When your day job is with one of the most innovative and talented companies in a city, you're doing something right.
Melanie Richards is doing something right.
She's a senior web designer at Fuzzco, and, on the side, started a blog devoted to compiling and highlighting professional women. Badass Lady Creatives. She also blogs for other blogs. She helps with Refresh Charleston. She's 25.
Her column for Design Work Life, a blog with thousands of followers, is an extension of Badass Lady Creatives. She partnered with the website because she respects its reputation and to get more eyeballs on her subject matter, because "half the battle is giving people their due exposure."
Her project started small, a tool on social media to share the work of women by which she was inspired, and has grown into a way to help correct a lack of exposure. "I started Badass Lady Creatives because I noticed a lack of representation of women in design conference rosters, speaker panels and blogs. One of the excuses you often hear is, 'we just couldn't find any.' With my project, I wanted to prove that there are tons of talented women in the creatives industry; I wanted to make it impossible to use that excuse. I was also hoping that giving these talented ladies the exposure they deserved would help lead to good things in their careers."
Blogs are this whole new way of life, and Melanie's is helping to create more of a community amongst female creatives. She's open to suggestions, new leads, says, "inclusion and meritocracy are not mutually exclusive, and to believe that is lazy. I could always do better in this regard, but I'm so jazzed about how much great work I've found in the process of casting a wider net."
The internet is the internet and will always produce sites like codebabes.com, but Melanie is hard at work against silly jokes and stereotypes.
"Progressive means challenging the status quo: there's a way that things are, and there's a way that things should be.”
Words by: Elizabeth Bowers
Photography by: Mark Stetler
Hair and makeup by: Stella Nova Flagship