My name is Melissa Fietsam and this is my journey! I’m just a regular “joe” from Ohio with 4 kids and a sense of humor to deal with life. I love to share organizational tips, recipes, tips on running your own business, and quotes to get you through the day!
I am a retired Registered Nurse and I am now a stay-at-home mom who sells for a Direct Sales company called Thirty-One Gifts. I love sharing my journey with this company and this is a little about how I got started!
Love my job!
I started my Thirty-One journey in a very non-glamorous way. A friend was having a party and I couldn’t attend, so she gave me a catalog to look at. I loved the products and just wanted the kit and maybe to get some products for myself at a discount. So I signed up with no intention of selling. At this point, I was a successful Registered Nurse working 60+ hours a week and had 3 children. And to be quite honest, I didn’t even carry a purse. I just loved the totes. So my WHY started out as just wanting a great product at a great discount.
But as time unfolded, I realize that God put that catalog in my hand for a reason. My WHY is now an extremely powerful force in my life. I’m not perfect, far from it. But I am a strong, independent, and successful woman. And I attribute it all to the glory of God and my family and friends who have always been there for me whether I was successful or not.
You see, I didn’t graduate high school. I dropped out and was going to take summer school, but i just decided to get my GED, and then met my ex-husband at the age of 18. I entered into a horrible marriage of about 7 years and couldn’t have been any less miserable. We were on WIC (a kind of welfare that helps you with the basics) and the social worker looked at me one day and said, “you know, you’re a smart lady. What do you want to do with your life?” Took me by surprise, because no one ever cared what I thought or wanted. I said, I’d like to go to school. So she asked why I hadn’t. My husband wouldn’t let me, I told her. She said, “do you need him to let you?” So she explained that I could get financial aid without his signature. She encouraged me to go fill out an application and just talk with them. I asked my husband one more time, he said “no” in a few choice words….so I went anyway. I enrolled while I was there. The government was going to pay for every last penny of it, and she was right…I didn’t need his permission OR his signature. So all in the same week I enrolled in college, I filed for divorce, I moved into my best friend’s house with my kids, and I got a part time job at Hollywood Video as a manager. THAT was the start of my journey.
As soon as I graduated, a year later, I enrolled in nursing school and graduated with top honors. Made my mamma proud. I knew at that point I could do anything I set my mind to. I lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 kids for 3 years going through nursing school. It was the toughest time in my entire life. I was on welfare, food stamps, daycare subsidies, you name it…I was getting help with it. I always worked part time, and finally was able to rent a house after I graduated. Went straight into my bachelor’s degree and was working 3 jobs. Two ER’s and teaching LPN’s on the side at a local college. I had it all. But I was still working 60+ hours a week. I was drained. I was beyond exhausted and I was not happy. My life had no meaning other than reaching a higher level in my career. I was accepted for my Master’s in Nurse Practitioner and ready to start classes when I became director and really started making some extra cash. That’s when I realized I could really do something I love and make money while doing it. I dropped out of the Master’s Program, focused on Thirty-One, and it has rewritten my story book ending. God has provided for me all along. In my darkest hours, as well as my finest. The path has always been known to Him. Follow your dreams, your God, and your heart, and you will never go wrong.
When I started focusing on building my team, that’s when the magic happened. That’s when I became so overwhelmed knowing that I was helping other people’s lives. I was empowering other women. I was giving them the gift that was given to me by that social worker. And there was no turning back at that point. My WHY is to share this wonderful company with as many people as I possibly can to let them know that they too can be successful. That they are worthy of a better life. I just want to be able to stay at home with my children, be the best mom I can be, and help others to be able to do the same. I am poor as dirt. But I am now paying off debt that I’ve had since before I went to nursing school. I paid off my last credit card in December of 2011. I will remain broke for a long time, as I have $57,000 in student loans to pay off. My goal is to pay off my car, some medical bills, then my student loans. And it is all possible because of Thirty-One. I’m not rich, I don’t wear fancy clothes, I never have a penny in my pocket…but what I do have is Thirty-One, a gift that was given to me by a friend. And I have made it my mission to pass it on. That is my why. To help other women…
Melissa Fietsam, Senior Executive Director
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