This DIYer Turned A Hobby Into A Business – Meet Mel Did It Herself! | #81

May 25, 2023

This DIYer Turned A Hobby Into A Business – Meet Mel Did It Herself! | #81 Are you a DIY enthusiast hoping to turn your hobby into a profit? Meet Melissa Commandant, better known as Mel Did It Herself. Mel began her career in social work working in homeless shelters in her community serving others. […]

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This DIYer Turned A Hobby Into A Business – Meet Mel Did It Herself! | #81

Are you a DIY enthusiast hoping to turn your hobby into a profit? Meet Melissa Commandant, better known as Mel Did It Herself. Mel began her career in social work working in homeless shelters in her community serving others. When the pandemic hit, Mel fell into furniture refinishing to past the time. One piece sold and then the next, and now a few years later, Mel is a full time entrepreneur running her own business Mel Did It Herself Furniture Refinishing and Painting and hosting the companion podcast BusyBee Refinishing.

Mel sits down with host and career transition coach, Shannon Russell, on Episode #81 of the Second Act Success Career Podcast to discuss how she DIYed this dream career and how she can truly do it all herself! Listen to the episode to learn how you can turn your hobby into a profitable business too!


Melissa Commandant

Melissa Commandant, Founder of Mel Did It Herself Furniture Refinishing & Painting



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Second Act Success Career Podcast
Season 1 - ​​This DIYer Turned A Hobby Into A Career - Meet Mel Did It Herself!
Episode - #81
Host: Shannon Russell
Guest: Melissa Commandant
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Mel Commandant: In my previous work, I've literally saved lives, you know, in first aid kind of things. And I'm working with furniture, so sometimes people are like, oh, like interesting jump, kind of different. But there's really so much sentiment that can go into these furniture pieces.

And I've had pieces that I've worked on that have been in people's families for generations

It's really great to be able to connect in that way with these people and just help them with this problem that's very different than what I was doing previously, but, Very much rewarding and it's equally as heartwarming, just in very different ways.


[00:01:34] Shannon Russell: All right. I'm here with Melissa Commandant from Melita herself. Hi Mel.

[00:01:40] Mel Commandant: Hey, how are you? Great. How are you doing? I'm doing good. Thank you.

[00:01:44] Shannon Russell: I am obsessed with your story, and I just wanna start from the beginning.

So where did your first act begin?

[00:01:51] Mel Commandant: I. So my first act was back in, I guess when I graduated university. So I initially went into [00:02:00] criminology and victimology for my studies and was, I kind of got into it being like growing up, hearing and watching all like the CSI shows and things like that. Being like, I wanna do that crime scene analysis.

And then got into. The field and kind of realized that's like absolutely not the same thing. That's much more science-based. But I still had an interest in criminology and more just like helping people. So I went into social services after I had graduated from my programs and kind of worked in a bunch of different, Capacities in that space.

So I started out in a men's homeless shelter, working frontline there, and then eventually decided that I wanted to do more kinda like case management and helping people reach their goals. I had worked transitional housing for young women at one point in time, so kind of helping them just overall achieve their goals, whether it was employment school and that kind of stuff, and then worked.

As a [00:03:00] housing case manager, and then eventually, as that first act was coming to an end, I was working kind of in a more policy and program consultation capacity. So a little bit more on the business side and the backend of, the social service programs that are being administered in our community. How

[00:03:17] Shannon Russell: rewarding was that? Was that just a really rewarding time for you to be able to help people in so many different capacities?

[00:03:23] Mel Commandant: Yeah, it was awesome. Yeah. I still love the work. I know a lot of people kind of transition out because they get totally burned out and kind of jaded from the work. But I still loved it.

I just, I found a new passion to pursue, but I do know that that is always there. It was always so great and helping people. Everyone doesn't necessarily. Reach their goals all the time, but just like the little things that you can help them, the skills you can give them, the support and that kind of thing.

it's kind of a thankless job a lot of the time, but just being able to see people get to those places and make that movement and be able to. Pointed out to [00:04:00] them too, cuz a lot of the time people don't notice their own successes and these transformations that they're having.

so that was always great. And just kind of being able to see people grow in that way was very rewarding.

