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FAMU Alumna Melissa A. Mitchell gives back during SJGC “Grads Are Back”

By Aniah Jackson | Staff Reporter
On October 18, 2018

Known for her bold prints and bright colors, Melissa A. Mitchell returned to FAMU's campus to share her story
Photo submitted by Melissa A. Mitchell. 

Abeille Creations, CEO and author of “Views from My Kaleidoscope” Melissa A. Mitchell came back to Florida A&M University to speak with students on the importance of branding themselves and following their dreams. She was a panelist for the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications’ “Grads Are Back:  Brandpreneurship” panel on Oct. 4.

From selling her first set of head wraps during FAMU’s homecoming two years ago, Mitchell has proven to the world what FAMU excellence looks like. Her art, whether on canvas or fabric, has been showcased at New York’s Fashion Week, Tina Knowles-Lawson’s invite-only event, and Art Basel in Miami.

Mitchell was excited to return back to campus during homecoming week to continue sharing the jewels she learned at FAMU regarding branding and how to combine your dreams and business into perspective.

“There is no greater honor than to have degrees that read Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University,” Mitchell said. “Each time I achieve a new goal, I make sure the world knows that I am who I am, because FAMU taught me.”

Mitchell was the winner of SPANX Illuminate-Her Artist Contest which awarded her bold, abstract designs to be featured on the company’s latest bra edition, to be released in 2019.

Josh Mikkel, senior broadcast journalism student, was one of many students at the panel Mitchel spoke at. He expressed his joy hearing Mitchell recalling her journey as a FAMU student.

“I’m happy I finally got to meet Melissa Mitchell and hear her speak about how she used her skills from FAMU J-School to help brand her business,” Mikkel said. “It was definitely a confirmation that I am in the right place.  

Mitchell has been featured in various highly-recognized digital and print publications like Vogue, Essence, Forbes and Sheen Magazine. She is continuously spotlighted on The Shaderoom for her artistic creations.

Mitchell is no stranger to the stage. She was a guest speaker at Essence Festival, participating in the women’ empowerment series, “Driving Her Dreams,” hosted by Ford Motor Company.

Aliyah Davis, senior broadcast journalism student, was happy to hear Mitchell speak about her role as a businesswoman. She sees Mitchell as an inspiration for her own future.

“Hearing Melissa speak about her adventure in entrepreneurship was a motivation that things that are meant for you, will happen for you in time,” Davis said. “This resonated the most with me since I also want to have my own business one day.”

Mitchell is now competing in Ford’s pitch contest against nine other well-known entrepreneurs. She could win a trip to “My City 4 Ways Houston” for a chance at winning a brand new 2019 Ford Explorer.

Mitchell is most proud of being from an alumni network that she describes as strong, powerful, talented and resilient however.

“As I compete to win a new 2019 Ford Explorer, through the Driving Her Dreams contest, I am confident that my FAMUly has my back, yet again,” Mitchell said. “When I first picked up a brush to paint, it was a fellow Rattler who bought the first piece and it’s been a Rattler supporting me through every endeavor.”

After the panel, Mitchell thanked the crowd and fellow panelists for inviting her back to speak. In the future, Mitchell hopes to continue to come back and share her story with other rattlers.

Stay connected with this Rattler by following her on social media @abeillecreations and visiting her website at MelissaAMitchell.com. 

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