We had the good fortune of connecting with Melody Godfred and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melody, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My earliest, happiest and most meaningful memories of myself as a child all involve creative expression. Whether I was playing the piano or writing poetry, I always felt most myself when creating. This connection with creativity continued throughout my childhood and adolescence. But something changed when I graduated college: my desire to create was overshadowed by my egos need for security. Because I wasn’t able to reconcile creativity with safe career, I went to law school. As soon as that happened, my true spirit was put in a box and cast away. Even though I excelled as a litigation attorney, my body started to rebel: I had intense anxiety, and a growing sense that how I was living wasn’t aligned with who I was meant to be. As difficult as it was to walk away from such a safe, prestigious career, I left to write my first book. I’ve never looked back.
In the ten or so years since I ended my brief law career, I’ve started two, very creative business – one a writing company – Write In Color – the other a self love movement – Fred and Far – and I’ve also published three books, the most recent of which, Self Love Poetry for Thinkers and Feelers, was recently acquired by a publisher.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned through this journey, is that honoring your truth is never wrong. For me, my creative career has not only fulfilled me personally, it has allowed me to empower and inspire thousands of people around the world through my work as a self love thought leader and as an author.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In 2016, I launched my self love movement Fred and Far (www.fredandfar.com) by creating The Self Love Pinky Ring, a symbol and reminder for women to be themselves, love themselves and choose themselves – daily. What sets my company apart from others is that even though I sell a piece of jewelry, what I’ve really cultivated is a community of self-loving women who not only commit to themselves, but support each other in embracing their wholeness, authenticity and self worth. Nearly ever day since launching, I’ve created original content in the form of poetry to explore what self love means, and this content served as the foundation of my 2020 release, Self Love Poetry for Thinkers and Feelers. I’m incredibly proud of how The Self Love Pinky Ring and Self Love Poetry for Thinkers and Feelers have encouraged women around the world to actively practice self love and self care on a daily basis.
The road to this point wasn’t easy. I often joke that I’m a ten-year overnight success. When I wrote my first book in 2009, I tried to get an agent and get it published. After 75 rejections, I decided to publish it myself. It took ten years, but by the time I self-published my third book, the agent and publisher came to me.
Fred and Far also has required incredible flexibility, persistence and continual learning. When I launched in 2016, I knew nothing about jewelry or e-commerce. All I had was an idea, born of my own need to reclaim my identity after becoming a wife and mother. I needed a reminder that I deserved to be a priority in my own life — so I created one. Five years later, women in over 40 countries around the world wear my symbol. In 2019, I had to take six months off for a mental health break because running a business on my own had taken its toll, especially after having my third child. I didn’t know if I’d ever come back to it. I’m so grateful that I was able to change my operations and get the support I needed to bring the company back to life.
The greatest lessons I’ve learned along the way:
1. Commit to your calling – honoring your calling will never lead you astray (even if it takes ten years to reap the reward)
2. Start small and keep going – even if you haven’t got it all figured out, start small and keep making improvements (if I had waited for the perfect business plan I would never have launched Fred and Far)
3. Ask for help – finding the right vendors, staff, agent and publisher have allowed me to grow beyond what I thought was ever possible (you don’t have to do it all alone).
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The pandemic really stripped away a lot of my favorite places! That being said, it did re-connect me with the beauty of the ocean. If my best friend was in town, we would go to Malibu. We would spend the day at the beach, have lunch at the Malibu Country Mart, and splurge at a beach-side dinner at Nobu.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to Shoutout Cynthia Johnson, whose coaching in 2019 set the stage for me to write my bestseller, Self Love Poetry.