Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Melissa Dulanto.

Melissa Dulanto is the founder of San Francisco Fashion. The public relations and events agency for fashion and lifestyle events in San Francisco, California. SF Fashion represents artists and designers from SF Bay Area and hosts an annual festival each year.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

Our company started in 2021 during the peak of the pandemic. The fashion industry was going through many changes. Many creatives used the “shelter-in-place” protocol to create and innovate many new pieces. My colleagues and other local artists gathered to showcase their work. We wanted to give a voice to local artists and designers by adding more movement in the fashion industry in San Francisco. As a fashion designer, I wanted to create a public relations agency where creatives work together and this is how SF Fashion Festival was born.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

I had the honor to design for a few local companies and working with other designers. There is something very especial while working in a creative process. You gather ideas and combine them into one element, it’s like magic. You truly learn team-building skills and how to collectively gather your thoughts.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Early on in my career I was introduced into the apparel world by my mentor Ezra Estes. He is one of the best people I know and I can’t thank him enough for his trust and mentorship early on in my career. I produced my first fashion show back in 2012 at my local community college in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ezra guided me along on the expectations and dynamics. He introduce my classmates and I to the vendors and manufactures in New York City to making my first evening gown. Also my parents, I love them dearly, they are my biggest role models and they inspire me to do my best always.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

As a leader, it is important to have a positive mindset. When I am working on a project with my team I like to motivate them. The way you think can affect your performance as well as your peers. I like to encourage others to perform better, that way tasks are done efficiently. But also be realistic and have emotional intelligence for yourself and other around you. I work with students fresh out of college as well as industry professionals. We all learn from each other, it’s a very rewarding experience.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

Wellness has always played a part of my everyday life. I have to say, it took me a long time to find a good work/life balance. Self-care is a must, if you do not prioritize it, then you are not healthy. In order to thrive, we seek a healthy body, mind and spirit. It’s the small elements in life that make me happy, yoga & cycling are part of my routine. I love juicing and drinking my cold-press juices each day to have more energy. Scheduling a few hours each day for yourself is a must. I have a back-to-back schedule each day and there is nothing more relaxing than having “me” time. I do seek a long and meaningful life path, I follow a pescatarian and plant-based nutrition for a more sustainable well-being.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

There are many potions out there that say they cure diseases and or give you youth with side effects. I believe in self-care, this will determine your longevity and decrease the chances of getting diseases. I am a believer in traditional Chinese medicine, it has saved me many times. TCM has been around for over 2,000 years. I highly recommend to anyone seeking a calming and soothing treatment for the body & mind.

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Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)

1.) Be Happy. (Focus on a positive mind-set)

2.) Maintain a healthy weight. (Take care of your body)

3.) Keep alcohol and smoking to a minimum. ( Not smoking and not drinking is ideal but if you must, keep it to the bare minimum.

4.) Exercise 30 minutes each day (Move your body with physical activity each day. It boosts your metabolism and maintains a healthy weight)

5.) Eat a high-quality diet ( We are what we eat, a healthy diet in moderation is a fundamental factor of living a healthy life).

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

A fulfilled life is what doing what you love. Everyone has a passion, and I encourage it for you to follow it. Most people I have met do not work in the industry they are most passionate about, but they do have hobbies that make them happy. For me is playing music. I love music. I have been playing piano since I was 7 years old and still take lessons with the same teacher every week. Learning new songs and improving my technique is fulfilling. Music plays an important role in my life, wether I’m playing Chopin or attending a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.

Another element I practice is gratitude, with myself and others. Taking a step back and appreciating what you have in front of you. We get what we receive.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

Longevity can be a combination of genetics and choice. In present time we have access to modern medicine that had evolved in the last 50 years. The average human did not live very long in previous centuries. Lifestyle is very important and this will determine longevity.

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

Life does take us on certain tangents. It’s important to take a step back and retain your focus. I had many situations where I needed to take two steps back and regroup myself.

Spending time alone and revalue what’s important to me for my goals. This is why it is essential to have a life balance. Balance for work, play, wellness and vitality.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Live everyday as it were your last…

In past years I have encountered near death experiences that have made me appreciate life more. I cherish each day I am here and practice gratitude. You never know what the future holds.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would be a spiritual supporter to bring hope in difficult situations. Taking care of those who need sympathy and empathy. In these times, I’d like to give a hand and support to those who need. Most of the time, we just need one person to believe in us. I like to be that person for someone else.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

Subscribe to our email list at and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @sffashionfestival

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.