Meet Melissa Shea


Melissa Shea


CEO

New York

Melissa Shea is the CEO and cofounder of Fashion Mingle, a networking platform for fashion industry professionals. Melissa has spent over 20 years in the tech industry fueled by a love of learning about the “next new thing”. A chance meeting with someone in the fashion industry inspired her to build Fashion Mingle, a global platform to connect the fashion industry worldwide.

Originally from Austin, TX, with a degree in Visual Communications, Melissa’s entrepreneurial passion was sparked at the dawn of the internet age. She started a web and graphic design business in 2002 servicing companies who wanted their very first website. This is where she intimately learned about the needs and challenges of the small business community and quickly added services for her clients as marketing needs changed from traditional to online advertising.

Melissa was introduced to the Austin fashion community in 2008 and instantly fell in love with the wildly creative designers, photographers, models, makeup artists and hairstylists

she met. As she learned more about their businesses, she quickly learned how difficult it was to grow a business that would sustain themselves and their families. As someone who is always looking for solutions to problems, the concept of Fashion Mingle was born.

Bootstrapping the build of the first Austin Fashion Directory in 2010, Shea beta-tested tools and conducted countless interviews with members of the Austin fashion community she was trying to serve. She wanted to learn more, so she built a media team and started covering New York Fashion Week as a member of the press. This helped her build a network and get feedback from the heart of the fashion industry to pursue her mission to build a global platform for fashion industry professionals. The Fashion Mingle brand was officially launched in 2012 as a blog to bring exposure to the people and businesses who work behind the scenes in the fashion industry.

After relocating to Upstate New York due to a job transfer for her husband, Shea balanced her web and graphic design business with planning the launch of the Fashion Mingle platform. Her researched determined that the biggest barrier to success for fashion business owners was the lack of marketing skills and comfort with technology required to market your business in the internet age. What was also clear, was that the traditional SaaS platforms most industries used to market their business did not meet the unique needs of the fashion industry. Melissa set out to design a platform that would simplify online marketing and create a foundation for local fashion communities to find the resources they need to grow their business.

Melissa found an angel investor in 2014, but before taking an investment she was determined to have a team and plan in place to insure the funds were used as efficiently. In her search to find marketing support she met Beth Smith through a New York State business mentoring program and they both realized they were working on similar projects in the fashion industry. So they quickly joined forces and launched a concept bigger and better than either had conceived on their own.

Beth and Melissa officially accepted their first investor in November in 2015 and put together a team to build out the platform and launched their first tool, and online fashion directory with over 100 categories for fashion industry professionals ranging from designers, manufacturing, media, models, education, and more. The official debut of the platform and brand was during their first NYFW Networking Party in September 2017 at ROW NYC. They now host this event every New York Fashion Week, providing unparalleled opportunities to make valuable connections with industry professionals from across the globe.

With over 3000 members in over 100 cities, Fashion Mingle began their international launch with Fashion Mingle Australia in May of 2019 with a VIP luncheon at the iconic Sydney Opera House during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia. The company plans to aggressively expand internationally, engaging with the fashion industries of emerging economies to create connections and commerce for the 75 million members of the worldwide apparel industry.

Meet Co-Founder Beth Smith

Melissa Shea


CEO

New York

Melissa Shea is the CEO and cofounder of Fashion Mingle, a networking platform for fashion industry professionals. Melissa has spent over 20 years in the tech industry fueled by a love of learning about the “next new thing”. A chance meeting with someone in the fashion industry inspired her to build Fashion Mingle, a global platform to connect the fashion industry worldwide.

Originally from Austin, TX, with a degree in Visual Communications, Melissa’s entrepreneurial passion was sparked at the dawn of the internet age. She started a web and graphic design business in 2002 servicing companies who wanted their very first website. This is where she intimately learned about the needs and challenges of the small business community and quickly added services for her clients as marketing needs changed from traditional to online advertising.

Melissa was introduced to the Austin fashion community in 2008 and instantly fell in love with the wildly creative designers, photographers, models, makeup artists and hairstylists she met. As she learned more about their businesses, she quickly learned how difficult it was to grow a business that would sustain themselves and their families. As someone who is always looking for solutions to problems, the concept of Fashion Mingle was born.

Bootstrapping the build of the first Austin Fashion Directory in 2010, Shea beta-tested tools and conducted countless interviews with members of the Austin fashion community she was trying to serve. She wanted to learn more, so she built a media team and started covering New York Fashion Week as a member of the press. This helped her build a network and get feedback from the heart of the fashion industry to pursue her mission to build a global platform for fashion industry professionals. The Fashion Mingle brand was officially launched in 2012 as a blog to bring exposure to the people and businesses who work behind the scenes in the fashion industry.

After relocating to Upstate New York due to a job transfer for her husband, Shea balanced her web and graphic design business with planning the launch of the Fashion Mingle platform. Her researched determined that the biggest barrier to success for fashion business owners was the lack of marketing skills and comfort with technology required to market your business in the internet age. What was also clear, was that the traditional SaaS platforms most industries used to market their business did not meet the unique needs of the fashion industry. Melissa set out to design a platform that would simplify online marketing and create a foundation for local fashion communities to find the resources they need to grow their business.

Melissa found an angel investor in 2014, but before taking an investment she was determined to have a team and plan in place to insure the funds were used as efficiently. In her search to find marketing support she met Beth Smith through a New York State business mentoring program and they both realized they were working on similar projects in the fashion industry. So they quickly joined forces and launched a concept bigger and better than either had conceived on their own.

Beth and Melissa officially accepted their first investor in November in 2015 and put together a team to build out the platform and launched their first tool, and online fashion directory with over 100 categories for fashion industry professionals ranging from designers, manufacturing, media, models, education, and more. The official debut of the platform and brand was during their first NYFW Networking Party in September 2017 at ROW NYC. They now host this event every New York Fashion Week, providing unparalleled opportunities to make valuable connections with industry professionals from across the globe.

With over 3000 members in over 100 cities, Fashion Mingle began their international launch with Fashion Mingle Australia in May of 2019 with a VIP luncheon at the iconic Sydney Opera House during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia. The company plans to aggressively expand internationally, engaging with the fashion industries of emerging economies to create connections and commerce for the 75 million members of the worldwide apparel industry.

Meet Co-Founder Beth Smith