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Meet Melanie Whitney of Common Collective

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Whitney.

Melanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
If we are being technical, I am a Communication Studies professor with an emphasis on interpersonal relationships. I have spent the last decade teaching college students how to become more competent communicators and have healthier relationships with themselves and others. My professional background is comparative to Lombard Street in San Francisco, filled with curves and hairpin turns. Community development. Event planning. Behavioral Health. Production and film. Theatre. Education. Nonprofit. Political campaigning. This zigzag of an experience has given me the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and has taught me a lot about the human experience.

All my different jobs showed me that we are all craving the same things, to connect, to be validated, and accepted. I started doing small workshops teaching people about mindfulness and communication. Then in 2016, I did a TEDx about success and how we are measuring it all wrong. After that conference, I started slowly developing my business and hosting workshops for schools, companies, and communities.

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?
Definitely has NOT been a smooth road. It’s been a slow but steady process. I have a full-time job AND run the Common Collective…so I have to be really protective over my free time. In addition, I have had to teach myself everything about building a business, from branding and marketing to e-commerce and tax laws. There were times I would spend 8-10 hours online just teaching myself Photoshop or learning how about shipping and fulfillment. It was insane! But that’s what is amazing about the times we live in…the information is out there…we just have to find it.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Common Collective – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
The Common Collective’s mission is to provide people with a compilation of tools to enhance their relationships with themselves and with others. The goal is simple – empower others to live with more intention and authenticity.

Specifically, we hold workshops about cultivating more mindfulness in our everyday lives and in our relationships. Mindfulness is a journey, not a prescription, so the process can be a little messy. However, we try to help people along this unfolding by providing exercises they can do, communication skills they can apply, and so much more that helps them enrich their life. In addition, we often try to raise awareness and funding for causes we are passionate about through our online store.

Our most current campaigns have been about equipping Farmworkers with masks so they can perform their jobs safely and calling on our supporters to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. As a business, I want to use our platform to elevate us (humanity) as a collective.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Our future plans are to launch our Podcast! We were supposed to launch last year but had a couple of setbacks that took us on a detour. Then this year, right before the pandemic hit, we were about to start recording! Instead of putting it off again, we decided to embrace the imperfect recordings that will occur and utilize the equipment we have available to us in these crazy times. We believe that the content we have to share is beneficial for self-growth and what a better time to invest in ourselves then the present moment.

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