Melissa Ladines, or who we lovingly call Melsa, is one of my favorite power women. Power- not only in the sense that she is the Global Publicist for Levi’s Women, but also because she manages to hold down her household #likeaboss.
In today’s generation, there are so many talks on how women should ‘lean in‘ at work. Melsa is a true example of not only ‘leaning’, but more of leading. She handles her integral role with ease and composure and turns multi-tasking into an art form.
But more importantly, she keeps her family, friends, and personal time close to her heart. Her attention (no matter how many people will compete for it) will always lead her back to what is most important to her.
And while she makes it look easy, she reveals everything she learned during her journey to get here. It is my pleasure to have to you meet Melsa.
1. Hi Melsa! Tell us a bit about where you are from and what you do…
Hi! I was born in Manila. My parents sent me to the USA at age 7 to study and experience the states for a year but my family ended up moving here. I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to NYC after college. I moved back to LA after 12 years in the east coast. When people ask me what I do for a living, I say I have two jobs. I am CEO of my household and the Women’s Global Publicist for Levi’s.
2. Since you’ve been working with Levi’s for the past 12 years, how do you feel you’ve grown since you first started there?
When I first started, I was assisting 5 publicists who were managing different brands. Because of this, I have learned to multitask and be well versed on different aspects of publicity. I’ve grown from the assistant managing samples to the person who now manages Women’s Levi’s fashion publicity globally.
When I first started, I was assisting 5 publicists who were managing different brands. Because of this, I have learned to multitask and be well versed on different aspects of publicity.
3. How do you feel the landscape for PR has changed and where do you think it is going?
The new landscape is definitely digital. When I first started, we used the phone and speaking voice so much that when I went home I did not want to talk to anyone. Now, it is all about emails, texts and social media.
4. With the Internet, there are so many fashion bloggers out there… What do you think makes a blogger stand out from the trend?
I agree, there are so many bloggers out there and I can’t keep up. I think being a well rounded blogger is makes a person standout. This means being proactive in engaging your readers not only on your blog but on other social media like twitter and instagram.
5. I love your clutch line, LoveBirdsLA (LBLA). The fabric and prints are so interesting and unique. What inspired you to start this?
I have to give full credit to one of my best friends Kim. She is the brain and creative director of LoveBirdsLA. I am just her adviser and of course, marketer. We both love traveling and collecting colorful fabrics from around the world. She’s always wanted to make handmade bags from these fabrics so we thought of LBLA. We started with one style and now expanded to more than a dozen different options so I am positive there will be more in store in the future.
6. I asked Teresa if she observed anything about you that I could use for my interview and she said, “I really admire her humility in an industry that’s constantly about showing. She keeps it real.” How do you keep things in perspective when everyone is trying to impress?
Be yourself. That is the only way you are able to make genuine relationships and keep things real. You also have to love your job, the people you work with and the company you work for.
7. I think one of the things we have in common is how much we love our families. What is the best thing about coming home to them after a trip or a long day at work?
The best thing about coming home to them is to make sure that the time we have with them is precious. After a work travel, I always tell my kids where I’ve been and what I did. This way they are in the know of what and why I was away.
I am also usually busy during the week. Sometimes when I get home, my kids are already asleep. Because my husband and I are occupied with work during the week, we make sure that every weekend with our kids is like a vacation.
Because my husband and I are occupied with work during the week, we make sure that every weekend with our kids is like a vacation
8. What are some of your favorite rituals to relax and unwind? Any self-care tips you can recommend for busy women?
9. While a lot of women have a “passion for fashion,” what are your passions outside of fashion?
My passion is travelling. I love going places, meeting new people and experiencing cultures. I also love hanging out with my girlfriends. I do believe that they help strengthen you.
I have so many people that impacted my life but I have 3 who I am obsessed with in the fashion industry. Andrew Bevan from Teen Vogue, Lauren Kolodny from Honestly WTF and Michele Ouellet– model and owner of Lorenza wines.
I love them because they are real. When we are together, you can find us laughing and making Lauren’s God’s eyes. They are successful in what they do yet they are grounded as a person.
Can I also say that I am happy to have met you and your sisters? I feel so blessed to have met the Herrera Ladies. I admire your Mom’s loving personality, Teresa’s free spirit, Rosario’s drive, Tina’s motivation and your heart of gold.
Most of all, feel blessed you are alive. You just never know where life will take you.
11. What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?
Most important lesson is live the moment and cherish your experiences. Most of all, feel blessed you are alive. You just never know where life will take you. Life is short, so live it!
12. What’s next for you?
LIVING….is whats next. I’m going to do everything it takes to YOLO.
Interview by Victoria Herrera// Photos Courtesy of Melissa Ladines