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Join Noreen Sumpter as she mashes it up with the Founder and Creative Director of Seymour Projects, Melissa Unger.
The SEYMOUR+ space. Melissa leverages her experience and one of her many goals is to nurture human consciousness in a world increasingly dominated by technology. Melissa’s years of collaborating with artists, forward-thinkers, and leading minds from a wide range of creative fields coupled with a decade of research have afforded Melissa unique insights that she strives to communicate in an innovative and impactful manner.
Via Seymour Projects and all of her work, she endeavors to leverage creative ideas and concepts to effect positive social change, promote social cohesion, empower and inspire.
Click the replay and check out the show notes below:
Noreen starts the show by introducing her guest Melissa Unger, Founder and Creative Director of Seymour Projects. They talk about the first time they met at a coffee shop in Brooklyn and the instant connection they had. Melissa goes into her diverse resume and the different creative projects she’s been involved with, including production management of music videos for heavy metal bands. Both Noreen and Melissa talk about having careers that haven’t gone in a straight line.
Melissa fights back against the negative stigma of being an english major and how her studies helped her going forward in her life. Melissa talks about goofing off in school and that she felt she was too young to be going to college at the time. Noreen discusses her own experience in college in the U.S. They relate their college experiences to how they both think outside the box and felt restricted by testing; Melissa describes it as 360-degree thinking. Noreen feels that school was a form of domestication and that they were treated like robots. They both agree that the creation of the internet has combated this problem and allowed people to think more freely.
Melissa talks about how she started the Seymour Projects after working on movie sets and after working for an animation company. She explains how during this time she came into contact with Harvard University’s Project Zero and how this sparked her desire to use creativity to enact change. She chronicles how she decided to go to school to pursue her Masters, but ultimately left to start work and how in her mid-40s she decided she was tired of working for others and decided to create the Seymour Projects, which is named after her father. Melissa talks about the influence her father had on her and how his personality has influenced the core elements of the project. She talks about the different jobs she had, her work in Paris and how going to France was the first time she took control of her own destiny.
Melissa talks about knowing from very early on that money does not create happiness and how she wanted more freedom with non-profits. She talks about it being important for people finding their path to realize that who they are and their priorities change from decade to decade and to take stock with each decade. She talks about how when she came back from Paris she wanted to lean back and let things come to her rather than lean in and want it right away. Noreen and Melissa talk about women discussing their ages and the taboo that surrounds it and at what ages they feel like they became their person.