[00:04:11] Shannon Russell: I'm thinking now to when I graduated from college and you are in such a bubble when you're in college.

So really to get out of the classroom and go and see like, okay, this is real life and I'm able to help people. I'm sure that really helped shape you in your twenties.

[00:04:27] Mel Commandant: Absolutely, and I was very much, I grew up, I'm an only child. I grew up essentially living in the middle of the bush, so I was very, I still am introverted and so that really pushed me outta my shell in a great way, and kind of was able to really get my voice and things like that and working.

Under pressure. There was a lot of, you know, emergency situations as well and first aid and things like that. So you learn really quick there. But it was great to meet the clients and as well with my colleagues there, like I have a lot of [00:05:00] lifelong friends that I made there still. And actually my husband we met there, he was working at that same shelter.

So we have a a lot to take from that experience. Yeah.


[00:05:11] Shannon Russell: that's so great. So when you were thinking about maybe getting out and starting your second act, were you at that point too, like you mentioned where some people feel a little burnt out or you really still enjoyed it?

It was just, okay, the pandemic hit. And I'm trying

[00:05:29] Mel Commandant: something new. Yeah, so it definitely, things changed a little bit with the pandemic. It was keeping us on our toes because it was very much a face-to-face job and seeing clients in the office. So there was transition there when we ended up working from home and it was.

Kind of like two years that we ended up being working from home here. I was still really enjoying it. And especially during that time, I. Like the clients needed us more than ever.

And so just having those like phone calls and check-ins sometimes we were the only person that they had talked [00:06:00] to for a couple weeks, so mm-hmm. It was, um, really great to be able to be there for everyone. And, um, we had a lot of new staff that they were bringing on to because now we were working remotely.

There was some more opportunity to bring people on, so doing lots of training and it was a, Very busy and there was lots going on, but it was something that was still close to my heart. But as I was still working in that job, I had started doing this furniture painting and refinishing, and kind of just growing that on the weekends and the evenings for about.

A year and a half, and that passion just kind of grew and then exceeded the one that I was in, so decided to give it a shot. Yeah. That makes your

[00:06:39] Shannon Russell: decision easy, right? When you start your side hustle and you realize, okay, well this could actually take off and yeah, I need the time to allow it to take off.

[00:06:48] Mel Commandant: Exactly. So

[00:06:50] Shannon Russell: let's switch and talk about your second act then. So DIYing and furniture Repainting. And refinishing, was that something that you've always [00:07:00] kind of dabbled in for a while or you just picked up during the

[00:07:03] Mel Commandant: pandemic? The pandemic was literally like the first time I ever even touched a drill. It I had no previous D iy or even just like kind of creative, artistic kind of experience.

At all. I was kind of growing up I was always really into my studies and interested in that. I never was taking art classes or things like that, but I've reflected now, I guess I just never pursued anything like that or. Tried to dabble in any of it. So yeah, during the pandemic when we were all at home and we had not a whole lot to do.

We had some furniture from my late grandmother that was sitting in our garage and I had been putting together one of our guest rooms to redecorate it, and I realized that one of the pieces would fit perfectly in the space, but, It was just looking really worn and old. It was an old sewing desk from probably like 1930.

Mm-hmm. But it was solid wood and great conditions still, and obviously had the. [00:08:00] Sentimental value of being from my grandmother. So I was like, what can I do with this? And I just kind of started researching and watching videos and tutorials and reading about it. And I was like, I think I can do something with this.

So I ended up painting it and putting it in our guest room and it looks great till this day, but I, it was like, that was kind of easier than I thought it would be. I'm like, what else can I do? And I just kind of got the itch to keep going. So

[00:08:26] Shannon Russell: then when did you get the idea this could actually be a business, I could actually make money from this.

[00:08:33] Mel Commandant: A few months in probably. So I was working on a few pieces for our home at first, just kind of learning what goes into it and doing some painting and some staining and just trying out different techniques. And then I would see pieces. I live in kind of like a suburban area, so there's lots of townhouses and stuff, and on garbage day there was always like, Maybe a table or a little dresser or something like that out on people's curbs.

