The She Shift by Melissa Clark
by Charlotte Kramon
There are many ways people describe progressing perceptions of gender. Some call them revolutionary, and others talk of women breaking glass ceilings and boundaries. Then there’s Melissa Clark-businesswoman, consultant, author, and more-who coined the term “The She Shift” to characterize rising female presence in formerly male-dominated areas of society. Clark created her brand and named her products “The She Shift” in order to motivate businesswomen.
In a risky move, Melissa Clark left her profession in wellness to pursue the creation of a multifaceted set of products. “The She Shift” is not only a book highlighting the accomplishments of 25 businesswoman and advising entrepreneurs, but is an organization that includes audiobooks, female superhero “Inspiration Icon” for girls, a podcast, clothing, consulting, a song, and more. Clark’s story is the exemplary embodiment of a passionate, experienced female advancing societal norms to include women as members of the business community.
One of the initial strengths of The She Shift I noticed is the age range covered through one organization. Her book and audio guides provide a forum for women to embolden each other as leaders with their own stories and advice. She created a superhero for young girls, where people can fill out a form and she’ll write girls individualized letters from the superhero “Inspiration Icon.” In her efforts to foster a welcoming community for rising females in business, Clark says she endeavors to “not only note amazing women but also to highlight millennial and young women who are doing amazing things to be an inspiration for [their] peers.”
Clark’s background in wellness and marketing inevitably lead to the creation of The She Shift. Her wellness profession provided insight and tools for the everyday struggles of women trying to succeed, and her marketing background helped her formulate a plan for expanding the business. “I felt like I was being organically pulled into the direction of working with women in their businesses and in being entrepreneurs,” Clark tells The GIRLTALK Magazine.
Although Clark had a clear vision for The She Shift, materializing the project from scratch was a laborious process. On top of the creation process, navigating essential social media in a savvy manner is easier said than done. “I had everything compiled under one brand [with] a lot of different pieces, but I realized they all had the same mission-to empower women and girls,” Clark said. “At that point, I had to create a whole new marketing strategy. I relied on all of my resources, mentors, and connections from over the years, and made new connections.”
Clark describes the launch of her project as the “the light at the end of the tunnel” and worth hard work. Clark spent eight months creating content and building her business vision. Part of the content creation included writing and recording audio guides, creating webinar presentations, finalizing “The She Shift” book, updating her website format and consistent networking and research. After Clark’s immense effort, she was ready to share her vision. “When I was able to launch my book, it was an amazing feeling because I had put in so much effort for a year and a half,” Clark fondly recalls.
Throughout her career and research in male-dominated industries, Clark witnessed clear shifts in attitudes towards employed women and their abilities. “I started seeing this shift taking place starting in my own community and virtually,” Clark notes. “Then, I started hearing about different industries, such as women in technology, starting to really advance in male-dominated industries.”
As an organization centered around women inspiring each other, Clark saw women not only advancing individually but coming together. In her book, she writes about initiatives such as collaborative workspaces and leadership conferences occurring at frequencies she’s never seen. Clark proudly reports The National Women’s Business Council statistic finding over 10 million female entrepreneurs in the US. “I call it this shift, this movement, of all these women coming together to be that support for other women,” Clark expresses.
The most valuable advice for young, aspiring entrepreneurs and businesswomen, Clark asserts, is finding mentors and digesting and noting every piece of feedback they share. Building a business requires extraordinary time, effort, and consistent trial and error, so reliable resources are assets. “My mentors have helped me look at my business from the outside in; from a different perspective,” Clark notes. “It’s really important to listen.”
Those simple words couldn’t be truer: Listening is key. As we increasingly experience the internet as a bombardment of overwhelming ideas and options, taking a step back and listening to our shared experiences of womanhood is crucial in cultivating shifting dynamics. Luckily, that is exactly what Melissa Clark has done with the resources the online world has provided her with. She created a multimedia business that allows women to embrace each other as a means of achieving success in their fields.