Team Bio Series – Melissa Johnson (Small Biz Love)
When I sent Melissa the Team Bio questionnaire, I knew she wouldn’t disappoint…and she definitely delivered. Her attention to detail is as wonderful for this project as it is in her reviews. mPOS is taking over like a Netflix marathon on cleaning day, and Melissa is a key player in making it all easily understandable. To highlight everything she has to offer, Melissa is up next in our Team Bio Series.
Name: Melissa Johnson
Title: Merchant Account/Mobile Payments reviewer
Hometown: Joliet, IL
Current city: Lenexa, KS
Education and background: I have a B.A. in English and a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, but a bad internship convinced me that a newsroom wasn’t really where I was meant to be. So I started out as a freelance writer/editor and picked up a lot of really random knowledge along the way.
Merchant Maverick department/specialty: I do some content for merchant accounts, but my expertise is really in mobile payment systems. I’ve worked artist tables and at events that use Square and PayPal for a few years. I also have many friends who are on the convention circuit or run home-based businesses so I’m well acquainted with the needs of merchants who don’t have their own dedicated storefront.
How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: Amad, the owner of Merchant Maverick, found me, actually. He approached me on a freelance platform and asked about writing reviews. I did a sample article about a piece of tech called LoopPay, which has since been bought out by Samsung Pay, which is one of the services I keep an eye on. So it sort of feels like I’ve come full circle, in a way.
Proudest professional moment: I think my proudest moment was getting quoted in my first HARO (Help a Reporter Out) query for Merchant Maverick. I know that I’m an expert in mPOS and payments, but getting my first quoted response made me think, “Wow, others can see that I’m an expert too!”
Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: I went to college in Lawrence, KS, which is the kind of town that is fiercely proud of its small businesses. The culture rubbed off on me. Kansas City and its suburbs, where I am now, have the same sort of devotion to independent businesses that Lawrence does. It’s really amazing. But what does all that have to do with MM?
Well, I realized in my freelance work that I enjoy helping small businesses from behind the scenes, as well as supporting them as a customer. I’m really lucky that with Merchant Maverick, I can continue assisting small businesses, whether it’s pointing them toward the best processing deals or just becoming more knowledgeable about the payments industry and how it affects them. Cheesy, I know — and I’m not even a fan of cheese — but it is the truth.
What do you do when you’re not working for Merchant Maverick?: I am a giant geek, so I’m usually binging something of the sci-fi/fantasy/superhero persuasion. I am also happy to discuss with you the beauty of 18th century, Belle Epoque, and Edwardian era fashion, or the nuances of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or any of my other favorite books. I also volunteer at an anime convention. Being a well-rounded geek is important, yanno?
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color are you and why?: Can I be a rainbow swirl crayon? I love rainbows and anything rainbow colored. They fill me with joy, and I’d love to share that joy with everyone else.
Favorite ‘90s song: Do I have to pick just one? Sigh. If I had to name just ONE favorite, I’d go with No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” But 90s music is my jam. The runners-up include songs from Smashing Pumpkins and The Offspring. And Backstreet Boys.
Favorite midnight snack? Ice cream.
What are three items on your bucket list?: In the interest of diversity (and NOT just to list a bunch of travel destinations):
- Visit the Loire Valley in France, specifically Chenonceau.
- Write a fantasy novel. I don’t expect it to be good (those childhood dreams of being the next Tolkien or J.K. Rowling have long since been abandoned), but I would like to write one.
- Finish my to-read list. Just kidding. That’s never going to happen. But it’s a good goal to aspire to.
If you could travel back in time and live in a different era, which would you choose and why?: Medieval Europe fascinates me, but it’s a little too plague-y for my tastes. So I think I’d like to skip ahead to Tudor England, which is only marginally better as far as health hazards. But it does have Shakespeare and Marlowe and the Tudor Dynasty, and some really amazing clothing. Failing that, I like to think I’d be a Jane Austen-esque heroine in the Regency era.
Mac or Windows?: I’m solidly in the Windows camp. And even more solidly in the Android camp.
If you could either become invisible whenever you wanted or be able to fly, which would you choose and why?: Flying, definitely. I think being invisible (even if only on demand) would be very lonely. Flying seems like more fun and would allow for more superhero-y antics.
If we ever need a book recommendation or assistance with our small business ventures, Melissa is our go-to. We also just want to hang out with her on the weekends because she’s into some really fun stuff! Can I pre-order that “someday” fantasy novel? I have a sneaking suspicion that it’ll be a lot better than Melissa is giving herself credit for.
For more from Melissa, be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn.