Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanesia Hunter.
Melanesia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I would like to consider myself a creative visionary/entrepreneur. I got my start in entrepreneurship right out of college when I decided to ” become a makeup artist.”
I realized after graduating from Auburn University that I didn’t want to work for anyone or be confined by anyone’s “company rules”, so I decided to focus on a skill set that came naturally to me and build a career out of it. I moved to Atlanta the day after graduation, and I’m glad to say my makeup career has thrived and I have never looked back.
I’ll be the first to tell you thought that entrepreneurship has its ups and downs, and in the beginning, there are definitely more downs, but when you love what you do and believe in whatever vision you have for yourself that will definitely be the fuel you need to make it through.
My makeup career led me to work with some of the top photographers in Atlanta… which led me to work with some of my 1st celebrity clients, and to doing makeup for a singer named Shanell who was signed to Lil Wayne’s label YMCMB. While working with Shanell I ended up touring the world and meeting people who would definitely inspire the next chapter of my entrepreneurship. Wayne was backed by The Komposers, a phenomenal band that I ended up becoming really good friends with.
These guys were creative and insanely talented producers and musicians. After touring and traveling the world together for years, I made the decision to move to Los Angeles after coming back from South Africa. I figured because I turned my skill set and natural talent into my career… I could literally move anywhere in the world and figure it out to LA it was. During my 1st year living in LA, I was starting to get a little homesick and uninspired with makeup.
I started asking myself what would I rather be doing in this notebook I had, and before I knew it, I had filled three notebooks with all the things I would love to be doing. It was like I was literally writing out exactly what we ended up manifesting. I started a blog/magazine called Twenty7 Magazine… which then lead to me creating an epic music event with all of my friends called The Crockpot. The Crockpot ended up being a huge success and a super inspiring music experience just like I had prayed for.
The success of The Crockpot led us to create Tha Juice Joint…. which is now our weekly residency in Hollywood on Monday nights.
By 2014, both music events led me to a community called Leimert Park. This community has been life changing for me in terms of helping me define and understand my purpose and allowing me to further understand the importance of ownership and community within Black culture. I have been dedicated to the enhancement of this community since the day I first produced a music event there. Every last Sunday of the month, we curate a music stage at the Leimert Park ArtWalk.
This year makes year six of me living in LA, and year five of me producing and curating music events. The culture we have cultivated with The27Brand and all of the music events and initiatives under it literally makes me feel like I am finally walking in my purpose and fulfilling a mission that I was born to do. And I’m able to do so with people I love and am constantly inspired by, all while still holding on to my 1st love and my 1st taste of entrepreneurship that divinely led me to my purpose… my makeup career.
Besides still doing make up every day and producing music events weekly and quarterly…
I am also running a blog and online boutique called HippieChik.com, the blog site is hippiechiklifestyle.com. The basis of the store is like shopping in my closet and the home for some of my jewelry designs and ideas. The basis of the blog is to give me a place to be able to express myself and explore all of the different things that make up my lifestyle in one place. Beauty, Music, Fashion, Travel, Entrepreneurship, Photography, and more can be found on my blog.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I would say stability… or lack there-of has been an obstacle I have definitely had to overcome during my journey. Also…. self-doubt, when things start to get tough, is a real monster. You have to know, trust and believe in your vision.
If your spirit is pulling you… even when you’re scared…. you gotta have the courage to listen to it… and trust it… and trust that if you take the leap you are going to do everything in your power to make sure you soar. And you have to actually hold yourself accountable and acknowledge when it is you that is standing in your own way.
Mismanaging time, focus, and money is something that I am still working on getting better with every day. When you are your own boss and when you are responsible for your company and the success of your brand you really have to be able to stay focused in order to achieve all of your goals and stay on track.
Money issues will definitely arise… when you work for yourself paydays aren’t always on the 1st and 15th… and it’s a chance that you don’t have health insurance or other benefits, and some months are good money making months…. and some months the struggle is REAL… so learning how to save and invest early on is something I wish I was aware of sooner.
Entrepreneurship is somewhat of a gamble… but I couldn’t see myself having it any other way. For me… it’s worth all the risks and sacrifices.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with THE27BRAND, THE CROCKPOT, THA JUICE JOINT, & HIPPIE CHIK – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
You can check out my make up work on www.MelanesiaHunter.com and @MakeupActivist on FB & IG. I specialize in “enhancing” and not transforming when it comes to making up application and beauty. I also like to consider myself “The Brown Skin Expert” and the “Queen of Clean.”
You can check out my online store and blog which both are literally the essence of me and my lifestyle. I like to incorporate women, places, and things that inspire me.
The27Brand is an umbrella company so to speak. Under that umbrella, I curate several different musical experiences.
