Posted by: MCR
Tell us about yourself (Where are you from, educational background, how did you establish your business?
I am a native of a very, very small town, Brundidge, Alabama. Growing up in such a small community had its perks though. I believe that most of who I am today is due to the nurturing, loving, and overall family feel that you get from small towns. Everybody literally knows everybody J When I graduated from Pike County High School in 2004, I began my college career that summer at Alabama A&M University. In 2007 I graduated Suma Cum Laude with a degree in Secondary Education-English/Language Arts. My now husband, Martell, proposed to me the day I graduated and we were married July of 2008. Because we were both in education, we realized quickly that the lifestyle and level of success we desired to live could not be accomplished on such small salaries, so we started both a lawn and cleaning business. Getting out and advertising and soliciting after school and on the weekends proved to be a huge success for us, because before we knew it, we had over 50 residential contracts and five commercial contracts. Never afraid of a challenge, it is no surprise that eventually I launched full force into our company, Holt & Holt Entrepreneurship, with no prior business classes or training. As CEO, by the age of 28 I had grown the company to a million-dollar business and by 30 a multi-million dollar business, from the ground up, strictly due to hard work, dedication and a determination to not fail. Long days and late nights, missed family vacations and enjoying the things typical 20-year old’s do, was all a part of the sacrifice to see our company grow.
What are some of the latest projects you are working on?
I am literally ALWAYS thinking and working on ways to expand and grow the Holt brand. Recently, we expanded the company to cover new projects in Arkansas, Virginia and Florida. One of the goals we had for our company was to enter the government contracting arena, so I worked tirelessly to obtain our HUB Zone certification, and we have now accomplished that. So, that’s another check mark off the list. With the support of my husband and family, I launched my motivational speaking campaign, Melody S. Holt, all while continuing to gain new clients, launching another new business endeavor (Holt Custom Homes, LLC) and raising 3 children under the age of 6. As CEO, I think am always thinking ‘What’s next? What’s next?’ so my brain is always working to continue moving and never becoming stagnant.
Community involvement is everything, tell us about your passion for working in the community?
My passion for community has been evident since I was a very young girl. I was always the student who was involved in every organization the school offered, typically holding a leadership position. From singing the National Anthem at school events or performing at school plays and programs, using my talents and gifts to uplift others has always been something I’ve enjoyed. Since moving to Huntsville, I have transferred that same desire to work in the community here. I am involved in several local organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Business Council, and Advisor to the Alabama A&M University Business & Public Affairs. I also enjoy mentoring other young entrepreneurs and volunteering time and donating funds to assist other organizations with their l goals and outreach efforts. The fact of the matter is in order to improve the lives of the people in our community, we all have to work together…it’s a joint effort. I am glad to know that I am a part of the change that is taking place.
Lastly, how would you describe your journey in the business world?
My journey in the business world has been one filled with trial and error. Being a female CEO in a male dominated industry brings its challenges of course, but also leaping into an industry that I had no prior knowledge or official training made my journey a little tougher from most individuals. However, I was willing to learn all that I could, and I will admit, google became my best friend. I can recall countless hours at night where I would be up reading, and reading…. and reading some more. Being outside of your comfort zone, I believe, should cause you to tap into your inner super strengths to help you accomplish whatever goals you have set for yourself. I wouldn’t trade my journey and my story for anything in the world. Being in business has opened many doors for both myself and my husband and has given us a platform to encourage and inspire other young people to be true to their passions and to follow their heart’s desires.