Melissa Fink always wanted to own her own business. In May 2016, she finally got her chance when she purchased Girly Girlz in Scottsdale.
As its name implies, Girly Girlz is a store for girls who like things blingy, sparkly and bejeweled. “We have a lot of local designers [all moms] with items in our store,” says Melissa. An in-house designer also creates custom T-shirts blinged out with sequins and jewels and sporting cute sayings like “I am 3” or “Being 6 Rocks!”
The irony of her purchase is not lost on Melissa, who lives in a house full of males, including husband Herschel and two boys, Miles, 7, and Taylor, 3. However, her older son may be working being the owner’s son to his advantage. “He has decided to have a birthday party here for just him and his girlfriends and then a separate party for just the boys somewhere else,” jokes Melissa.
She grew up in Scottsdale after moving there when she was 6 years old and attended Horizon High School. (Another ironic part of the story is that Girly Girlz is actually located in the same school district where Melissa attended school!) She went to the University of Arizona and then moved to the East Coast for a few years before finding her way back to Arizona.
Melissa worked in corporate America in a nine-to-five job her whole career. She spent the last eight years at Best Western’s corporate headquarters in Phoenix. A friend knew she was interested in owning her own business and from time to time would send her listings of businesses for sale. “He sent me the listing and I thought, ‘That would be interesting. I know that place, it seems really fun. Let’s just check it out for fun,’” says Melissa.
While she was going through the sale process with the previous owner and doing her own research, she got more and more excited about the prospect of owning Girly Girlz. After a few months, the details were finalized and she was an official business owner.
Coming up on her one-year anniversary, Melissa is as excited as ever to be the owner of Girly Girlz. “It lets me be creative,” she says. “I get that girliness that I don’t necessarily get at home. I’ve also been into fashion and things like that, so I love the retail part of it.” She also enjoys buying for the store and picking out all of the fun, girly items; and she says she loves special events.
She actually started her career in event planning, so that part of the business appealed to her. Girly Girlz offers themed birthday parties from “Glitzy Princess” to “Precious Pony.” She recently put on a limousine birthday party where the birthday girl and her friends enjoyed a limo scavenger hunt.
Melissa is planning on more special events after a successful “Books with Belle” event in April to celebrate the opening of the “Beauty and the Beast” movie. She is also planning a special pre-Mother’s Day tea party called “Mommy & Me Cupcake Tea” for Saturday, May 13.
Girly Girlz will hold weekly summer camps for three weeks in June. Melissa also has a special offer for those who might want a camp experience with their friends. “If a group of six girls signs up together, they get a reduced price – and they can even do their own week of camp,” says Melissa.
When asked about the most surprising thing she has encountered owning her own business, she thinks a moment and responds, “The high highs and low lows. There are the days you are doing really well and you are euphoric. Then there are the days when the phone isn’t ringing, no one comes in or no one books a birthday party. It’s very manic! Some days, I’m like, ‘This is the greatest thing ever’ and then I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh – what did I do?’ People had talked to me about that, but it’s different when you are experiencing it yourself.”
She also thought it would be easier taking over an existing business open since 2003, but she soon found out that unique challenges also come with that scenario. “It’s my third kid – and it’s harder than either of my other two kids – more work than [they] have ever been,” jokes Melissa.
“A lot of people know about one thing we do, but they don’t know about the other things … ,” she says. “They might know that we do birthday parties, but they don’t know that we also have retail. Or they might know we’re a store, but they don’t know we do makeover sessions or Diva Day Spa – or they think we just do tea parties.” Melissa is working hard to reintroduce people to the full array of what Girly Girlz has to offer.
Girly Girlz is located at 15425 N. Scottsdale Road #240 in Scottsdale, across from Scottsdale Quarter. Call 480-998-4832 or visit girly-girlz.com.