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Conversations with the Inspiring Melissa Strukel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Strukel.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started out in Interior Design and saw a need in the event industry for a unique alternative to event rentals as well as authenticity to the design of events. I began with a small collection of vintage furniture and grew my business in my garage. I worked on many photo shoots to get my name out there in the industry. Slowly business began to come my way and I slowly grew out of my garage and am now, in a large warehouse and have been fortunate enough to have worked with some incredible clients, many of whom are now friends. We currently are hired for everything from furniture and decor rentals for events, to Interior Design.

With all of the business of the event industry, I needed to feel as though I was giving back to the community so along with my dear friends Shawnee and Marlo, we started the Pow Wow Womens Retreat which is an annual Meditation and Yoga Retreat for women in Joshua Tree.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No road worth traveling is a smooth one. There are obstacles that arise and I always try to handle them with fluidity. Sometimes where you think you’re headed is not where you end up so I can’t be rigid or get stuck in negativity or self-doubt. My advice to any young women who are just starting out is to always remain true to your Dharma. Your true self that is always calling and leading you. Allow yourself to make mistakes and keep moving. Don’t focus on your shortcomings and allow your path to change because the universe is always working in your favor if you are open and paying attention to the present. Be kind to other women and do not compare yourself to others especially on social media.

what should we know about Pow Wow Design Studio Inc.? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We carry a vast array of unique furniture and decor which can be rented for events. A client can either rent items they’ve picked out or they can hire myself and my team of designers to design and style their entire event.

With Interior Design as our background, we also take on Interior Design or styling jobs when we know it’s a good fit. Some of our past and current projects include Airbnb’s, News studios, residential and restaurants.

We believe in putting soul into all that we design. Our goal is for the people who spend time in the spaces we design to feel something. We are always manipulating spaces through the use of Environmental Psychology and believe people are greatly affected by their surroundings.

With our rental collection, we try and keep it on trend but also cutting edge. We can see what trends are on the horizon and keep pushing the envelope. Our goal with our rentals is not to become a big box rental company, offering everything to everyone. We like to be a bit more selective as well as offer our clients something which is unique from other companies. We are fully licensed and insured and all of our employees are covered by Workmen’s Comp. It’s something I’m very proud of considering I started this whole thing in my garage! 🙂

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
My advice is to choose 3 people who you know or are acquaintances whom you admire or look up to because of their successful career. Then, choose 1-2 people who you may not know but admire for their business ethics.

All of these people need to be in the same field as what you are interested in. You’ll find that talking to people outside of your industry about business can almost be more helpful. Talk with them, ask questions and listen.

It’s always good to talk with people who are creative thinkers and are also experienced in problem-solving as well as failure.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Gantes.c0, Amy Lynn, Logan Cole, Kelsea Holder

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