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Melissa Lushbaugh




OWNER | SOUTH MADE MARKETING

Some people are born in Knoxville and never leave; some people arrive in Knoxville later in life and decide to stay. In either case, calling Knoxville home is what matters in the end.

For Melissa Lushbaugh, arriving in Knoxville due to her husband’s relocation turned out to be a great turn of events. “I love how friendly Knoxville is,” said Lushbaugh. “There are so many amazing local businesses and small hidden gems. I adore everything about downtown. There are endless things to do, places to go and people to meet.”

As the owner of South Made Marketing, a marketing firm that specializes in web design, graphic design, branding and digital marketing, Lushbaugh currently sees a shift for women in business. “I think there is a positive buzz about women in business right now, specifically women-owned businesses,” she stated. “I still think there is room for growth, but overall it’s really happening. It’s not as shocking as it may have been in the past to hear that a woman is the owner of something.”

Lushbaugh credits her husband for giving her the motivation to start her own company. “My husband is the most driven person I know,” she noted.” “He has motivated me and encouraged me from the beginning. He has shown me that there is always something we can learn from and grow from in order to evolve. Viewing obstacles as opportunities is powerful, and he has really given me something to emulate.”

Giving back to the community and making an impact in her new hometown is important to Lushbaugh. Previously a high school teacher and coach, she has a passion for helping children. She works with Junior Achievement and Make a Wish of East Tennessee to do just that. “I was lucky enough to be part of granting a wish for a child while I was in college,” she said. “Seeing the hope and level of joy that wish experience gave that child was everything and still influences my decisions today.”

If Lushbaugh could give guidance to those looking for their passion in life, her main piece of advice would be to “do what you love.” And she encourages people to take the time to figure out what exactly that is. “Experience life and be open to different options,” she advised. “Then you can find what’s exactly right for you.”

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