April 18, 2019
Interview with Melissa Gonzalez:
Recently we have had the pleasure of having a conversation with our exclusive speaker Melissa Gonzalez, here are some nuggets that she shared with us.
Why do clients typically hire you to speak?
Thought leadership in retail, especially in the physical world. There is a titanic shift happening in the way in which consumers interact with brands and retailers and I sit at the intersection of how that shift is changing brick-and-mortar retail. We help brands and retailers rethink what’s possible, how to reposition the purpose of physical real estate assets.
What are your 3 habits for success? How do you implement these habits into your everyday or weekly routine?
I make lists, prioritize and focus. We are constantly pulled in so many directions that it’s hard to keep track without lists. I am also sure to prioritize the items on my list, and then I carve out blocks of time on my calendar to ensure I allocate the space in my day to dedicate focus to key deliverables. I also interweave open windows of 30 min blocks to allow for space for things like lunch or spontaneous calls or conversations.
What keeps you inspired?
On a daily basis my daughter’s fluid creativity keeps me inspired. In retail, I carve out time to read design magazines, blogs and visit stores weekly. I love seeing what’s happening in the world on an international level and across sectors and industries. We can learn a lot from the hospitality world when it comes to retail for example; as with the entertainment world and retail.
What is the most unique experience you’ve had as a result of your job?
A couple of years ago I was invited to the White House to ideate around how initiatives can be implemented to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in this country. It was two power packed days of meetings with senior executives in business and government with individuals like Shari Redstone, Kal Penn, Senator McCain, founders of Dannijo and others. It was a unique opportunity to sit with leaders, innovators and decision makers to help affect change on a national level.
What are your tips to individuals who are struggling with creativity?
Leave your desk and go for a walk. Allow yourself to engage in real life, in your 3D world, and allow it to inspire you. There are a lot of great online tools like Instagram and Pinterest to provide inspiration but daily interactions, nature and life can be the best way to fuel creativity.
If you were to start your own retail business, what would it be and what would be the 5 key components that you believe would be fundamental for that business’s success?
I am currently really intrigued with the possibilities in the CBD space. We are so early in the trajectory of the sector but I would focus on the unique problem we are solving, a clear POV on customer personas, partner with a top branding agency to solidify our visual identity, conduct focus groups and small pre-launch pop-up events to test and iterate before our official launch.