And they were always in great [00:09:00] conditions still. So I would pick them up and bring 'em back and see what I could do to them. And then I just kind of started posting them on Facebook Marketplace Not really having any idea of what to price it at. I definitely was like under pricing, starting out, just trying to see, and I was like, Ooh, that sold really quickly.

Maybe I should have charged more. But then eventually we, I was outside working on a piece at one point and our neighbor had, uh, landscaper over who was doing some work, and he saw me working on this table and he was like, is, is anyone taking that? Is anyone buying that? I was like, oh, I'm gonna post it, but.

You know, it's like available for now. I want that table. How much would you charge? And I was like, oh, it was a piece that I had gotten for free. And I was like, oh, I don't know, $40. He's like, are are you sure? Only $40. I'm like, Yeah, yeah, it's fine. Like I just found it on the side of the road thinking that I'm like, that's good profit margin.

And he was like, okay. And so he came to pick it up one day when I wasn't home and he left a [00:10:00] $50 bill in the mailbox. And I was like, that's probably a good indication that I'm undercharging. So then I kind of did some market research, saw what other people were doing, and just kind of kept flipping and being a little bit more cognizant of the prices and stuff like that.

[00:10:16] Shannon Russell: So what is the profit margin? Now if you find a piece for free, now you know that you can charge a few hundred dollars depending on

[00:10:25] Mel Commandant: what it is. Yeah. So there's a few different factors that kind of go into play.

If you're gonna be doing any repairs on it, and then if you're gonna be staining it or painting it, like just kind of depends on. What products you're having to use and how much they cost, how much time you're putting into it. Now that I'm doing it full-time, I have to be much more aware of how long these things are taking outta my day too.

Sure. So that, and then there's some furniture makers or brands that you can kind of charge more for as well if they're more antique pieces that people are seeking out more readily. But definitely a few hundred up [00:11:00] to like a thousand dollars per piece is typically the. Kind of eight price range.

[00:11:04] Shannon Russell: And to think that this was just something fun that you taught yourself how to do, and now you're making it into a business. When did you actually give notice at your job that you were leaving?

[00:11:15] Mel Commandant: I had initially started, like my first furniture flip was March of 2020, and in June of 2022 is when I gave notice to go full-time. So like a long time, but not a long time at the same time. Yeah. Cause

[00:11:31] Shannon Russell: you were able to learn and really perfect your skill and get it ready to launch as a business in that time.

[00:11:37] Mel Commandant: Exactly, and seeing if the desire was out there for this stuff, building up a bit of a client base as well. And then the social media aspect and kind of some other projects that I had started in the meantime, like the podcast and just seeing that there was potential for these things to stay consistent and to be able to.

Bring income and keep me happy too long term. Like I was [00:12:00] enjoying it for those two years, just as much if not more and more every day. So that was important too.

[00:12:06] Shannon Russell: Oh yeah. Absolutely. I love this because I tell my clients a lot of times to, if you have a job and you know you wanna leave to start something else, take that paycheck and practice, like grow that business, do your research before you change and quit completely.

So the fact that you kind of did that, you kept on working, you started your social media, did you start your website and all of that during that time

[00:12:30] Mel Commandant: as well? So my website, I didn't really, I kind of went full force on that once I had left, cuz I had the time and kind of brain power to dedicate to it.

But definitely the social media I had started since the very beginning. Like I never intended for it to be a business or anything from the get-go, but I just kind of didn't wanna annoy my friends and family on my personal Instagram. So I was like, I'll create a new account and like, People that want to can go and see it over there.

So that just began to grow and then [00:13:00] eventually I decided to move on to other platforms and, develop the following on there. But yeah, the website is something that I definitely put off for probably longer than I should have. And, Once I got into it and actually started researching how to do it, because I built the website myself, it was much easier than I had built it up in my head to be.

