Kaleigh Wiese is the ultimate creator, branding educator, entrepreneur and public speaker. Currently residing in Austin, Texas, Kaleigh is the Founder & Creative Director of Méldeen, a luxury branding and stationery company, focused on designing unique design elements for business and social events worldwide. Kaleigh is also a co-founder of Shindig Jobs, an event staffing company connecting companies with professionals nation-wide. Over the past few years, Kaleigh has served as an educator with The Knot Pro, traveling around the country to share her expertise and tips for creating and branding small businesses with fellow wedding industry professionals.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would not put so much pressure on myself to find success, not to mention work around the clock. Having a work and life balance later in my career has made me a better leader, a better entrepreneur and has created a happier & peaceful life … so I can dream up my next favorite idea!
Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
My Aunt Linda is my greatest inspiration. She has been widowed twice and still has so much joy and purpose. She truly believes and encourages me that you can only take life one day at a time. I know I can face any obstacle or life disappointment with grace seeing her overcome so many unforeseen life circumstances. If life was sunny all the time we would live in a desert. Life pushes us, helps us grow, and forms us into the people we were meant to be if we allow it.
What is, or what would be, your slogan or mantra in life?
I am a total planner and scheduler to keep things on task and have things to look forward to— I am terrible with sudden change of plans — so I always have to remind myself: “Life is all about how you handle plan B.”
Describe a challenge that you overcame, how you overcame it, and how it shaped who you are as a leader.
At 28, I went into menopause. It was a crazy series of events and was extremely isolating and emotional. I was running several businesses and my life came to a halt mentally and physically. This began a series of health issues and a surgery that forced me to slow down and not put in the time that I had been for years. Going through this experience gave me empathy and grace with the people around me everyday. We are all human, and we all have our burdens to bear. I am now so aware of how I interact with both clients, vendor partners and strangers. We all have a story that impacts us and we need to speak to people like they are human, because they are.
How do you define your purpose & mission in life?
I think we all strive for this ultimate peek of purpose, but really our purpose is the many mini things along the way in life. I want to live a life that impacts people everyday, inspires people to live bigger and create unique experiences for people. One of my greatest joys is creating memorable experiences for someone, either over a weekday dinner party or a one-in-a-lifetime trip. I love sharing something new with friends and family for the first time.