February/March 2012 - Issue V
I gave Melina a call around five p.m. during the week to make arrangements for our interview. Energetic and enthusiastic, in the middle of wrapping up a family dinner, she answered. We talked casually as she gave her loved ones goodbyes and saw them to the door while I could hear her children laughing and playing in the background. This insight into the home of a power couple, Melina and David, is exactly what Flip this House on A&E captured glimpses of. The Montelongo family became a household name as they flipped the real estate industry into a D.I.Y. (Do-it-yourself) venture. Melina empowers her family and business with innovative ideas for wellness and prosperity in a fluctuating economy. She gives us beauty tips and lets us pick her brain in this brief interview. We want to know how Melina uses her beauty and brains in a male dominated business to bring home the bacon (or fish) to her family and see the visions she shares with her husband come to fruition, and let us in on especially what she has cooking for the real estate industry of San Antonio.
Q. Melina knows that, "EVERY woman has an inner power that allows them to be beautiful and "have brains", but it is a personal "responsibility to use what I’ve been blessed with to empower", she said. Melina, mother of two, certainly set the bar high, showing up to construction job sites in high heels. Melina runs down a typical day of filming and how she prepared for the national spotlight.
A. I thought it made the show to see the contrast in femininity and masculinity in Real Estate. We most often worked in the office, so when we had to film, we would be coming from office attire! At the time, my daughter was 2 and my son 5 so getting from home to preschool to office was in the time span of an hour or LESS. You’ll catch me in one episode where they filmed me putting on my makeup in the visor mirror!
We would walk in the house and then I’d head off to a marketing meeting. I wasn’t about to show up to my meeting unprepared. As the Marketing Director for our business I AM my companies’ most valuable marketing piece. My appearance leads my confidence and brains into a room.
The "get ready" routine was simple because the character in the show was ME; I was Me in the show. So I focused on keeping my personal style and appearance to a high level FIRST for my business then the show.
The show was about our business, so filming was during work hours or when it was after hours they were capturing what we were doing recreationally which included our children. It was like the producers were flies on the wall.
Q. How did being on a hit television reality series affect your confidence, knowing the nation was watching? Did you take any means to amp up the glam for TV?
A. My level of confidence grew from the show because I had the opportunity to blossom in my skills on a national platform and I feel that I did well by doing my best.
When the show started I was in the process of creating my new personal image and identity. After every show I received hundreds of emails of fans saying how proud they were of me for representing the Latina community in a powerful way. I felt so honored.
Q. How did the series affect your career?
A. My business is my passion; we live and breathe our passion. This is my life. The show had a HUGE impact on my life. I learned life lessons that I could never had learned otherwise. Showing our business talents on a national platform opened doors to incredible people, opportunities, and we established ourselves as leading experts in our industry. When you become the mentor to those searching for answers that’s when you are able to not only impact your own financial future but also those of others; that’s "Success".
Q. Your curly locks are always maintained and never frizzy. Run-down the products that you cannot live without and please do not leave out grooming tools, shampoos and conditioners. We have to know your secrets! Tell us your primping procedures please.
A. The battle of the frizz! UGH, it’s especially crazy in the humid Texas weather! To control my unruly curls I use Joico Shampoo & Conditioner Smooth Cure line. After I wash it, which is every day, I use a little leave-in conditioner and argon oil. I rub in my palm and then comb through my hair with my fingers. Then I crunch my curls in place. No brushes. No blow dryers. I let my hair air dry, UNLESS I’m going to go straight. Which I may add, is great for the passion-aspect of my marriage! You have to change it up often! When I want to blow out straight I head to the salon! I do not have the patience to do that myself!
Q. You keep a steady amount of vlogs to promote your newest projects. What makeup products will you most likely use before a vlog session?
A. I always wear a little more eye makeup in any kind of shoot, and heavier blush. The camera tends to wash you out. I’m pretty simple, I can get away with foundation, black eye liner, blush, mascara and a neutral lip color. (Armani, bareMinerals, Mac)
Q. If you were on a desert island with only one beauty product in your purse of your choice, what would it be?
A. Black waterproof eyeliner. Hands down. I don’t even need the purse! LOL
Q. Microwave oven or oven? I liked how you mentioned that you saw yourself as health role model for your children on the first of the video diaries with Dr. Webb, partner for Better Health. What kind of results have you experienced since starting the health diary? Is the rest of family on board and supportive?
A. Oven. Although, I have and do use a microwave. As a family we live a healthy lifestyle. We are active, we eat a lot of raw foods, fish, and chicken. I’ve been able to get my hormones balanced and am able to stay well. "Healthy" is our God given natural state. Our wellness starts in our minds and in our self talk. This is also a way of life in my home. My kids speak their daily affirmations, "I Ams" I call them… "I am Confident. I am Strong. I am Well. I am Creative. I am Brilliant. I am Beautiful."
These are just a few. I have actually just started a new phase of exercise and eating plan….I’ll let you know how that turns out. I start this journey next Monday.
I eat well, exercise regularly, don’t ingest anti-biotics, and change it up often. I have fun with it! I like Bikram Yoga, hiking, dancing and taking walks in my neighborhood.
