From strawberry shortcake to home furnishings to a fitness business, Melody Biringer has trotted down virtually every entrepreneurial trail in existence. With 23 business ventures under her belt — a few of them even successful! — you might call her a lifelong “start-up junkie.” Her current entrepreneurial love-child is Urban Campfire, a movement to create a different conversation, produced by the CRAVEcompany. CRAVE connects savvy business women through networking events, symposiums and a series of smash-hit city guides. She’s always scouting for the next crop of start-up superstars, solopreneurs and socially-conscious capitalists. Melody is the author of CRAVING Success: a startup junkies path from passion to profits.
In Melody's words:
1. What's the history behind the name "CRAVE/URBAN CAMPFIRE"?
I am a startup junkie and have had over 20 businesses. I started The CRAVE Company 12 years ago with the idea to get girlfriends together, it has evolved over the years to be a big advocate of women owned businesses through events, books and online profiles. Urban Campfire is a project of CRAVE...an event that brings together women to tell stories, see each other in our stories, roast marshmallows and dance. The first event was held in August of 2013 in Seattle and 500 women came. We are now taking it to cities nationwide.
2. What was your very first job?
I grew up on a strawberry farm so picking strawberries was my very first job. It only lasted one day because I saw a better opportunity to sell lemonade.
3. Who was/is your mentor?
I have so many it is hard to list. I consider my friends my main mentors. They bring joy and perspective to my life like nobody else can do.
4. Favorite LUNA Bar flavor?
S’mores of course!
5. What's your favorite spot in Seattle?
It’s a tossup between the Burke Gilman Trail for a bike ride or a walk around my Queen Anne neighborhood.
6. If you could have lunch with any female, past or present, who would it be?
Gloria Steinem to dish on style and authenticity.
7. Looking back, what advice would you tell your 15-year-old self?
Start thinking about who you are, what do you care about? Start a 100 things you CRAVE list in all areas of your life and review it often. Spend time doing things you love and what you are good at and don’t worry about everything else. Seek out all kinds of different likeminded friends that share your passions. Here is a link with tips and inspiration to help you get started on your CRAVE list.