Featuring: Melody Norton

Meet Melody! She is the Founder and CEO of Unfeathered Ink — which offers writing, coaching & publishing services.

Natalie Ruiz
Sep 12 · 6 min read
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Melody Norton, courtesy of Melody Norton

What strikes me about Melody is how she has carved out a life that fulfills her. She’s a writer, a coach, a true creative, and someone who wants to help others tell their stories, and she’s authentically herself. She’s also into van camping and dragon boating — and will be moving to Oregon soon — which seems like a perfect location for her, now that I know more about what she’s passionatee about! When she fulfills her dream of a physical location bookstore with an open mic and a dancefloor, I am IN! Can’t wait for you all to read more about Melody!

Natalie Ruiz: What is your current job?

Melody Norton: Founder/CEO/Jack(alyn) of All Trades

Natalie Ruiz: What do you want to share about your business?

Melody Norton: My company, Unfeathered Ink, offers writing, coaching & publishing services and looks forward to growing our small press. Unfeathered Ink approaches all projects through an anthropological and cross-cultural lens and embraces the diversity of humanity.

Natalie Ruiz: What do you love about it?

Melody Norton: I love that the story and needs of every client are unique. Of all the services we offer, coaching & creative consultation is probably my favorite. It can be a very telling and therapeutic process for the client/author. It provides me the opportunity to best serve them and they gain a sense of intent and clarity through the process which results in them seeing their dream project come to life. I’m grateful to be a part of their journey and I’ve realized that guiding others through the writing process has really turned out to be a calling.

Natalie Ruiz: What makes you great at what you do?

Melody Norton: Research. Before starting Unfeathered Ink, I was a career administrator which really honed my attention to detail, but starting my own business gave me an excuse to do what I love, research. Going in, I didn’t know what I wanted my niche to be and I didn’t know how I’d get there without a hands-on mentor or formal education in business. But the truth is, through my research, I’ve had many mentors who although I didn’t necessarily communicate with have been a catalyst for my growth and progress.

Natalie Ruiz: What is the most challenging part of your job?

Melody Norton: Regulating health issues & getting over the ‘new business’ hump. Building a brand, building up confidence, and finding a professional tribe.

A large part of what lead me to start Unfeathered Ink was a phase of consecutive flare-ups leading to extreme limitations to work a regular job.

Being a business owner provided me with the stability and flexibility to meet the needs of my clients and my own well being.

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Melody Norton, courtesy of Melody Norton

Natalie Ruiz: What challenges keep you up at night?

Melody Norton: It’s when I have all of my best creative ideas. Lots of sleepy texts to myself and scribbled post-its that need deciphering, come daylight.

Natalie Ruiz: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Melody Norton: A writer! I’ve been writing poetry, short stories, and essays since I was in the 2nd grade. I also knew I wanted to be a Marine since I was very young and I spent 8 years with the US Marine Corps.

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Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Natalie Ruiz: What was your first job? What did you learn from it?

Melody Norton: I worked at Crust & Crumb Bakery in Beach Haven, NJ. I worked there for 3 summers and loved it! It was fast-paced, always busy, and my intro into the service industry which I have never left. The unlimited bagels were a nice perk too!

Natalie Ruiz: What’s something that people may not know about you but should?

Melody Norton: Poetry is my first love and my first book, Athena Underwater, is finally coming out later this year, published by Unfeathered Ink along with our other debut release, The Combat Diva’s Guide to Life (working title) by Tiffany Jackson & Tonnisha Bolian.

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Melody Norton, courtesy of Melody Norton

Natalie Ruiz: Who is one of your heroes and why?

Melody Norton: My parents, forever and always. They gave me the freedom to be whoever and whatever I wanted and their support has always been unwavering. My mom passed away in 2006 but I feel her constantly reminding me to keep going and growing. My dad is still around and I’m eternally lucky to have had parents who were/are my best friends.

Natalie Ruiz: What is one of your superpowers?

Melody Norton: I love this question. Intuition! I’m sure this connects heavily to my calling to coach and collaborate.

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Photo by Laura Kapfer on Unsplash

Natalie Ruiz: What is one of your favorite books?

Melody Norton: Oof. This feels like a loaded question.

Graphic Novel Series: Monstress

Genre: Historical Fiction & All things Sherlock & Sherlock spinoffs

An author who’ve I’ve read every book of: Michelle Moran

I also enjoy many things superhero and magic-related.

Natalie Ruiz: What are some of your hobbies/ how do you relax?

Melody Norton: Hobbies: Dragon Boating, billiards, hiking.

Relaxation: binge streaming something to watch, solo dance parties, van camping.

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Photo by Kevin Schmid on Unsplash

Natalie Ruiz: I think there is power to speaking our big dreams and audacious goals out loud — will you share some of yours?

Melody Norton: My future plans include growing the size of Unfeathered Ink publishing to at least 6 titles a year.

I also intend to create a brick & mortar location in Oregon that includes a coffee & tea house/juice bar, billiards tables, a stage for open mics and live music, dance floor, and a bookstore.

Natalie Ruiz: How can we support you / your organization / your goals?

Melody Norton: This has been a fantastic opportunity and will formally be the fist interview/article on myself and my business. Thank you so much for reaching out and doing what you do! The experience alone has really helped me shake some of the marketing and publicity jitters that I’ve had thus far!


Originally from Barnegat, NJ, Melody is native to the shore and pine trees scattered throughout her poetry. Her life has been spent immersing herself into the local communities of many cities and finds her self grateful for her slightly vagabondesque existence.

As a mother, veteran, and writer, Melody feels a sense of duty is always present.

Growing up a child of many cultures, Melody is constantly looking for connections between her experiences and those of others. She is a firm believer that there is always common ground when we are patient enough to listen and communicate through the universal mediums of art, ritual, and language.

Melody is persistent in her pursuit to normalize the idea of unity among cultures through the same multidisciplinary approach used to select her fields of study which include anthropology, psychology, & criminology/justice administration.

Melody has spent over 19 years as a career administrator with executive-level experience in communications, customer relations, small business administration, as well as team & project management. Unfeathered Ink is founded on Melody’s principals of thought and is dedicated to creating long term client relationships. Unfeathered Ink is proud to serve its growing and culturally eclectic community through writing, coaching, and publishing services.


Instagram: @unfeathered_ink

YouTube: LINK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnfeatheredInk/

🚩 Oh hi! Did you enjoy this feature? I am committed to showcasing amazing womxn in business and would love to hear from you if you or someone you know has a compelling story to tell, advice to give, or is just a badass in general and deserves to be featured!

P.S. — If you like supporting womxn in business and enjoyed this read, please share + give it ❤️ so others can find it too. Thanks 😊 (Say hello and follow me here: https://linktr.ee/natalieruiz)

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