We had the good fortune of connecting with Morgane Di Meglio-Hope and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Morgane, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I was born and raised in France, a place where vacation time is absolutely sacred. So when I moved to the US and started my first corporate job, I thought it was a bad joke when I was told 2 weeks was standard. How could that possibly be enough time to visit all my relatives in France, and also explore countries on my bucket list? I could not wrap my French head around it! If there is one thing the French are good at – apart from cheese and pastries – is work life balance. One could argue the French work to live while the Americans live to work. After 4 years in the corporate/nonprofit world, my decision to go into self-employment and creating my online business was highly motivated by finding my way back to such balance, one that can give me the opportunity to make money on my own terms and fund all my travel fantasies, whenever they may be. During the pandemic, my husband and I also decided to buy an old school bus to convert it into a living space to live on the road for a while. Although that one is still a work in progress, we also renovated two spaces for Airbnb on our current property, and plan to rent out more in the future while we are either on the road in the US or travelling overseas, scuba diving somewhere warm.
What should our readers know about your business?
MDM Communication was born out of a longing desire for more freedom and self-sufficiency, whether it comes to my schedule, the people I’m working with, and the projects I take on. After almost 10 years of developing PR and communication strategies for international companies and nonprofits as an employee, I decided to put my expertise to the test and offer the same services but under my own company. In late January 2020, I quit my no-longer fulfilling salaried job to become fully dedicated to growing this new venture helping small business owners with their communication needs. About a month later, Covid-19 was hitting the USA, shutting down my first gig with a festival. That was a hard pill to swallow, especially in my first month, making me question whether I had made the right choice. But I stuck to my vision and to the reasons that led me to this decision in the first place, and suddenly I realized Covid could actually be a great opportunity to pivot from my initial offerings and create solutions for businesses affected by the pandemic. I took free online courses and learned new skills, to be able to offer a full array of digital solutions to those businesses in need, all while crafting the lifestyle I had been looking for. Not being tied down to an employer or physical place is such a liberating feeling.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Atlanta has all the benefits of a large city, all while having a small-town feel in certain neighborhoods.
– Being French, food is sacred to me, and therefore I wouldn’t miss bringing them to Varuni Napoli (Midtown location) for the most delicious pizza with fresh, quality ingredients – and one of the prettiest patios in Atlanta, complete with a koi pond. For late night drinks, head to Rock Steady for a grown and sexy vibe.
– Although cliché, a visit to the Beltline is a must. Start by Krog Street Market and head North, make a stop by St Germain Bakery at Ponce City Market for some of the best French pastries in town, and end your stroll by watching the sunset from Piedmont Park.
– Historic Downtown College Park is a gem for bubbling new restaurants, go down to Main Street by the MARTA station and you’ll find plenty of exciting options, from Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen to the Corner Grille (great brunch!).
– One of the things I love most about Atlanta is all the nature. So many opportunities to enjoy it at Sweetwater Creek State Park, Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, Stone Mountain etc.
– On Sunday, if you’re in the mood for church, I highly recommend the inclusive environment at Park Avenue Baptist Church in Grant Park. After service, cross the street and enjoy the colorful and friendly stalls at Grant Park Farmers Market.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Many people have been a big influence at different stages of my life, but the one who truly encourages me daily to think outside the box is my husband Shevon. From learning about multiple streams of income, to converting a school bus into a tiny home on wheels, thank you for always keeping me on my toes and having new business ideas every week! There’s no one else I’d rather be doing life with and creating our own little French-Trini bubble.