Let’s take a peek inside the life of THE Java Momma, Melissa Shoop. A woman who is sweet and kind, uplifting and supportive. The type of woman who cares so deeply about the happiness of her field that she devotes herself, wholeheartedly, to the success of their businesses. She has quickly become a shining light in my own life and I could not think of anyone more suited to kick off this series of incredible women. So here it is, ten questions with the fabulous Melissa Shoop. Owner and head bean slinger at Java Momma, a direct sales company devoted to doing coffee better.
“Java Momma is Direct Sales done right – for the consumer and for the consultant. We care about community, leadership, and trust. Java Momma fosters a community based on an abundance mindset that there is enough coffee and sales for everyone. We help baristas redefine what direct sales is known for through information, training opportunities and relationship building.”
1. Start from the start; who are you?
I started as Melissa Roach (yes, just like the bug), then got married in 1997 and became Melissa Lindenfeld – was married for five years had two children (Cassie and Alex) and then divorced. The first long term relationship after that brought Cami into our lives in 2012. I met Brian Shoop in 2006 when I worked in a Medical Library. He was our IT tech and I was a library aide/secretary. I transferred to the department he was in in 2008 and we became good friends. We reconnected in 2013 after his wife passed away. We got married in 2016. He has five children, three grand kids, add my three and we do have a large very house!
We developed Java Momma one evening last year as a “why can’t we do this?” and no one had a good answer as to why not. So we developed the comp plan, the building blocks of the P&P, and put all of the things consultants are lacking in other DS companies, and all of the things customers needs/want from their consultants. It’s really the unknown dream of mine, come to life. Like – imagine the thing you never knew you wanted until you developed it. And here it is – Java Momma.
2. Can you explain a bit about your family dynamics?
My best half, Brian, works at the medical center in our town (almost 30 years there). I have been a secretary most of my adult life. I was having a hard time with my active alcoholism in 2014 and I lost my job because of it. Brian and I decided I would stay home because of the high family demands. It worked out for the best, really. I found direct sales in March 2015, went to rehab in April 2015, and everything has been up since then. I am home for all of the kids because of my flexible schedule. Brian is home at 5:30, and we get to have all of our evenings and weekends together.
3. What did you dream of being as a child?
I always wanted a TON of kids (and now I have them), LOTS of animals (and now I have them), and to be a teacher. I am a teacher of sorts, so I’ll take it. Left on the list – a bird who talks to me and sings, a Corgi, another cat, and more wind chimes. Cuz you can never have enough wind chimes.
4. Did you feel called to your current position? Would you change it in the future?
Working from home was a blessing and gift given to me at the lowest point of my life. I would not change this at all. Even when the time comes to move our operations to a bigger facility, I don’t see my personal office moving.
5. How do you keep yourself motivated on personal goals? How do you stay fulfilled?
I keep a schedule, working at 9am every day. Around 11am I take a break for lunch. I take the dogs out to play in the afternoon. Then at 4pm, Cami and Alex (ages 5 and 16) are home, so I spend time with them on homework, finding out what happened during the day, etc. Then we start dinner, and I work may work in the evening a little, or just socialize on Facebook. I have a accountability group where we Marco Polo all the time.
I fill it with things that make me happy, so I am fulfilled. There are things I don’t love doing, but there are necessary (laundry, general Domestic Goddess duties). I fit them in with my daily schedule as well. I try to keep it balanced. Growth is my main goal, so I am always thinking ahead to where we are going next and who I am serving.
6. Do you talk to your children about “normal” jobs vs exceptionally rare careers?
Not really. They know I work. They know our goals are high. Alex works for Java Momma. I don’t treat him any differently than other employees, and he got the customer service/presentation is everything/quality over quantity speech from me.
My oldest daughter Cassie is in college. I have always told her that I will love her no matter what she chooses for her life path. She started as a bio/pre med major, and now has changed to religion. I am very excited for her because now I know that she is following her heart, not an expectation of others.
Samantha, my youngest step daughter is our Shipping Manager. She has blossomed into the position and became everything we needed and wanted. Like me, she did not go to college, and is finding her likes and dislikes with her life journey.
Collin is our IT department. He is my middle step son, and he works remotely for us. He graduated from Bloomsburg University in three years with a double major. He’s exceptional. Java Momma gave him a chance to earn an income, while pursuing original coding and website designing.
7. Has being a business owner shifted your expectations of work/family balance?
I guess – not really. HAHA. Everything is all in one now. Java Momma is family. And our family is all involved in Java Momma. Cami has a desk in the office. Everyone is a part of it in some way. And with LuLaRoe and Usborne, everyone was involved in some way too. We throw our whole selves into what we do. Maybe that’s why we are always successful? We come at our businesses as a family affair. Our family is our core, and our business is just a part of that core. They have all the same values and elements.
8. Has being a business owner/in the public eye influenced the way you parent (Do you try to connect with others from the same industry etc)?
Even though I joke about never leaving the house, I think I am more social on many levels now than I ever was before. I connect with people regarding the kids’ interests and people like me who have the same situations I have. I am very the opposite of helicopter parent. More of a, I am a “you figure it, ask for help after you try 1000 times” kind of parent. Fostering independence, strength, wisdom, and determination at an early age. Critical thinking begins early – problem solving. It doesn’t come from book learning when you’re 3, 4, or 5. And to be a great thinker and problem solver, I feel you have to begin early.
9. What would you say to a woman dreaming of taking the leap you have?
Jump, and the wings will appear. Let your vision support your processes.
10. What would you want someone to know about your life?
I get embarrassed when people “fan girl” over me. I am just like you. Like the other day, I was shipping packages. I remembered when I was in Usborne. The owner Randall White would ship and pack when the warehouse was short handed, and he would sign boxes. So I thought, maybe I’ll sign boxes. But why? Why would they want a signed box from me?
I posted a photo on our consultant FB page, and joked about sending their packages, and everyone freaked out that I was going to ship their package and sign it. I was humbled. Truly humbled. I am not special – I am just Melissa. A chick with a dream who likes to curse and drink massive amounts of coffee. I make mistakes and am human. But I care and love deeply, and this business and everyone who joins – I will work to the END to make sure they are taken care of. Java Momma is a direct sales company built by a consultant, for the consultants and customers.
Grab a coffee
You can find more information on Melissa and her incredible company on their website, facebook page, or instagram. If you’re interested in connecting with current baristas, click on any of the images above to find the consultants fabulous blogs.
This series follows women of all walks of life that have one very special thing in common. They are all leading extraordinary lives. Melissa Shoop saw the opportunity to make a dream into her reality, and I am so happy and humbled to have had this opportunity to bring a sliver of her story to you. Be on the lookout for more stories of incredible women.