Melissa Skoog is a seasoned communications and strategic marketing professional who has built high profiles for international luxury fashion and lifestyle brands. She is also a fashion maven, mom of 2, wife, gardener and needlepoint enthusiast, whose most recent venture, theJuggl, is a marketplace for personal & professional growth, as well as a content platform that addresses the whole woman, embraces her imperfections, and helps her manage her changing needs in daily life.
Why was theJuggl created?
Melissa Skoog (MS): theJuggl was born from a culmination of life experiences that have pushed me from pretending everything was “fine” to forcing myself to peel back my emotional layers, weed through the “muck” of my emotional damage and continue to work hard at creating the life that I want. As women, we spend so much time searching for resources – for ourselves, for our partners, for our children – that often we end up with decision fatigue from sifting through the options, rather than with the help we need. theJuggl is a marketplace for mentorship featuring coaches, physicians, and vetted experts focusing on all aspects of a woman’s life. We utilize content and programming to help women take their first steps and beyond in managing the lives they’ve built through expert advice, accountability, encouragement, and life tools. There are so many wonderful support communities out there for women who seemingly “have it all,” but what I couldn’t find was the one space that addressed the whole woman and offered a holistic experience and long-term life benefits. So, I created one.
We often hear women talking about how much they’re juggling, but where did the word “theJuggl” come from?
MS: I was single until I was 36 years old and, up until then, my life was dedicated to my career first and foremost. When I added my husband, a move to Chicago from NYC, the launch of my own agency, having children 15 months apart and facing my mother’s cancer diagnosis and ultimate passing all within a two-year period, my real Juggl began. Our name is very intentionally “the” Juggl because it’s a noun, not a verb. It’s a thing all women face and have to address each and every day. The components of your Juggl may fluctuate each day, but your responsibilities really don’t go away. They may just vary in levels of priority depending on the day.
Let’s rewind a bit. This isn’t your first time starting a business. What inspired your initial leap to becoming an entrepreneur?
MS: In 2008, I was the VP of PR for Prada USA and had been in fashion for my entire career up until then. At the time, luxury brands were just starting to come online, and I saw a huge opportunity to be a pioneer in the elevated online shopping space. I’ve since learned that there is no safety net in entrepreneurship, but at the time, I was partnered with a seasoned entrepreneur, which gave me the courage to make that initial jump from my corporate job. Ultimately, the concept didn’t launch, and I had the opportunity to go back to my old job, but I realized that I had been through more adversity and gained more life skills than I ever had before through the experience. While being an entrepreneur is really hard, it’s also immensely rewarding, and I wanted to continue making money for myself and managing my own businesses, while also making it easier for other women to do the same.
So, what are some of the lessons you’ve learned since beginning theJuggl in February of 2020?
MS: The biggest lesson I’ve learned since creating theJuggl is that once women hear what we’re building, they can immediately relate. Women so often feel the crush of needing to be everything for everyone, while neglecting themselves, and suffer in silence. Therefore, my co-founder, Kelly, and I are not alone in feeling a need to pretend all is “fine” despite the amount of pressure and stress we feel from every aspect of our lives. We’ve learned that we can’t serve others meaningfully unless we’re also serving ourselves. We do make time for ourselves, but we now know that it’s not typically most women’s priority—and it should be!
What kind of content can I find on theJuggl?
MS: We are constantly adding new experts to the site, so our content categories and depth in any one area will continue to evolve and grow. We’re always keeping in mind that this is not a one size fits all approach, and our goal is to have experts available on the site for every woman. For now, key content includes experts in relationships, leadership, executive training, entrepreneurship, professional development, time management, confidence, balance, nutrition, fitness, beauty, fashion, parenting, caring for elders, finance, sex and beyond.
How can individuals benefit from theJuggl?
MS: By way of our content and unique programming, we benefit women both personally and professionally to help them reach their life goals. We are not an exclusive community—therefore any individual can become a member and show up with whatever baggage she carries with her. Our goal is for members to find long-term solutions to their life challenges, take the preventative steps necessary before they feel like everything is falling apart, and as a result feel supported and fulfilled in the lives they have created.
Can you tell us about a positive experience you had with mentorship and how the “it takes a village” mentality is woven through theJuggl?
MS: I have been sitting in a highly advantageous seat at theJuggl because I spearheaded our entire content and creative strategy, so I have had the extreme pleasure of working with all of our experts to develop their content tracks and outline their service/program offerings for theJuggl community. I have also been a part of the team that has vetted every expert on the site! So, through this journey, I have had the gift of self-reflection along the way, and I have been able to engage several experts on theJuggl to help me with various physical and emotional areas I discovered I needed help with along the way. This past year developing theJuggl has truly changed my life for the better and I already feel fuller and more able to serve myself and others around me.
Where do you need support?
MS: Everywhere! LOL! But seriously, my biggest pain points have been in time management and how my past empowers my future.
What do you keep in your wellness toolbox?
MS: I have been working with Dr. Eugenie Pabst, our Biofeedback expert, on learning breathing techniques to calm and reset my nervous system to reduce stress and ultimately promote healthier living. I am also working with Lizzi Cutler on energy work. Additionally, I have created a weekly workout schedule that’s non-negotiable to make sure I’m moving and keeping my body strong. Emotionally, I have been working with a leadership coach to manage the demands of owning two companies and have had a talk therapist for over 8 years. The work I have done with her is the foundation for how theJuggl was conceived.
All of your newsletters include quotes, so to end, what is a quote you take with you through your daily life?
MS: “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” – Ben Franklin