On the HOT SEAT:
Mel Andrews, Owner
Mel Andrews Photography
Welcome to the lake country hot seat! We believe in supporting local, and being apart of our community. We cannot think of a better way to get to know the owners of local businesses, community leaders, makers and shakers than to ask them questions to learn their knowledge, advice, wisdom, challenges, wins, and maybe some fun personal tidbits as well. We are hoping a little interview will help drive traffic for them by gaining insight in trust to who they are by you!
Oconomowoc, WI is where my studio is located, but I service all of southern WI!
WHAT TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY DO YOU OFFER? DO YOU HAVE A STYLE?
While I shoot all types of photography, I am mainly known for specializing in senior portraits! Senior portraits are my FAVORITE to capture. I love having fun with all my seniors, going on an adventure, chatting about their future plans and learning all about them! I strive to make their experience fun, easy going and providing amazing images that last a lifetime for them and their parents!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
There is something magical about capturing a moment in time forever. Wether it’s a laugh, a cry, tickle fights with kiddos, celebrating being a senior in high school or even silly poses with your soul mate. Moments in time are fleeting. Being able to memorialize them forever through my lens is truly a superpower!
WHAT RESOURCES HAVE BEEN MOST HELPFUL TO YOU AS A BUSINESS OWNER?
Family and friends. Being a small business owner is TOUGH! While I love the ride and every aspect of the adventure, I would have never made it without my wonderful supportive husband or my dear friends who take the time to share my posts, write reviews and support me in my journey.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU MADE YOUR FIRST SALE? YOUR FIRST SHOOT? WHAT DID YOU DO TO CELEBRATE?
Truthfully, I was a bit nervous. There was some trepidation, some self doubt on wether what I was doing was the right move for me. But once I held my camera up to my face and started connecting with my client…the rest was HISTORY! I can’t even remember what I did to celebrate, but knowing me it was something epic! 🙂
WHAT WAS THE FINAL PUSH TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND GO ON YOUR OWN?
When I became a mom. I knew that I wanted to raise my daughter to have the confidence to have wings and fly. To follow her heart and all she desired for herself. But how could I teach this to her if I was too afraid to do it? So I dove in with both feet and never looked back! And now she sees that if you work hard and believe in yourself you can do it. That makes it all worth while.
TELL US WHAT A “DAY IN THE LIFE” LOOKS LIKE FOR YOU.
I thrive on coffee and chaos! Who doesn’t these days! 🙂 While my photography business is my #1 passion, it’s not the only thing I have on my plate! I am a graphic designer by nature. I have owned my own design business for 15 years and work with corporate clients. That keeps me pretty busy on the weekdays. I also teach yoga! But for my photography, I head out and scope out where my location will be, brainstorm my shoot and gear up for the fun! And in between all of that I try my best to make time for my husband and our daughter. Wether it’s a game night, cozy cuddles and movie time or simply running errands. They always come first.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING YOUR OWN BOSS?
Not having to put on a bra for work if I don’t want to but I don’t share that with everyone! 🙂 Mostly, making my own hours, doing what I love and still being able to be there as a mom for my daughter! But also being a role model for her. Showing her how strong you can be to take your life in your hands and HANDLE IT! It’s all about her in my life!
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO FAVORITE PODCASTS OR BLOGS THAT YOU’D RECOMMEND TO OTHER GIRL BOUTIQUE BOSSES?
I don’t really have a podcast or blog. Everyone is different and draws inspiration from different things. The best advice I would give is don’t be afraid to spread your wings and fly. As scary as it is, it’s worth it. You never want to waste your time staring at the birds, wishing you had wings. You have them. Now use them!
HOW DO YOU BALANCE BEING A MOM, WIFE AND BUSINESS OWNER?
Honestly? Sometimes I don’t. Somedays it’s too much. Somedays I’m too tired or burnt out. Other days I struggle with overwhelming quilt that I’m not there enough for my daughter when she needs me. But none of that stops me and I’ll tell you why…
Because if every time something got hard, I stopped, I never would have made it through all the challenges my life has thrown at me. Those who know me well, know about those challenges and how they shaped me as a woman, wife and mother. As hard as it is, deep in my heart I know that the best thing I can do for my family is to be strong, confident and empower myself to move mountains and follow my heart. Even if I don’t feel it inside on any particular day, I still stand up and push forward. Otherwise, you miss life. It’s not always going to be perfect. Some days, I fail..MISERABLY! And that’s ok. Failure is just a lesson!
Just for fun..
What is your guilty pleasure?
Wine. I’m Irish/Italian so it’s in my DNA. I always joke with my family that my coffee is for the battles I can handle, and the wine is for the ones I can’t! (Seriously though, I’m a VERY responsible drinker!!!)
What is the most ridiculous thing you believed as a child?
That I had no hips! Seriously, you read that correctly. When I was young everyone always made comments about “oh look at her…she had no hips!” Now I realize they were just commenting on my slender frame (which drove me insane after realizing this), but for the longest time I thought I didn’t have any actual hip bones.
If you are interested in being in the Lake Country Hot Seat with The Lake Country Mom, send us an email or connect with us on social media.