Boss Babe: Melanie Phillips
Continuing with my favorite series: Boss Babes! One thing I love about the blogging community is meeting incredible, strong, beautiful, courageous and wildly talented, smart, innovative, entrepreneurial boss babes, chief chicas, inspiring women. Every month, I'm going to spotlight one of these incredible role models and share a little bit about what makes them amazing.
I found Melanie Phillips (formerly Torres before her GORGEOUS wedding this spring) (@headstandandheels) at work when I was planning an influencer event. I found her content so inspiring and her approach to wellness relatable. After following her for months, she’s slowly become a friend and mentor in this space and life, and I’m thankful to know her. You’ll thank yourself for following her (as will your wellness routine) but I wanted to give you a chance to get to know her a little better here.
1) I am in love with your Instagram @headstandsandheels! Tell me more about it: why did you decide to create it and what do you hope to accomplish through the page?
Firstly, thank you so much for your support! I created my brand a little over 3 years ago when I was still working in corporate marketing. It was a sort of evolution from my previous Instagram account @melyoga1 where I participated in yoga challenges and showcased my yoga journey. I wanted to find a way to keep the essence of my love for yoga while also expanding into other areas of health and wellness. The name "Headstands and Heels" was not only a fun representation of the duality of my life spent in an office during the day and in a fitness studio in the evening, but what I really wanted it to convey was that you don't have to fit a certain image stereotype to practice yoga. On paper, there are many things about me that are different than so many yogis I know. Firstly, I'm religious, not spiritual. I'm also pescatarian, not vegan. I drink alcohol, I love fashion, I don't believe in astrology or look to crystals for healing, etc. My hope was that my blog could be a safe space to show that living healthy doesn't mean you have to restrict yourself or change who you are. It's about finding a balanced approach that works for you.
2) Is Headstands and Heels your full-time job? Tell me more about your day-to-day.
It is! I decided to pursue this full time a little over a year ago and I've been loving it. My day-to-day honestly changes so much but there are a few constants. Since I work from home I typically wake up around 7:15am, walk my dog, drink water and some coffee, plan out my daily to-do list, double check which post I'm going to put up on Instagram, and jump straight into emails. My inbox gets pretty overrun so I dedicate about 2-4 hours a day just for correspondence with brands, agencies, etc. And then from there it changes. Some days I have a shoot booked with my photographer so I'll spend time planning a shot list, prepping materials, and double checking the creative briefs brands send me to make sure we hit the mark. Other days, I have multiple meetings with potential clients, blog posts to write and branded events to attend. I almost always book about 4-5 workouts a week and that's something I love to share with my audience so they can see what fitness classes I'm going to.
3) How did you get into the health and wellness space, especially yoga?
My yoga journey started about 6 years ago after a really terrible break up. I was heartbroken and in need of some intense emotional healing. That's when I discovered yoga. My daily practice not only gave me something to look forward to but it also provided the emotional/physical outlet I needed to start the healing process. It allowed me to channel my feelings into positivity and gratitude, instead of dispair. And it really was the catalyst that got me interested in learning more about health and wellness as a lifestyle.
4) Your dedicate to yoga and your yoga flows on Instagram are so inspiring. What would you tell other women looking to start or deepen their yoga practice?
It is never too late to start practicing yoga. I was 24 years old when I started my practice and in the beginning I could barely touch my toes or hold a plank. It's not about being naturally flexible or strong, those are things that will come with time and dedication. For those looking to deepen their practice I highly recommend pursuing yoga teacher training or a yoga retreat. Even if you don't plan on teaching, immersing yourself in nothing but yoga for a dedicated period of time is truly life changing.
5. What is your favorite thing about yoga? Any favorite poses? How does yoga make you feel?
My favorite thing about yoga is that every single session is so different and yet I always feel such a sense of peace when I'm done. There is so much emotional work that is done in a yoga practice and that's what differentiates it from other "workouts." I of course of have some favorite poses but at the end of the day asana is only one aspect of yoga that I enjoy. Yoga really is more about the mindset than it is about the physical postures.
6. What is your advice to other women looking to start a blog around wellness?
Narrow down your niche, find your voice and commit to it. Don't get caught up in the numbers or try and emulate other people because you think that's what your audience wants to see. At the end of the day your purpose should be centered around helping others, not about the perks of being a blogger. If you're doing it for the right reasons and you remain genuine, the right people will come.
7. Go back to college graduation: what would you tell yourself?
Your life is going to change in ways that you could never even imagine right now. Go into it with an open heart and never ever question your intuition.
8. How do you find inspiration?
That's a hard one! Honestly I find it in so many places. Sometimes it's from a book or article I'm reading. Other times it comes to me when walking around NYC, from conversations I have with friends, or when I'm journaling out ideas in my notebook. I think inspiration is everywhere! You just have to be open to receiving it.
9. Who is your role model?
It's hard to say because I don't have just one. I know this sounds a bit cliche but I would say that Jesus is definitely my biggest role model and His teachings on love, compassion and non-judgement are things I strive to practice daily.
Favorite guilty pleasure snack: Anything chocolate
Favorite healthy meal: Market bowls with lots of roasted veggies
Favorite workout: Aside from yoga? Probably cardio dance
Favorite phone app: Instagram lol
Favorite Boss Babe on Instagram: @Rrayyme and @officiallyquigley
Favorite place to shop: Lulus
Best way to spend a Sunday morning: Long walk in the park with my husband and pup, followed by a yummy brunch.