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Be bold: Owner of Filthy Gorgeous on Main shares an empowering message for women

Melinda Sanders, the owner of Filthy Gorgeous on Main in downtown Madison, is encouraging women not be afraid to go after what they want.

MADISON, Alabama — It's Women's History Month and FOX54 is highlighting some incredible leading ladies in our community.

Melinda Sanders, owner of Filthy Gorgeous on Main located in downtown Madison, is encouraging women to be bold and not afraid to go after what they want.

Finley, an employee at Filthy Gorgeous on Main shares,"Ms. Melinda just always encourages us to, like, just be ourselves and also just get to know the customers, get to know the people that come in.

Olivia, another employee at the boutique adds, "She's really taught me to just kind of find what you want to do and don't listen to other people...It's just about what you want to do and just follow that."

Behind these pink doors, holds not just clothes, but encouragement to be bold, to be yourself, and to follow your dreams.

Sanders shares that, "Being an entrepreneur runs in my blood, in my family. And I knew eventually one day I would get there, just didn't know how soon."

She left her corporate sales manager position during the pandemic to pursue what she always wanted to be, her own boss.

"I decided then that I was never going to let anybody else dictate or, you know, tell me what I can and cannot do in my life. And I said I was going to become my own boss that year, although the pandemic was going strong because this was in 2020, I wasn't going to let it stop me," Sanders said.

With her family's support, she was ready to take on this new chapter of her life, "My motto going into this was to step out on faith and be fearless."

They got the building in August of 2020 and opened in October of that same year.

"We were the new kids on the block and I think everybody was still trying to digest...the state that we were actually living in. And by the holidays, being right around the corner, we were supported by the community… online sales, because that's what I really kind of started off first," Sanders said.

Sanders's mission from the start has been for customers to leave feeling "Filthy Gorgeous."

And that means having classy and statement pieces with all different sizes and price tags, meant to bring accessibility for all women.

"How confident do you feel when you have on the right outfit? We feel like we can take on the world, right? So I always try to make sure that when I'm picking out these pieces, I envision some of my customers in these pieces and how they're going to smile, how they're going to feel confident, and then, of course, get the compliments when they're out," Sanders said.

And with frequent new arrivals and new brands, "We don't reorder. So once we run out of those pieces, we're done."

But what's really unique, is Sanders's relationship with her customers, her employees, and the community.

"For all girls, I tell them to be bold because I have young ladies that work for me. I try to encourage them to be themselves, to love themselves, and find themselves. And then most definitely to educate themselves. Because….You all are the future," Sanders said.

Olivia works closely with Sanders at the store and says, "I've learned so much and I've always kind of been interested in owning my own business. So I get free classes from her, essentially. And so it's been really fun." 

And Finley says Sanders is a wonderful boss, "She's always good towards us. Just very understanding…she's got a lot going on, but she does it all,"

Cultivating a vibrant, supportive, and empowering store is exactly what Sanders hoped for and now that it's come to fruition, "It's very humbling and it literally can bring tears to my eyes. So when ladies come in and tell me that they got 'x amount' of compliments, or how they feel wearing our stuff, like it literally can bring a tear to your eye because sometimes you just don't know what you're doing and you've got to figure it out," Sanders said.

Sanders welcomes everyone to the store and hopes to see you soon!

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