– THA JUICE JOINT – Our MONDAY NIGHT weekly residency right in the heart of Hollywood from 9 pm -1 am. Tha Juice Joint is an organic, free-flowing, improv jam session + open mic. Follow us on social media for more info! – @Thajuicejoint FB/IG/Twitter | www.thajuicejoint.com
– #WELOVELEIMERT – The LAST Sunday of every month, we participate in Art Walk Sundays in Leimert Park. 4343 Leimert Blvd
– THE CROCKPOT – A Quarterly music concert of undeniable talent. This event fuses live music, live art, a Southern family reunion like environment, and soul food. In fact, our motto for The Crockpot is “Starve the Ego, Feed the Soul.” – @Chillinatthecrockpot FB/IG | @ChillinatTCP – Twitter | www.ChillinatTheCrockpot.com
***Location and experience changes each time.
The next one is the 5 Year Anniversary on Dec 1st! Location TBA
– LIVE IN COLOR – An intimate night with artists. Acoustic sets by phenomenal musicians and singers/songwriters. We also feature local painters creating live art as the show is taking place. Guest have the options of relaxing and painting their own canvases if they pre-register. This show is very laid back. Storytelling, Q&A, and short interviews are conducted between songs and sets.
This is a wonderful way to really get to know your favor some really awesome raw talent in Los Angeles. A spontaneous music event we curate where live music and live art meet. Check our Calendar often and keep in touch with us on social media to find out when and where the next Live In Color event will take place!!!! @The27Brand FB| IG | Twitter.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My mother and father, Edith Hunter and Ronald W. Brown for instilling character and drive in me and allowing me to march to the beat of my own drum since birth. My father is definitely the one responsible for my fearlessness & warrior spirit.
My choir director Mr. Andre Ashley was definitely the first adult who noticed I was good at doing makeup and encouraged me to cultivate the skill. I’m sure He is also responsible for me having this good ear for music… which definitely comes in handy for my event curation business and taste in music.
In Atlanta, photographers like Drexina Nelson, Allen Cooley, Darnell Wilburn, Derek Blanks, and more definitely helped me build my makeup career… as well as friends and stylists who created opportunities for newcomers to show what we could do. Shout out to Julian Lark of Kontrol Magazine.
Shanell has been a loyal friend and client and is the one who took me on tour… which essentially led to me meeting the musicians I started building this empire with. She inspired me to want to create a platform that could showcase artists in their raw and rarest form.
I have had amazing friends and family members that have encouraged me and never left my side. My sisters, and best friends Tudy, Brandon, Robert, Ashley, Scoop, and Teneshia. Believe me, when I say you NEED real friends you can depend on and trust while making your way to the top.
Here in Los Angeles, so many artists and creatives have been instrumental in my development and success. Ethiopia Habtemariam has been a loyal friend, client, and mentor to me.
Casey Billingsley, Elton Anderson, Apuje Kalu, Alexander Armand, Kim Kimble, Saisha Beecham, Cole, and so many other artists have made my LA experience life-changing in so many different ways.
Ben Caldwell of Leimert Park has been a mentor and inspiration to me.
Right now, The27Brand is a collective of about 40-50 creatives, musicians, singers, etc, and all of them have been instrumental in the success of our Brand.
The Komposers – Keenan Ephriam, Jairus Mozee, Eric Ingram, Titus TJ Hooker, Rumeal Eggleston
House Band Members:
Sam Hoffman – Md, Guitar, Producer
Chris James – Guitar, Violin, Bass, Producer
Awdiv Band – Kay’Ce Thompkins, Budda Foster, Kendrick Brown, Patrick Devon
Ahmad Dawson- Percussion
Brian BP Patterson -Drums
Ladarius LJ Jones – Bass
Roger Joose Benford – Drums
Lawrence Shaw – Bass,
Aaron Show – Sax, Flute
Elin Sandberg- Bass
Xeryus Glittens – Guitar
Steven Martin – Keys
Oran O Smith
It’s so many people that have helped me along the way… I hope I’m not forgetting anyone lord.
- Tha Juice Joint open mic + jam session is $10 and every Monday night in Hollywood.
- The Crockpot 5 year anniversary is Dec 1st! Early bird tickets will be going on sale for $20 soon. Be sure to follow @chillinatthecrockpot to the location at ticket details. www.chillinatthecrockpot.com
- Website: Melanesia Hunter – Visionary, Entrepreneur
Makeup – www.melanesiahunter.com | IG: @makeupactivist
Music Events – www.the27brand.com www.thajuicejoint.com www.chillinatthecrockpot.com
FB/IG thajuicejoint @chillinatthecrockpot
Fashion – www.hippiechik.com | FB/IG @shophippiechik
Lifestyle Blog – www.hippiechiklifestyle.com | FB/IG @hippiechiklifestyle (personal page)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/hippiechiklifestyle
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hippiechiklifestyle/?modal=suggested_action
- Twitter: twitter.com/melanesia_
- Other: www.youtube.com/c/the27brand
@Omniklix, @BrandonHicks, @apuje