Melissa Darnay has over 15 years of experience as a marketer and a serial entrepreneur. She has created entirely new markets for a variety of products—including lightweight foam pottery, outdoor garden décor, and wine tasting events—and has rebranded dozens of companies across a wide spectrum of verticals.
After graduating cum laude with a degree in Communication Studies with a focus in journalism, Melissa cut her teeth in the consumer packaged goods industry as the head of marketing for American Designer Pottery (ADP). In less than three years, the company grew from a startup into a $40 million dollar brand. In one year, Melissa’s public relations campaign for ADP generated over one hundred million media impressions and her advertising campaign generated over 30,000 direct response phone calls, creating consumer pull at retail. Although the public initially showed resistance to faux pottery, the ADP foam pots soon dominated the market, showing up in every neighborhood across America.
When ADP sold to Fiskars five years ahead of schedule, Melissa began her consulting career. She became known for her ability to rebrand small companies and generate consumer demand through targeted guerrilla marketing campaigns.
Her next big win came with an outdoor decorative accessories company, originally called Tuesday Welders Metalworks. She rebranded the company as Honey Hargrove, worked with the owners to develop a less-expensive product line, and helped the company get mainstream distribution. Within a year, sales went from $750,000 to over $3 million.
Melissa has helped launch or rebrand dozens of companies. Her emphasis has always been on the bottom line, as her case studies emphasize. She has worked with both startups and multi-million dollar publicly traded international companies. Although the companies and products have changed, the fundamentals of branding and marketing remain the same.
In her spare time, Melissa has written two books and built a niche business as a personal wine merchant. After her second book was published, Melissa was a sought-after expert, giving over 450 media interviews for TV, radio, magazines and newspapers. Because of her passion for wine, she has built a well-known personal brand as The Wine Maven (www.thewinemaven.com). She has hundreds of customers who regularly purchase wine from her, as well as a loyal following on YouTube (www.youtube.com/winemavendallas) and Twitter (@melissadarnay).