So that would be a good thing. When you have the time earlier on to start, I would recommend to

[00:13:23] Shannon Russell: start it. Yeah. As long as you're not at a job where if your employer finds out that you're doing this on the side, there's some kind of conflict. But yeah, I think. You're right. Like researching that and getting that up there as soon as you can, why not?

what you did was perfect for you and the time and space that you were in because it gave you the confidence to really say, okay, I can do this full-time and just go for it. Mm-hmm. Was your husband on board? Cuz that's a big decision to say, okay, I am leaving my full-time job and I'm gonna see what I can do with this business.

[00:13:53] Mel Commandant: Yeah. Yeah. He's been so supportive and we were sitting maybe a few months prior to me [00:14:00] actually giving notice. And I remember we were sitting at a restaurant and we were talking and I was like, yeah, I think one day I could definitely like do this full-time. Just kind of talking out loud like.

In my own head being like, oh yeah, I think I could, he's like, a hundred percent you could. You could do it today if you wanted to. And just kind of was always so supportive and like, yeah, whenever you wanna do it, just let me know and we'll like figure it out. So that was really, I probably wouldn't have done it if he had been more.

Hesitant or worried to potentially have to be the sole supporter for a little while when things switched over. Like I didn't know necessarily what that would look like. So I think having a supportive partner for the financial and stuff like that, but also just the moral support of being like, you can do this.

And the times when you're being like, this is scary. Am I doing the right thing? And they can be your biggest cheerleader. That's huge. Just having anyone that can do that for you.

[00:14:54] Shannon Russell: It makes the world of difference, especially like just for your confidence and it's scary launching a [00:15:00] business.

Yeah. And you know, especially when you are used to having a steady paycheck come in and I know a lot of people have that imposter syndrome as well of can I do this? Can I live up to this expectation?

[00:15:11] Mel Commandant: That definitely doesn't go away too, and I've heard a lot of people say that as well. Even people are super successful, names you, everyone would know. They're like, I feel that way too.

So it's reassuring to me because if I'm feeling like this and they are as well, like then why bother wasting my time feeling that way? I see. When I was giving my notice, I was very aware of the fact I came from an organization where people kind of get in when they can get in and they stay there until retirement cuz there's a nice cushy pension and things like that that are those good supports that people like to have and make them feel safe and good.

And I was telling people what I was doing and I was very much ready for like, are you sure? Do you know what you're doing? Like the pension. Everyone always loves to mention the pension and. I heard a lot more like older women [00:16:00] saying I had this thing that I always wanted to pursue and I never did it.

And some people almost getting like emotional, being like, I'm so proud of you for pursuing this, because there was a time when I had that feeling and I never did it and I always regret it. So that was really reassuring to know that I was like, Doing the right thing and, and also to not assume that people are having those negative thoughts about you or wishing ill will on you like they're, everyone's in your corner.

[00:16:27] Shannon Russell: They were in awe of you because you were doing something that they hadn't done. And the last thing we wanna do at the end of our life is look back and say, you can always do it. They can even do it if they wanted to.

Exactly. So I think absolutely. You had everyone in your corner while you were making this change. I love the name, Mel Did It Herself so where did that come from? And talk to me about, just the branding of your business, cuz I love it. Between that

[00:16:51] Mel Commandant: and your podcast. Oh, thank you. Yeah, so I had initially, like I said, made that Instagram account like right at the very beginning when I was [00:17:00] actually, I think at that time I hadn't even touched furniture.

I was just doing like things around the house, like trying to like hang a shelf for the first time on my own. And so I was kind of thinking of something. Kind of punny between like DIY and whatever other home decor I was very much into like interiors and that kind of thing. And then I also was thinking about if I wanted it to be the face behind it? And at first, I definitely wasn't. I took a while before I like went on camera, but I was like, d i y, do it yourself, Mel. Do it yourself. Mel Did It Herself. Like, whatever I'm putting out there, I'm gonna have done it myself. So that was the.

Way I got to that. And yeah, over time it's been great. I had thought at different times, should I be changing that like once it was more furniture specific and I was interacting with a lot more people in that community. On Instagram and social media, a lot of people have. Names that are very much like furniture refinishing or furniture painting specific, [00:18:00] which helps if people are searching those terms and things like that.

So I had done kind of some polls on my Instagram at one point in time and asked, you know, what do you think when you hear this name or what comes to mind and stuff? And a few people said, I always remember you and your name when I'm searching for your content. And you know, a lot of times I don't know that faces or the names behind these people that have these business names as their social media handle.

