Mellissa Miller


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Where are you from?

My birthplace was Brooklyn but now I live in Long Island.

What do you do?

I own a spa on Long Island and we’re opening one in the city. And I’m trying to model. I never wanted to model because I don’t like make up. I think that was a game changer for me (laughs). I know so many people who are in the modeling business and they tell them when to eat and when to cut their hair. I’ve already been there with dance.

What's it like working for yourself?

I’m definitely learning a lot about being a boss and being a black woman as a boss. It’s not easy. I’ve had someone call the spa the other day and ask if I was black!!! I told her very nicely “you can return your Groupon whenever you’re ready”. Any body of any other race who owns a business doesn’t sit there and say ‘Asian Business Owners!’ We don’t want to be the company that’s like ‘Black People Own This!’ It’s not about that, though we do put business first and are proud to be black women. But just to have someone call and ask… for what? Why exactly do you need to know!?

I didn’t know the world was like this. I really didn’t know that I was black. I had teachers that had to tell me I had to be better and be better but you don’t know it until you actually really do have to be better.

It is definitely not fair but it is what it is, you take it and you move on and continue to live your life because at the end of the day I’m going to be black forever and I’m going to be a woman forever. We dwell on our 40 acres and mule. it’s not coming… you have to get it.

Also our issue as black people is we aren’t trying to help each other. And that’s big in the black art world too, like No! I’m going to get to the top and I made it so you make it, I had to go through the struggle so you go through the struggle. Instead of saying I went through the struggle so you don’t have to go through the struggle, let me help you out. And there’s not enough hands out there that are trying to help people. And if their hands are out they’re expecting you to put something in it first.


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