Q. What slice of the pie is dedicated to serving the family and serving the business? As the female of a Chicano household, how do you maintain a balance? Does living with your business partner inhibit romance or spark it?
A. So if my life where a pie it would be sugar free cherry split into four equal parts.
Spirituality. Marriage. Family. Business.
There are different facets to the main four slices. I believe in balance but I don’t stress over it. I stay fluid. Moving with the flow of the Universe. I EMPOWER my family. We all play an important role.
We wake up talking about our business and sometimes go to sleep talking about business, some might think this is not balanced at all! It works for us. We come up with the some of our best ideas in the shower! I literally sleep with the boss!
What I know is that my Feminine Power releases my husband’s Inner Genius. The passion that we create in our friendship allows us to live an incredible lifestyle. Our passion is the bond of our relationship that allows for our family foundation to be strong and for our business to thrive. We have many blessings to be thankful for and for that reason we are pray many times a day as a family. We have our weekly dates and take vacations together and we always end up talking about our ideas and business.
Q. What can you attribute to the driving source of your ambition and your "big" ideas? What is next?! Any plans to revive the online radio station or other projects?
A. I have an incredible amount of deservingness. I know I deserve everything that I could ever want. My family and my children’s children and their children deserve anything and everything that they could ever dream of. My ambition is to create a legacy. My dreams are bigger than I am. When you keep your dreams big you always have room to grow. Once you know your power and know that you can create your own reality with your God given source of power then you can create ANY possibility. This is the case for me, my possibilities are limitless. I would not be honoring my God if I were to live at 50% or even 75%! Neither are my best! My ambition is a part of my gratefulness.
The Passion Code Radio Show is on hold right now due to our Real Estate product, Deed Flipping Blueprint, launch. I help David produce his live webinars and Real Estate Investment product, Deed Flipping Blueprint. I’m working on a project right now that is going to directly impact the San Antonio community, which is why I am so excited about it!
Last November I created the possibility that the moves that I made in business COULD revive the San Antonio housing community. I didn’t know how, when, or what! I just created the possibility and now here I am going into the New Year with the HOW, the WHEN and the WHAT! I even have the WHO!! We’re building the Team right now!
Q. In one of David Montelongo's YouTube videos, he said that he was apprehensive about your idea to start your newest business venture because of the downturn in the market after filming Flip This House, but that did not deter you. It seems that it became his turn to support you in your idea and have confidence in a project you wanted to pursue. How did this play out? Was it long before David came on board?
A. Above everything we are best friends and in any friendship there is a level of trust. He’s known me since I was 4 years old, so when I say "I know that I know, that I know….my gut says…" He’s says, "Ok, let’s do it." My intuition is my 6th sense so we act quickly on our intuitions; we take Inspired Actions without hesitation.
It has played out in an enormous way! We’ve traveled where we needed to travel, met the people that played a key role in our business development and we are living our dreams. As the saying goes, "Behind every powerful man is a powerful woman."
Q. Chicano Channel Magazine saw your career and life on television as a testimony to overcoming hardships and exhibiting resiliency and stamina. In what ways do you keep adapting to the changing market as an entrepreneur, especially as a female? What is expected from a beautiful female in a highly male oriented business?
A. Adapting as an entrepreneur includes continually learning, being willing to change, being cautious of who you are taking advice from.
At any given time I’m reading two different books, following an expert’s blog, creating, developing, and implementing my ideas. Always testing, master-minding and networking with people who are on the same path as I am.
I know that being a female in a predominantly male industry is an ADVANTAGE to me and not a disadvantage. What’s expected from others is always superseded by my expectations of myself. I expect to be able to help our students. I expect to be open to other’s ideas and requests. It’s my expectation to set the tone.
Setting the tone is how I create the energy in any situation. When I’m in a business meeting with Dave and my role is to listen for the opportunity and for what is not being said but still communicated, I am actively setting the tone for who I am in the meeting. I am David’s source of creativity. I am David’s sounding board.
I am being the supporter of David who is an International Leading Expert in Real Estate Investing.
You see how when the cliché (woman in a man’s world) comes into the space I can still be who I choose to be?
Q. What is in your CD player or on repeat recently?
A. I’m really into Adele right now, I can sing her songs really loud!
Others include Jay Z, Katy Perry, Billie Holiday, Madonna, Brazilian Girls, Rhianna
Bruno Mars, Nine Inch Nails, Black Eyed Peas, TBird & The Breaks
Q. What is your favorite healthy snack?
A. Raw Almonds. I also love protein shakes with blended fruit.
Q. What is next for the Montelongos? Should we expect to see you return to television any time in the future?
A. The project that we’ve been developing for the last year is launching this month and we are so excited! David is co-authoring a soon to be best-selling book with one of the Nation’s leading business experts, and we are developing our Passion Project for the growth of the San Antonio homeowner. 2012 will be our best year yet.
This year it’s my intention to connect and endorse a strong female network.
I am creating the possibility to be back on TV. I enjoyed being on Flip this House, I love producing and seeing my ideas come to life, so Yes I will put that into the Universe, stay tuned.