Actress, writer, director and mother Melanie Mayron (if you’re a Thirtysomething fan like me, you’ll know her as the Melissa Steadman character) has created a line of natural personal care products with her dad called Mayron’s Goods. We’re going to do a giveaway of her Road Pack. But first, enjoy this delightfully chatty interview.
Q. Mayron’s Goods is a family affair. What were the benefits (and the challenges) of working with your dad to create and grow the business?
A. My younger sister has had a line of skincare products called JAO BRAND that she had developed with my dad, and I wanted to get in on the action. No seriously, I was trying to get pregnant at the time, which was fourteen years ago, so babies were on my brain. And i looked around and didn’t see much in the way of natural or organic skincare for babies, much less in the diaper cream department, so I suggested to my dad that he and I develop products in that vein.
Q. What is your favorite product in the line?
A. Well, for me, the barrier/diaper cream is our flagship product. We call it “Our Best” Barrier and Diaper Cream because we must have developed over sixty or more through the years. The ingredients and the consistency are beyond compare to anything on the market today. I’m not joking. My dad has one of the patents on the time release tablet. He’s a genius when it comes to formulating products and he truly has outdone himself. For babies the cream will prevent a rash with daily use but it will also get rid of one. AND, it works for grown ups too. Men’s chafing issues, women’s issues, it really is a miracle cream. Also helps excema a great deal and works on dogs too, with their skin issues. So it is the kind of thing where a tube of “Our Best” should be on everyone’s medicine chest, just for emergencies. Like you never know when you’ll need it! A perfect “down there” cream for all ages.
Q. We love the awesome Americana look of the packaging. What was your inspiration for this? How did it evolve?
A. I grew up in Philadelphia in the fifties. There were candy stores with sawdust on the floor and soda fountains. The Philadelphia Phillies had red as their color, everyone had little red wagons, Phillies cigars had red packaging… I just saw red as the color of my childhood. We had a diaper man deliver cloth diapers when my little brother was born and there was a milkman that delivered the milk… everything was naturally very “eco” or “green,” as we say now. It was a period where people stood by their word. A safe and honest time. I wanted to evoke that period in my products, so you could feel taken care of by them, and buy them with confidence.
Q. People really connected powerfully with your Melissa character on Thirtysomething. I know you’ve done so much more–writing, directing, acting. Please share some of your most rewarding creative roles and projects.
A. Well, there was a movie called Girlfriends that came out in 1978. Warner Brothers had run an Oscar campaign for me for Best Actress. It was an amazing film, an indie, and i was nominated for Brtitish Academy Award, and won the Best Actress Prize at the Locarno Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland. It was my first lead in a film and it was an international sensation. You can now get the DVD on the Warner Brothers website.
There was a made-for-tv movie starring Vanessa Redgrave called “Playing For Time.” It was about the women’s orchestra in Auschwitz during WWII. I had the second lead with Vanessa. It was an astonishing film. In one scene Vanessa and I site together, naked, while they shave our hair off. And they did. They had three cameras rolling and they shaved our hair. (I didn’t work for over a year after that.)
And then there is the film I co-wrote and co-produced with Catlin Adams called Sticky Fingers. Helen Slater and I starred in it. Christopher Guest played my boyfriend. Carol Kane and Eileen Brennan were also in it. Making that film was a dream come true. We raised 3 and a half million dollars and got to go make a film. Catlin directed. We had a ball. It came out in 1988, a shopping comedy. It is now on Netflix.
Q. What do you like the most? Writing, directing, or acting?
A. I love it all. I mean, I am a trained actor. Once an actor, always an actor. I approach my writing and my directing from that place. It seems the most logical way to approach all the different jobs. Behavior, motivation, people skills. I find as a director, you need more people skills however.
Q. What made you decide to run with Mayron’s Goods?
A. When I started to make some extra money and could pay to package and manufacture the products. I really just needed the money. I started doing more directing work in film and television and was able to throw money at the business to get it off the ground.
Q. How did you assemble your team? What do you look for when deciding who to work with?
A. I met David Pirrotta, my brand manager, through a friend. And she met him completely happenstance… like at the Department of Motor Vehicles where he was outraged he had to pay five hundred dollars to transfer his car registration from New York to California. Jocelyn too had just moved to L.A. from New York and recognized another frustrated New Yorker, so they got to talking. She had been helping me try to get Mayron’s Goods off the ground and when she heard he had built many well known brands and was looking for something to do, having just moved here, she thought she should put the two of us together. So I met him and we have been working together ever since.
[Note from Candace: I met David at the ABC trade show, and he is SO awesome. Just the greatest guy ever. And hilarious.]
What I like to look for is obviously someone with more experience in retail then me, for starters. But David had built many successful brands and I knew he could guide me in just the ways I wanted for this brand to really become a household name.
Q. As a mom with a career, how did you balance and juggle the different things expected of you?
A. It is tricky trying to parent two twelve year olds and try to get work on the entertainment industry as well as start a new business. But I want some autonomy in the work world. As an actress or director I have to be “picked” by someone. That is hard to still deal with after so many years. Mayron’s Goods give me the opportunity to do my own thing, work with who I want, and put out something I can be proud to stand behind. Plus, I love doing something new while still being creative, and meeting and getting to know so many wonderful people. After all, I am a people person at heart.
Up for giveaway: the Mayron’s Goods Roadpack. It’s the entire line of Baby Goods, in portable sizes. They come packed in a re-usable utilitarian travel bag with a distressed zipper and a waterproof interior.
Here’s what’s inside: Gentle All Over Head and Body Wash, Astonishing Hydrating Body Milk, Tangerine Massage and Body Oil, Chapstuff, and “Our Best” Barrier and Diaper Cream.
Here’s how you enter to win:
1. Leave a comment below, with any feedback about the interview or Mayron’s Goods.
2. For a second chance to win, Click here to go to the Mayron’s Goods facebook page and Like it. Then come back and leave a second comment telling me that you did.
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