truly one of a kind – smart, kind, loyal and hard-working. She was admired by so many. My Mom always spoke her mind and was not afraid to go head-to-head with anyone to make her point. She masted the art of being kind and persuasive at the same time. She taught me how to persevere with grace and style. A health nut before it was in vogue to eat clean, she cooked and baked healthy and delicious food, MOST DAYS OF THE WEEK. She ALWAYS dressed impeccably and could shop a sale like none other. But mostly My Mom was an incredible role model for me. This is random but someone had to be first for this, Betsy (Snider) Gross was the first female president of Newton High School in the 1960’s. She absolutely loved breaking that glass ceiling! The most important thing she taught me was how to be a mother. And the hardest part about life without her is mothering without a mother.
What app can’t you live without?
We are really focused on building our brand and using Instagram as a way to drive traffic to our website. Our business is so visual and Instagram is a perfect vehicle for us to get our aesthetic to a large audience. However, gaining the “right” followers is tricky. Planoly is a social media planning app that I use to plan out our posts and to analyze our activity. It saves time and so much angst as I am not an Insta-Wizz!
PicTapGo is a photo editing tool that makes good photos look great! Honestly, we are able to forgo using our “good” cameras — we use our iPhones and get Instagram ready pics. These apps have made photo editing and Instagramming fun again!
What is your favorite podcast and or book?
Favorite Podcast: How I Built This
Book: It’s hard to say — I read a lot and I read everything from parenting books to chic-lit to classics.
What piece of advice would you share with other women?
LET IT GO!!! No need for perfection — what you are doing right now, in this moment, is perfect for YOU.
What are you most grateful for?
My family. My husband and my children. And my dogs!
Is there anything else you want to share with my readers?
If you follow us on Instagram or join our mailing list, we hope you will like what you see. Feel free to tell us what you think as we are working hard to transition from a purely pop-up shop to a full-blown online retailer. The transition has been hard, but in the best possible way. Figuring out how to turn site views into dollars may be the biggest challenge for us right now.