Boss Lady Series: Melissa Herod

First up, Melissa Herod, one half of the couple who own Blue Mountain, Ontario’s axe-throwing business, Axed. Melissa was a restaurant manager turned stay at home mom while her husband was a contractor. With John working extended hours and coming home overworked, she began to worry that their lifestyle would not be sustainable for long.

Melissa being a very traditional family-oriented woman, struggled with how to balance a healthy family life while contributing financially. It was after an axe throwing date with friends, their motivation returned. The activity aligned with their charisma and physical fitness and it was something they could do all day, everyday. After much debate, they decided to gamble on opening their own axe throwing business; it seemed like the answer to all their prayers!

Many people in their life expressed doubts regarding their idea. Melissa recounts there was a lot of push back about the monthly costs and overhead. “In hindsight, I can see where they were coming from, but in the moment, I felt unsupported and frustrated,” she recalls, but Melissa had trust in herself and her idea, but naturally she also had her own hesitations. She continued to share that she doesn’t necessarily think doubt is a bad thing, “It forces you to evaluate and question, and look at what is causing your doubt. Is it just a disbelief in yourself or is it an area that you need to be looking at in your business?” She also credits John with helping her trust her entrepreneurial instincts. “He was a huge support,” she says, “Seeing him everyday so sore and tired just motivated me to push harder, do more.”

Competition hit when word got out of their plans. Melissa responded to the challenge by vowing to rise above by being more professional, kinder, and nonstop promoting the business by building relationships within the community. They started with a trailer first and then expanded into a storefront which turned out to be a huge success!

Enter 2020, which threw them a curveball, or a curved axe in this case, as it did for many small business owners. They closed their storefront to the despair of the axe-throwing league team members, however, are thankfully able to stay afloat with the trailer. Keeping their dream a reality is crucial to Melissa, so she is currently looking at more ways to fuze axe-throwing fun with Covid-19 safety requirements. This part of her life is all about adaptation, really pursuing her passion with realistic measures. Although it wasn’t an easy decision, she feels closing the shop was the best one, it reduced an enormous amount of stress, reminding herself she’s very, very fortunate to have options. “It has also motivated us to look at where our business is going to go from here and to try and find unique and creative offerings for the community…it has really forced us to evolve.”

Strong, creative, passionate, and smart. Melissa really personifies what it is to be a Boss Lady. “Do it!” or Dare To Be Yourself as we say. When asked if she has any advice for other women whoa re considering turning their passion project into a money-maker, she stated “Think about it, fun and passionate, those are important components, but I think it’s also important to make sure that you have a business [plan] that is going to be successful.” So if you’re thinking about taking a chance and monetizing a passion, start strategizing.

You can check out her site at Axed Throwing and take a look at how this amazing woman not only runs her own super fun business but supports her community while she’s at it!

Sara Connelly You Me Jubsies Blog

Sara Connelly

Freelance Writer

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