A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Alyssa Melendez

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Alyssa Melendez

Since high school, Alyssa Melendez has been interested in salon work. Having started her career as a receptionist, Melendez took a break from the salon but ultimately gravitated back to it.

“I started at a salon in Portage, Indiana called Center of Attention in high school as a receptionist. I was a receptionist through high school, and then decided to go to college Indiana University (IU) Northwest and played volleyball there for two years. In the middle of COVID-19, I decided that college just was not for me. While weighing out my options, I thought about the time that I spent at the salon, and after all these years, I still enjoyed it. I started working at Paul Mitchell the School in Merrillville, Indiana,” Melendez said.

Working at Paul Mitchell as a hairstylist gives Melendez the social aspect of the job that she had always wanted. She enjoys spending her time with her clients and feeling like she is making a difference in the way that people see themselves.

“There is absolutely no better feeling than someone enjoying how you make them look. Turning them around and allowing them to just feel better about themselves. Even if it is just in two hours, you can really make them feel better about themselves or just fix something that maybe they were not necessarily liking,” Melendez said.

Melendez enjoys being able to connect with her clients and colleagues on a more personal level. She describes herself as an extrovert, loving to meet people and talk to them. Working in a salon environment, this is possible for Melendez, as she's always meeting new potential clients.

"I really enjoy the social environment of the salon. I am a huge talker. I always describe myself as somebody that could make friends with a tree. I really love getting to know people and having conversations with them. Being in the work environment that I am in, I have gotten to grow close with the other girls that I work with. That is how I knew that I would fit into the salon environment and ultimately what made me decide to become a hairstylist,” Melendez said.

Along with her salon job, Melendez has recently gotten another job: full-time mom. Melendez had twins in September of 2022, a boy and a girl. 

“Right now, my other full-time job is being a mom and staying busy with my twins. I have enjoyed being able to figure out how to be a new mom. My favorite part of having twins is just waking up to them and watching them reach all of their different milestones. Everyday there is something new with them, especially because they are such different babies. I love seeing their differences between each other. They are still so little, but they are already growing into the personalities that they are going to have,” Melendez said.

Through her rising popularity in the hairstylist world, Melendez has shown that even if you take the “nontraditional route,” you are just as able to make a difference in people’s lives, which is what she strives to do every day.