So they encouraged me to keep it. I was like, sure, that works for me. So, and since then, it's just, yeah, stayed the same.

[00:18:33] Shannon Russell: And now you have a podcast as well that we can talk about. Yes. But that's a different name. So what was your thought process in that? Was it more like an SEO kind of searching

[00:18:43] Mel Commandant: for the name?

Yeah, a little bit. So I had SEO at the top of my head, but I kind of didn't want it to be anything super like boring or just being like furniture makeovers. Yeah. The, so it's called Busy Bee Refinishing with Mel Did It Herself. So I kept the, Mel Did It Herself in case [00:19:00] people don't know what it's called and they just search my name.

But uh, My husband always calls me a little busy bee cuz I'm always just like putzing around the house doing this and that and can't really sit still. And the bee kind of imagery has been consistent through our relationship. My name Melissa in Greek actually means honeybee. So that was kind of like a.

I know a little pet name, I guess, early on in our relationship. And so we have like little, B home decor and stuff just like throughout the house. So I was like, let's bring some of that in and, and there's a bit of a backstory to it, but it will still show up if people are searching for those keywords.

So I definitely didn't know what to do initially, and I had a long list of options that I was just like, I'll just pick one.

[00:19:47] Shannon Russell: I love that you kept the Mel Did It Herself right in the title as well, so that's great. Yeah.


[00:20:23] Shannon Russell: And how has the podcast been and what was your reasoning for starting the podcast?

[00:20:27] Mel Commandant: It's been great. I love it. It's probably like my favorite part of my week that, cuz it's just, I can show up and teach and connect with people. I don't have to do my hair and makeup and I don't have to get proper lighting and I don't have to like set up the camera. To just be able to show up and kind of just chit chat with the community, I've. Really enjoyed


[00:20:49] Shannon Russell: Yeah. And now you have so many great. Gems of advice and tips I actually recommended it to one of my close friends who's just getting into refinishing furniture and I told her to come and listen [00:21:00] because she wants those beginner steps and she wants to see how someone else does it. So I've thrown her over to you and she absolutely loves it and she's learning so much too.

Awesome. So it's just a great resource, I think for people in your community wouldn't you have loved to have had this podcast when you were starting out?

[00:21:16] Mel Commandant: Absolutely. And it's funny because there was one other, it's kind of run by a brand, a paintbrush brand, and so I was always listening to it in the workshop, just like early pandemic, I got big into podcasts, so I was binging all these episodes and then I was thinking like, is there others out there that people are talking about this?

Information and I was looking through and there really wasn't, that was kind of the only one out there and a lot of people were talking about it in the furniture refinishing community. So I was like, Hmm, I see a, I see a bit of a gap here. So that kind of, I guess, was brewing in my head. And then when I came across that episode on how to start it, I was like, oh yeah.

Okay. That makes sense.

[00:21:55] Shannon Russell: That's fantastic. Oh, I love it. You also have [00:22:00] a No BS Guide to your first Furniture Makeover. Tell me about that.

[00:22:04] Mel Commandant: the the no BS guide to your first furniture makeover is basically step by step, start to finish. Uh, how to tackle your first makeover. Cause I was getting a lot of. Questions all the time from people on how to do these different steps, which I'm always happy to help people out with on if they send me a DM on Instagram or send me an email.

But I was having people be like, can I meet with you to. Like go through and do this whole thing. And as much as I would love to be able to do that for everybody, I just don't have the time. So I was like, what can I do that's like a one stop shop that has all the information that someone would need just for the basics and how to, if you either wanna paint or stain or a combination of the two, what products would I recommend?

What's the process, my tips and tricks for kind of getting the best finish and things that I've learned over the years. So, yeah, I put that together in, in a kind of p d F format and as we look forward [00:23:00] longer term, I'm hoping to be able to get some online courses on there for people that are more visual learners to be able to follow those

[00:23:06] Shannon Russell: steps.

That's great. Yeah. What is your advice for people who want to take this hobby of theirs? This something that they like to do, maybe a creative passion and turn it into a business. What would you suggest?

