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“Not being equal to our male counterparts is a totally made up thing that only benefits those who made it up and believe it,” Nadia Melaisis says.

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Since age 17, Nadia Melaisis has been working on crews in the painting industry. Not only did she have to learn the trade and develop her skills, but she also had to contend with being the unacknowledged minority. “There’s immediately this bizarre assumption that if there is a man around, he is the one to talk to; he’s the one who is informed,” she says. When she decided to start her own painting company, Opulent Milieu, at age 25, she admits to having a huge learning curve, but she knew she didn’t want to subject herself to any more sexual harassment and disparaging comments.

Nadia is turning people’s ideas of hiring a painter on its head. “It’s not just about offering prompt service and quality craftsmanship every time; it’s a trust exchange,” she says.

She has learned not only a lot about her industry but about herself as a person and an entrepreneur. “Not being equal to our male counterparts is a totally made up thing that only benefits those who made it up and believe it. In those moments where it seems like nothing is changing fast enough, remember that ‘the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time,’” she says.

Artwork: The Riverbank, Lambertville, New Jersey, about 1905-08, by Edward Willis Redfield, American, 1869-1965. Oil on canvas.
Location: Speed Art Museum

Nadia is wearing: Dress, $48, Earrings, $14, Fascinator, $22, all available at Stella’s Resale Boutique, 502.649.5204.
Art Direction: Anita Oldham  Hair: Krista Nenni   Makeup: Amber Himes

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