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How we met: Premium members Mel Sheppard and Alex Doig

How we met: Premium members Mel Sheppard and Alex Doig

We love it when our Premium members just click!

BY Mel Sheppard and Alex Doig, 12 min READ
 

We’re all about connection here at Business Chicks, and we love seeing our Premium members join forces both professionally and as friends.

Melanie Sheppard and Alex Doig connected in our closed Business Chicks Facebook group over a “mutual search for website designers and ended in a discussion about the removal of unwanted facial hair”.  Read on for more from this hilarious duo.

Name: Alex Doig
Age: 31

Location: Melbourne

Business: Atticus Lawyers & Advisors

Website: www.atticus.com.au

Gives us a snapshot of your career so far … 

How far back do we go?! I’ll just do the Atticus bit. I was a litigator in a big litigation team in a firm in the city, and I loved the law part but really hated the way that clients were treated and the focus on money over service. I also hated that Pam the pantry lady bought our biscuits from Costco and they kind of looked like the proper biscuits but they didn’t quite taste right? It was upsetting. Anyway, so because of the sad clients and the big bills and the weird biscuits I decided I could do things better, so I quit my job and started up on my own.

My focus is on working with awesome people with big ideas* to help them get to where they want to be, and to change the way people do business with their lawyer. I also love problem solving so litigation/dispute resolution is still a huge part of our practice, and I hope that I’m able to make situations that are usually incredibly stressful and upsetting for clients a little more bearable. Pretty much every person we deal with on a daily basis, from our own team, to our clients, to our suppliers (shout out to Brett our water guy who definitely isn’t reading this) are people I would have a drink and a laugh with, and that’s the best part: choosing who you spend time with and realising those people are already around you.

(* we also work with awesome people with medium and small ideas, and no ideas.)

How did you meet Melanie?

One lonely winters night I was sitting on the couch thinking my website could be less professional and more, um, me (*ahem*) so I posted in the BC Facebook group asking if we had any web designers in the house, and some lunatic started talking to me about facial hair and menopause.

Why did you click straight away? (Or if you didn’t, explain why not):

You know, people say opposites attract. Other people say you’re attracted to people who are exactly like you because deep down we just want to marry ourselves. And now I plead the fifth.

How has meeting them helped you/changed your life?

I have a big sister, and she lives in Scotland. Now I have a big sister who lives in inner Melbourne (omg Mel imagine if I publicly disclosed your address?! No she’d kill me. And I’m scared of her. Please. Send help)

What have you learnt from them?

I think having Mel around has just made me more determined to keep doing what I think is right, standing up for people, and standing up to injustice. My firm is called Atticus because I believe in doing the right thing, even when it isn’t the easy or popular thing. Mel is my Atticus Finch. If Atticus Finch was short, blonde and sassy.

How are you two different – and similar?

I think Mel and I might actually be the same person. We’re both stubborn, opinionated and argumentative. She’ll disagree that she’s argumentative. Exactly.

What do you admire most about them?

Are we really doing this? She’s going to read this and get the biggest head. Ok fine: Mel is absolutely fearless. She stands up for what she believes in, she speaks her mind, she’s courageous, she hates bullies, and she would put herself on the line for something she knows is right. She’s a lioness and an inspiration. She’s everything I aspire to be and more. And she can drink 4 glasses of wine and still win at Jenga. Or did she lose. I can’t remember, I’d had 4 glasses of wine as well.

What’s been the most memorable experience you’ve had together?

Every experience with Mel is memorable until she has too many Aperols and doesn’t realise she’s left her phone in Balnarring until we’re half way back to Melbourne MELANIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

connect Connect with Alex here

Name: Melanie Sheppard
Age:   46

Location: Melbourne     

Business: Writer 

Website: www.melaniesheppard.com.au 

Gives us a snapshot of your career so far … 

I am a creative writer and blogger and I publish work on a plethora of platforms both here and internationally. I prefer to write about topics that are female-centric and I often weave stories about my own life and wisdoms I have learnt throughout.

But as all writers can attest, it doesn’t pay the bills – not even close. So I also run an online business selling beautiful imported slippers. My family background is in footwear with the national retail chain Peter Sheppard Footwear. We recognised a niche in the market for quality house shoes and slippers so launched The Slipper Hub a few years ago and it was a huge success because no one else was doing it. Next year we are branching out into luxurious sleepwear and accessories so I am currently in the process of range building and rebranding, which is fun. The first thing I do when I arrive home, regardless of what time, is climb into my pyjamas. The whole ritual transforms my mood immediately turning my home into a blissful sanctuary where I can unwind and relax. I think many women can relate to this.

How did you two meet?

I connected with Alex one winters evening on a Business Chicks thread that started out as a mutual search for website designers and ended in a discussion about the removal of unwanted facial hair. I knew immediately that we would end up besties. What woman doesn’t love another that embraces her most humiliating flaws publicly?

We coincidentally live one suburb away from each other and our dogs Winnie and Charlie are one day going to get married making us in-laws. We’ve got it all planned.

Why did you click straight away? (Or if you didn’t, explain why not):

Initially we bonded over our weird and warped sense of humour but later we both identified so many similarities. I am a lot older than Al, (although I am the only person allowed to say that out loud) so I see a lot of me in her at that age. I love the way she commits her life to fighting injustice and has a social conscience when it comes to politics and human rights.

How has meeting them helped you/changed your life?

Alex de-stresses and energises me. Whilst her intellect and ambition cannot be questioned, she is just one of those girls that is so much fun to be with. There is no joke that goes to far, (in our minds) not a topic that is off limits, (we think). There is nothing she could do or say that I wouldn’t back her up with 100%…even if we knew we were both wrong. 

What have you learnt from them?

Alex reminds me to have fun. I tend to get really caught up in the daily obligations of work or being a single mother and often I forget about myself and my needs. Whether it be insisting that we head to the city on a Saturday to watch the annual sausage dog race, or her upcoming Pod Club, (similar to a book club, but for those that are too lazy to read) she is always coming up with weird, yet amusing activities for us to do. 

How are you two different – and similar?

The only difference is age and our opinion of whose dog is cuter. Apart from that the similarities are endless. We can thrash around a good joke for hours after it should have ended and still laugh with the same rigour.

 What do you admire most about them?

I love the way she can be an absolute nut, but then at a click of a finger jump into a professional mindset. She is so clever and I know she will do something to change the world one day. 

What’s been the most memorable experience you’ve had together?

Recently. AFL Grand Final day we had an epic marathon of events that started at 1pm and finished at 3am. Whilst Melbourne was going crazy as they do every year on this day, we too shared in the excitement, although not once did we even glance at the game. We’re not into it, but God we celebrated as if we were.

connect Connect with Mel here and read Mel’s articles here.

If you have a story to share, let us know at submissions@businesschicks.com.au 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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