[00:23:22] Mel Commandant: Uh, I would suggest just. Jumping in honestly, at every step. I think I put things off a little bit longer than I not should have, but I didn't necessarily have to wait quite as long.

None of the steps have been very difficult. It just requires a bit of research sometimes talking to the right people, but it's very straightforward process and if it's something that you are interested in and you feel passionate about and you want to make that something, That you do, even if it's just a little side hustle or you're selling things on this side and in your free time you can make it a business and then decide you're no longer interested and walk away from it.

But I think if it's something [00:24:00] that you think you might always have in the back of your head and kind of be nagging at you here and there, just give it a try. And there's. Really no downside to it. You might have a fee for licensing or registering or something like that, but truly it is what you make it.

So I don't see there being any downside. And like you said, like life's too short and the pandemic really taught me that. So if there's something out there, like just give it a go cuz you really never know if it's. Gonna be the thing that transforms your life. My life today is so much different than it was a couple years ago, and I just attribute that to kind of taking that step and figuring out what the next thing was at every step along the way.

And you know

[00:24:40] Shannon Russell: what's great to always keep in the back of our head too, is that we are still that person that we were prior. You can always go back and work in social work again. We're just adding onto our life's resume, so there's no sense in not trying it because you'd rather just know that you tried and maybe you'll get bored, like maybe next year you'll say, I'm over this, [00:25:00] I don't wanna do this anymore.

And you close shop, you'll never have any regrets about trying it.

[00:25:05] Mel Commandant: Absolutely. Yeah. The worst case scenario, I said when I was going into it, like the absolute worst thing that could happen is that I end up back in this thing that I've been enjoying and that I really love.

So that's a pretty good odds for me. Yes.

[00:25:18] Shannon Russell: The thread between all of your different career moves is really that you're a helper, you were helping people straight out of college. In homeless shelters, in the different social work aspects of what you did, and now you're helping people today with D I Y and with learning this new technique.

How incredible is that of a thread for you?

[00:25:40] Mel Commandant: Yeah, it's great. And when you look at it relative before in my previous work, I've literally saved lives, you know, in first aid kind of things. And I'm working with furniture, so sometimes people are like, oh, like interesting jump, kind of different. But there's really so much sentiment that can go into these furniture pieces.

And I've had pieces [00:26:00] that I've worked on that have been in people's families for generations and can have just been kind of collecting dust in the basement and not really. Being used but also not being thrown away because they can't bear to do that or their mom would never let them do that, or something like that.

And then we're able to transform those pieces so that they're in front and center in their homes and something that they enjoy looking at and using every day and can really like appreciate the life that it's lived and still have it be stylish and work with the vibe of their home and, and yeah, just have that new life and.

At the end of the day, we're trying to keep pieces from going in the landfill too. So there's the positive environmental impact that we're all trying to do, but it's really great to be able to connect in that way with these people and just help them with this problem that's very different than what I was doing previously, but, Very much rewarding and I had a client recently who had his great-grandmother's, uh, secretary desk that I made over and sent the photo over and he's like, [00:27:00] that brought tears to my eyes and sending it to my auntie right now, and things like that. So like, it's equally as heartwarming, just in very different ways. It is. And

[00:27:09] Shannon Russell: now it's a conversation starter in their home.

Ugh. I love it so much. Great stuff. All right, it's time for our five fast cues of the week. Here we go. Name one thing that these different chapters in your life have taught you.

[00:27:25] Mel Commandant: Probably just that if I decide that I want to do something, if I put my heart into it, that.

I can, which is a really rewarding thing to realize, you know, if I put my heart into it and do the work and be consistent and show up and get up early and do the things that sometimes we don't want to do, and. Sometimes it takes a little longer than other times, but with all of these things, I had no experience in any of them previously.

Same with the social work and things like that. I was a little quiet introvert [00:28:00] before, but then I was there and helping to change people's lives in a different way. So that was. Probably the thing that I'll take moving forward, regardless of what the future brings as well.

[00:28:10] Shannon Russell: So would you recommend taking a leap into a big life change to your best friend?

