24 Years!

I can’t believe I just celebrated 24 years in the Shopping Network Industry!  Looking back at my first headshot is hilarious!  I was a baby!!!  It is truly one of the biggest blessings in my life to have a career that I absolutely have so much passion and love for what I do.  It really is the perfect fit for my personality.  I can remember being a little girl and my dad saying you talk so much.  LOL!  I guess I was getting ready for “3,2,1 –  you’re on!”  at a very young age.

mm-blog-4-headshot-1992-1So many people ask me, do the hosts read a teleprompter?  NO!!!!  We ad lib everything!  I do study all of the products I present so I understand how to explain it to our viewers.  Some products are easier than others – for example, gemstones/jewelry.  I received the highest credentials in Gemology when I received my G.G. (Graduate Gemologist) diploma in 2003, so I really don’t have to prep very much in that category.  However, Electronics is a different story – a lot of show prep there.

Every day at the network is so exciting – from different products, guests and timeslots that I work. I think the highlight of my job would be the people.  All of the incredible people that I have met from all over the world that I get to work with, and have established friendships that will last a lifetime.  I will always remember getting to meet and work with on-air Chief Design Director of Waterford Crystal – Jim O’Leary from mm-blog-4-sonia-melissa-2Waterford, Ireland. We became very close and he took me to the top of the world . . . well, the top of  One Times Square to see the Waterford Crystal Times Square Ball in April 2013.  I have also met so many guests from Italy.  Two that stand out in my mind would be Stefano Virgino and Manuela Biancospino.  I present their jewelry collections on-air and had the pleasure of spending time with them on my recent trip to Italy.  mm-blog-4-melissa-dimitri-4Sonia Bitton has the sweetest soul and means so much to me.  Chuck Clemency and Dimitri James are so incredibly funny and I have a blast working with them both!  I have known Dimitri since 1994 when I launched him at Shop At Home!  Speaking of Shop At Home where I began this fabulous career, I have a bond with 3 hosts that started there with me.  We are all still in the shopping network business and still in touch.  I love you Connie, Jennifer and Kim . .

mm-blog-4-melissa-shop-at-home-hosts-5It would be impossible to list and thank every guest that I have worked with and have established friendships, like Dallas, Vince, Judy Crowell, Paul Deasy and Nick Kwan.  Again, it is the highlight of my job!

mm-blog-4-melissa-with-tucson-group-6Besides my gift of gab, I guess it is my passion for shopping!  I can’t believe I get to shop with 88 million viewers every day!  It really is a dream job that I am so incredibly grateful for.  I want to thank each and every viewer that has invited me into their homes for the last 24 years.

The pleasure is all mine!

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My Parents

I celebrate my parents every day but even more in August since their wedding anniversary is August 31st.  They’re celebrating 53 years this year!  What a gift of love to have that melissa-blog-3-mom-dad-1many years together.  My husband Lewis and I, along with my brothers,  hosted their 50th Wedding Anniversary in Ohio a few years ago and it was an amazing celebration with family and friends traveling from MN, FL, WV, KY and of course Ohio to celebrate their love.

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They met on a blind date in January 1963 and were married in August of that same year! My brothers and I always loved hearing that story of how my dad’s sister Betty met my mom and said, “Are you dating anyone?”  My mom said, no – and my aunt went on to say “well’ I have this brother who I think would really like you!”  Life is funny – you never know who you will meet on your path who will change the course of your destiny.

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My parents were blessed with four children –  1 daughter, 3 sons, and 6 grandchildren! We have so many memories as a family and I can’t thank them enough for their unconditional love and support that they always show us.  They are always there, a phone call away to celebrate with us or give us advice on raising kids.  Trust me – there have been many emotional calls over the years and my mom, in her patient wisdom, always says . . . this too shall pass. It seems they have always been spot on with their advice and I consider myself so incredibly blessed that I have them as my parents and I’ve been privileged to celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary this year!

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Five years of wedded bliss!

Woo hoo!  We made it!  Five years of wedded bliss.  I’m happy to announce that Tim and I celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary since my last blog post. Last post, I promised to follow up with our dinner in white experience this year around and, as luck would have it, we were able to celebrate our anniversary on the night of the dinner in white.  It was dreamy.Fatima blog 2 1C

In case you missed it, ‘dinner in white’ is a tradition that started in Paris years ago where it resembles a flash mob but as a fancy picnic.  You’re given a date and time in advance, and the location is announced half an hour before the dinner starts.  You pack up everything you need, from tables and chairs, to food, and any decorations, and head to the location where everyone gathers for a beautiful summer picnic.

Fatima blog 2 loading upThis is the not so glamorous part, hauling all of your supplies to the location. We decided to at least have fun with it by taking a goofy selfie!

This year, it was even more impromptu because there were reports of thunder storms the night of the dinner, so the organizers announced on Facebook at noon the same day that it would be moved to the following day.

Fatima blog 2 sparklersAs luck would have it, we had absolutely no plans the next night, which happened to be our five year anniversary.  How perfect!  On the downside, however, two of the members of our group could not make it because they had a previous engagement.  The remaining four of us were game, and we decided to go through with the dinner.  This year, the location was announced to be at a pedestrian bridge spanning the Mississippi River, overlooking the Minneapolis skyline.

Fatima blog 2 grilled salmonOne of the key factors is preparing a delicious dinner menu.  Tim and I decided to go out on a limb and do something fancy.  We grilled salmon on cedar planks at home, packed it up, and carefully brought it to the picnic location. We also had a delicious potato salad, cherries, and beautiful desserts that our friends picked up at a local gourmet bakery.  A refreshing, sparkling ice tea beverage was also served in . . . what else, an antique silver teapot.  Go big, or go home!

The weather was lovely, the company was fantastic, and the food was delicious . . . what else do you need?  Oh, wait!  Wardrobe!!

So, last post, I mentioned our group wanted to try to go for a theme.  We were thinking a little punk, circus theme. I’m not even really sure what that means . . . ha ha . . . but I did my best to be a little edgy with some exaggerated ruffles, a deeper shade of lipstick, and a feather and lace headpiece.  I found the top on eBay, the feather at Michael’s craft store, and I cut up an old lace blouse for the headpiece.Fatima blog 2 wardrobe

Overall, the event was a perfect way to celebrate our anniversary and spend time with close friends.  Several hundred people showed up and we all lit sparklers and dined into the night.  A live band even showed up to serenade the diners . . . it was truly a memorable night.Fatima blog 2 sparklers 2

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