Boss Like A Lady – Women Entrepreneur Series – Melissa Esplin, The Ascender

To kick off Women’s History Month, I am creating a limited hand-lettered and illustrated series of some women making history.  These women own their own creative businesses and make them successful despite many obstacles, including their own occasional self-doubt.  I hope they inspire you to make a little history of your own!

Melissa Esplin
The Ascender
Melissa does all sorts of creative things like sewing, cooking, painting and crafting. She freaking loves letters and teaches calligraphy online at When she’s not glued to a screen or writing fancy-pants calligraphy, she’s partying with her 3 kids and her awesome husband. 
What was your greatest mistake? I’m sure my biggest one is yet to come, but I think one of my biggest general mistakes was not trusting my expertise. It’s easy to feel inadequate, but what I bring to the table is different than what some one else brings to the table. And that’s enough.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?  Do the hard things first (from my husband.)
What’s the best source of inspiration for you?  While it’s important to try to learn all you can about one particular subject, learning across a few disciplines can take your work to a completely new level. Instagram can be great for that. Books are always a good idea. 
What do you do when you get discouraged?  I disconnect. It’s easy (for me) to feel overwhelmed on social media. I find when I disconnect from the online world and stay present in the real world, my world re-balances.
What do you do when you doubt yourself?   I try to learn more. I try to work harder. I talk to my husband. He’s my best friend and he’s always there to listen and help me feel better. I’m grateful to have him by my side.
Finish the sentence, “Being a woman and owning a business is: not easy. Balancing kids, my own personal expectations and running a business can get overwhelming. I’ve had to learn to let things go. I’ve learned to become a fighter and defend my time and personal life. But never has there been a better time than now to own a creative business.

Tell me everything!

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