[00:28:14] Mel Commandant: I would if they had expressed that they had an interest in something like that. I was actually also one of my best friends who right before I decided to go full-time, she was over and we were talking about it and. I was just kind of walking through like what that would look like. And she was like, oh, okay, so what's, what's your barrier right now then?

And I couldn't really think of anything. I was like, I'm just scared. And she's like, okay, like you need to do this. She's like very entrepreneurial herself and she just kind of like brought me down to earth and made me realize that, you know, just take the leave. Just do it and give it a go. And so if she or someone close to me like that was.

In the same shoes that I [00:29:00] was in. I know that that's just kind of the little push that I needed, and so I would be more than happy to be able to reciprocate that or give it to another friend.

[00:29:09] Shannon Russell: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who's starting their second

[00:29:12] Mel Commandant: act today? I would say just start and figure out what the next thing is as you go.

If you decide you want to do a website and that seems overwhelming, just choose your host and then go from there and then start researching the little things that go into it and just take those baby steps, cuz that will make you feel so much more productive like you're actually. Pushing things forward by breaking these big tasks up into smaller tasks to be like, okay, I did this.

Now what's, what can I do next? Because if you look at it as a whole and all these things that you wanna kind of bite off all at once, you're gonna get overwhelmed and it will be too much. So just do the first thing and then figure out what the next thing is. And. Eventually you'll look back and realize how far [00:30:00] you've come and you won't even have realized it.


[00:30:02] Shannon Russell: advice. So what does your next act look

[00:30:05] Mel Commandant: like? I'm working right now on some digital courses like I had mentioned, so similar to the podcast where I try and tailor it to kind of people who have never done a furniture makeover, as well as people who have or are wanting to start a furniture refinishing business.

I wanna have courses that are. Tailored to both. So walking through the different ways to make over furniture and have video tutorials to be able to do that, that people can access as kinda a one-stop shop. But then also having coaching and an online course for people that are wanting to do the business side and kind of just help them.

Fast forward through the things and the lessons that I had to learn and that kind of stuff, to really be able to set up the systems and the client base and get their name out there and create a brand and a business for themselves doing this work. I think that

[00:30:57] Shannon Russell: is so incredible and you absolutely have to do [00:31:00] that.

I know a few people who would love that course and to be able to have your consulting and your coaching in that as well. So I love that for you.

[00:31:08] Mel Commandant: Amazing. Thank you. Where can our audience connect with you? Yeah, so my website is meldiditherself.ca. That's kind of the hub that will lead you to the podcast, which is again called Busy Bee Refinishing with Mel Did It Herself, and then linked to my social media.

[00:31:24] Shannon Russell: Oh, this was so much fun, Mel. I'm so glad that we got to chat. Your story's incredible and I just love the theme of helpfulness and service throughout your life's journey, and I'm excited to see what's next.

[00:31:36] Mel Commandant: Thank you so much, Shannon. Thanks for having me. And like I said earlier, I am loving the podcast and loving you, getting these stories out there and just showing people that pursuing their dreams and their passions are really tangibly right in front of them and that they can be taking on these second acts and giving them the skills and encouragement to do so.

[00:31:56] Shannon Russell: Wow. Thank you so much Mel. I will link to everything in the show [00:32:00] notes and I hope you have a wonderful day. Thank you so much. Thank

[00:32:03] Mel Commandant: you. I

[00:32:06] Shannon Russell: hope you enjoyed Mel's story of going from social work to being a full-time DIYer. She is an amazing furniture refiner, podcaster, and overall human being. So if you wanna catch up more with Mel, go to meldiditherself.ca.

Thank you for joining us. I hope you've found some gems of inspiration and some takeaways to help you on your path to second act, success. To view show notes from this episode, visit second act

[00:32:34] Mel Commandant: success.co.

Before you go,

[00:32:37] Shannon Russell: don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss a single episode. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much. Thank you again for listening. I'm Shannon Russell and this is Second Act

[00:32:50] Mel Commandant: Success.


Previous posts:

Episode #80: Your Career is Not Your Identity

Blog: Is It Wise To Go Into Business With A Friend?