Melanie Argent is the epitome of a woman who lifts and supports others, particularly other women. Since moving to Hedland and taking on her own business venture, Melanie has also made it her mission to empower and promote other small business owners.
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, local businesses were forced to close their doors, and local markets were cancelled. For many small business owners, there were challenging times ahead.
Having only just bought her first business, In the Mix, at the start of 2020, Melanie was determined to get through the pandemic while helping others along the way.
Once the dust settled in WA, Melanie approached the Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and, after a fair bit of work, opened a collective shop at the Bungalow in Port Hedland.
The idea was to feature a few local businesses in one spot, attracting locals and tourists while sharing the success.
“Since we moved into the Bungalow, all of us were mind blown by the support we got by opening a collective retail shop,” she said.
“It turned out this town needed somewhere to go shopping, and the community supported it.”
During this time, Melanie would run ‘showcase shelves’ for smaller businesses that needed a bit of a push to feature their products in her store.
“It can be hard up here, but we have so many talented people and so many people with brilliant ideas, but they’re just not getting them out there,” she said.
“I still have some girls who appeared on the showcase shelf who say that it really helped their business.”
Since then, Melanie has moved into permanent premises on Wedge Street and continues to support other businesses.
“I’ve never owned a business before, but I’m in a position where I can help,” she said.
“If I can help other people and see them strive and thrive, then I’m thrilled they can do that, and I’m so proud of what others can achieve.
“I would have loved someone to help me get on my feet when I bought the business; I don’t want anyone else struggling to do it by themselves.”