Creating a company with purpose and passion that clearly speaks to its customers is many founders’ goal. The ability to carry that message and entrench it into every element of your brand and business decision-making is not easy; we should applaud the founders who do it successfully.
Meet Melody Godfred, the founder of Fred and Far. She created the Self Love Pinky Ring as a reminder to choose herself every day and to make herself a priority in her own life. After wearing the ring for a bit, the feedback was so positive that she turned her ring into a business, and that business went viral.
Fred and Far has been featured in magazines like Vogue, Cosmo, Forbes, Glamour, Elle and Elite Daily, and has been purchased by thousands of women all over the world. The brand messaging is what customers hold onto: it’s what women (and some men) have felt inspired by. They use their ring as their reminder to choose themselves, every day.
Melody Godfred is not just a founder, she is also a self-love philosopher and an author of the book, “The ABCs of Self Love.” Her goals and passions have found their way into every part of her personal and professional life. Learn more about Melody and her self-love philosophy, business and book below.
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The following conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.
StartupNation: If you had one word for your entrepreneurial journey, what would it be and why?
I never set out to become an entrepreneur, though I was raised by one. I was going down the corporate path for the first 27 years of my life. I had the dream office on the 20th floor with an ocean view straight out of law school. It wasn’t until I had it, that I realized I needed something completely different.
Entrepreneurship for me has been about finding a way to channel my authentic self into products and experiences that empower others to embrace their true selves.
In honoring myself, I help others do the same.
StartupNation: What is Fred and Far, and what is its mission?
Godfred: Fred and Far is a self-love movement I founded in 2016 to empower women to be themselves, love themselves and choose themselves daily through consistent acts of self-love and care. It’s a global sisterhood that is powered by the Self Love Pinky Ring, which I created to serve as a symbol and reminder of self-commitment for women.
StartupNation: When did you know that you had a real company? At what point did you say, “it’s working?”
Godfred: I quietly launched the company at the end of January 2016. In April, I tried to get some press, with little success. At that time, I was getting an order or two a week from friends and family. In June, a writer I pitched at the now defunct website Racked LA decided to take a chance and write about the Self Love Pinky Ring.
One hundred plus pieces of press around the world followed, and we even went viral as a meme on Facebook, earning millions of organic views. I woke up one morning to 100 orders in a day, and by the end of the week, $100K in the bank. That’s when I knew, unequivocally, that it was working.
StartupNation: In what ways does your personal brand mission align with Fred and Far?
Godfred: I created the Self Love Pinky Ring because I desperately needed a reminder to reclaim myself. To rediscover myself. To take care of myself, the way I did my employees, my friends, my kids, my husband. In choosing myself, I stumbled into my life’s work: empowering other women to choose themselves, as well.
This is work I have been doing through my other business, Write In Color (a resume writing and career counseling company) for 10 years now, but there’s something special for me about creating for and connecting with women, specifically. Fred and Far is all about creating space and providing resources that allow other women to transform their lives through self-love just as I have.
StartupNation: You also wrote a book, “The ABCs of Self Love.” When did you realize the need for a book about self-love? Before, after, or during your Fred and Far journey, or did something else push you to write it?
Godfred: Once I launched Fred and Far and I gained access to the inner worlds, triumphs and struggles of thousands of women around the world, I realized a common theme: women wanted to love and choose themselves, which is why they would buy the ring. However, most didn’t know how.
What does it mean to love yourself? What does it mean to be yourself? What does it mean to choose yourself? These are the questions I set out to answer by writing “The ABCs of Self Love.”
Because buying the Self Love Pinky Ring and joining the Fred and Far self-love movement are powerful steps: but it’s the daily work of self-love and care that is where the magic lives.
It’s been incredibly affirming to hear from women about how the ring, movement and book have impacted their lives. I believe it’s the combination of all three that has yielded my personal transformation, and the transformations of women around the world.
StartupNation: How can people get in touch with you, and where can they order your book?
Godfred: I’m always available via email at [email protected], or via DM on Instagram @fredandfar. My book is available on Amazon in print and Kindle formats, and is also available on my website, fredandfar.com.
“The ABCs of Self Love” is available now wherever books are sold and can be purchased via StartupNation.com.