PHOENIX — Losing a sister to a drunk-driving crash and having a stroke soon after her first child was born almost brought Melissa Fink to her knees.
But she vowed she would not give in.
“Living the way that I was after the stroke forever was not an option for me,” she said.
Fink, who lives in Scottsdale, said the loss of her sister and the stroke were terrible blows for her and her family but she kept soldiering forward.
“I had friends who would say, ‘I don’t know how you do this! I don’t know how you get through this,’” Fink recalled. “And I always think, ‘I didn’t have a choice.’”
Fink is now the proud mother of two boys, has recovered from her stroke and owns Girly Girlz in Scottsdale.
The store is a tribute to all things girly and pink – from dresses to jewelry – and girls can have parties and makeup sessions with friends. Their moms can also get tips on fixing a young girl’s hair, how to choose the right jewelry for a dress and find great gifts for the girls in their lives.
“It’s a pink palace,” Fink agreed. “We cater to girls ages three up to 12 or 13.
“We have two different sides. One side is for the younger girl, 3 to maybe age 7. That’s very pink and pretty. We have our tea room. We have retail products for that age group.
“Our other side is for the girls that are a little bit older. That’s more purple, silver and blingy. We have a stage where girls can sing and dance and do karaoke. We decorate pillowcases and do all kinds of fun activities.”
The store, in Scottsdale’s Keirland complex, is Fink’s second career.
“I live in the area,” she said. “I was familiar with [the store]. I knew what a fun place it was.
“I had worked in corporate America and in political communications for all of my career. I wanted something that was more creative and fun, where I could grow something of my own and think outside the box.
“It’s just fun to come every day and be creative, and be in a happy place. And, show girls – and also my boys – what a woman and mom and business owner can do.”
Fink said her success, both at Girly Girlz and her comeback from illness and personal tragedy, is based on one thing.
“If there’s hope in the picture — to move forward or something to set your sights on, something hopeful – that’s what keeps me going.”
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