Melodie Narain-Blackwell is a serial entrepreneur and health advocate, who has always been passionate about supporting others and encouraging them to dig deep to pursue their purpose. Her belief in God has been the source of her drive and inspiration. As a multi-ethnic woman of faith, she has built businesses that represent all of the parts of who she is. Though she has been a part-time entrepreneur for more than 15 years, Melodie began her full-time entrepreneurial journey in 2018 after she was laid off from her full-time job. Unapologetically, she took a leap, putting her full trust in God, completely believing that he would provide for her as she pursued her dreams and purpose.
Concurrent with her lay-off and leap of faith, Melodie was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which has been an arduous ongoing battle for her life. Facing this health challenge head-on, led her to become a passionate health advocate for people of color who battle chronic illnesses. She launched Color of Crohn's and Chronic Illness, Inc (COCCI) in September 2019; a nonprofit that has the mission to advance the quality of life of minorities that are facing gastrointestinal and other debilitating illnesses.
Melodie, a native Washingtonian, was raised by a single mother who modeled resilience and fortitude. While her mother was a strong believer in traditional education, she also introduced Melodie to entrepreneurship at the age of 5. Melodie’s paternal grandmother was an immigrant who was a self-educated entrepreneur, a real estate investor/developer, and the owner of a laundromat. While her grandmother couldn’t read beyond a low level, her business acumen enabled her to provide for her family. As a child, Melodie spent a lot of time with her grandmother, and the lessons she learned shaped her strong work ethic and inspired her to pursue self-employment.
Melodie graduated from Berkeley College in Manhattan, New York with an A.A.S. in Fashion Marketing and Management, and a B.A. in Business Administration. She also completed coursework for an MA in Human Resources and an MS in Psychology. During college, Melodie worked with many celebrities and participated in numerous New York Fashion Week fashion shows. While she loved the fashion industry, she slowly discovered that a career as a fashion designer may not be her destiny. She could not shake the desire to own and operate a business that would provide opportunities and financial freedom for others, enabling them to prosper as a result of their own strengths. After college, over a span of 15 years, Melodie worked as an executive assistant to three different CEOs. She called these years her “on-the-job training” years, where she learned what she loved and disliked about Corporate America.
Early in her entrepreneurial career, Melodie owned and operated a successful event planning business. This experience led to her first foray into television when, in 2013, she was a cast member of the docu-series “Four Babies and a Wedding,” on Discovery channel. Melodie was the event planner for the Abubakers’ wedding in Aruba, which was a focal point of the show. Melodie was also a partner in the ownership of a bridal boutique in Urbana, MD.
In 2017, Melodie appeared on BETHer (formerly Centric TV) to pitch her company, Sole Savers, Inc., on the competitive reality show, Queen Boss. In 2018, Melodie became very ill and lost her full-time job, but that didn’t stop her from launching Smile Capital Recovery, Inc. (SCR), a business that she felt spiritually led to pursue. Often battling sickness, but keeping God as her primary partner, she used her “good days”, when she was feeling healthy, to pour into her businesses. In 2019, SCR would prove to be her most lucrative effort thus far, growing to half a million dollars in 8 months.
Entrepreneurship gave Melodie the flexibility and freedom to work on her physical healing, operate her businesses, mentor small business owners, and advocate for the chronically ill. Running various businesses for over 15 years confirmed for Melodie that business ownership was both her passion and her purpose. With a number of years invested, Melodie has seen many blessings and lessons come to pass and she now spends her time sharing these lessons with others. Melodie is a trailblazer dedicated to helping other business owners reach the fullness of their potential. She believes there is a biblical foundation for everything she does, and teaches others to apply these spiritual principles as well.
In addition to her professional successes, Melodie is especially proud of her family. She is a committed wife to Ronald, and a dedicated mother to their children, Zaden + Zarie.