Defining Success: Melissa "Mia" Emilio


Most of Melissa Emilio's clients and coworkers refer to her as Mia. She has been a senior curly hair specialist at Devachan for 12 years. One of her favorite memories from growing up is Saturday mornings in the salon with her mother and sisters. She knew she wanted to be in that world everyday. Someone actually told her that she might not make it in this industry — putting her down and making her think they were right. She knew she had to prove them wrong. Practice and hard work pays off. Having an awesome coworker who was her biggest fan showed her how to let her talent blossom.

Mia loves cutting curly hair and especially loves creating updo hairstyles for different occasions. It's one of her specialties, and she loves making people look their best. When they are in her chair, they're in the hands of someone who genuinely cares about making the curly world even more beautiful. 

Melissa (Mia) lives in Staten Island with her husband, Peter.

How do you define success?

I think success is personal happiness in your profession. Doing what I feel passionate about brings me such pleasure. If I didn't feel passionate I think I'd be miserable.

How do you measure your own success?

I set goals for myself in being a hairstylist. Reaching these goals in my profession for me was success.

How does success feel?

Success feels like magic. You've worked and worked to make things happen. Now that you actually see hard work pay off it's amazing. What's great is you can always look back and feel great about those moments of achievement. You can feel it all over again and again when you think about what you have reached.

When was the last time you felt successful? What happened?

The last time I felt success was an incident that actually happened this week. My coworker who has many years in this industry needed my help. His client was just not happy with her end result and he needed someone to step in and help him out. He called on me to fix the situation. Someone who I admired and aim to be like needed my help, I felt honored. The woman who said she wanted to cry was now hugging me that I had saved the day.  In the end I helped my coworker and made a client happy which is the greatest feeling ever.  That happiness made me feel very successful.

How do you celebrate your success?

From time to time everyone needs to celebrate their success. Whether it's those shoes or bag I have been eyeing or treating my hard-working hands and feet to some TLC. It's important to remember to be proud of the things you have accomplished. Be proud! And hey a dirty martini never hurt anyone!

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to be successful?

Keep your eye on the prize and stay truly focus on what you want. Also stay humble. Don't brag about your accomplishments, wait for them to be noticed. There is always room to grow, learn, and set up new goals. Success can happen again and again in many different areas in your life. Enjoy and stay happy with what you do!

One of my favorite quotes from Theodore Roosevelt's is, "It's hard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.


Instagram: @Mia_Devacurl | Website: