Melanie Pimentel Batum, was born in Paris in 1987 to an Algerian mother and Spanish father. At the age of seventeen, she pursued her dream of becoming a makeup artist. She’s worked in countries such as; Bolivia, India and Dubai. She currently lives in Portland with her husband NBA star Nicolas Batum, who’s also half European (French) and half African (Cameroonian). She’s currently working on launching her very own shoe line.
Afri-Culture.com had a quick chat with Melanie regarding her career and how she handles it while being an NBA wife.
You fell in love with beauty and fashion at a very young age. When did you realize this was the career you wanted to pursue?
The women in my family are feminine so I grew up with a blow dryer, makeup and shoes all around me. At 15 I was doing hair, braiding, keratin hair extensions, makeup, everything! I can do something just by seeing someone doing it one time. At 17 my father passed away from cancer. My year at school was ruined by spending all my time at the hospital. Instead of doing it over again I chose to do what I like and sign up for makeup school.
What do you think is the most difficult thing about your job?
I think the most difficult is to start. You work for free a lot to get known. It is not an easy job, lots of ups and downs. And when you make it, you can’t take it for granted you need to keep getting better and be available as much as possible.
Your job as a makeup artist allows you to travel around the world. What is the most beautiful country you’ve been to so far?
I went to over 30 countries and it’s really hard to tell which one I liked the most. Let’s say one of my best experiences was to do makeup for Bollywood movies in India.
You’ve talked about launching your own shoe line. How is that going?
Well, when I came to the US 4 years ago with my man, my career shut down. I wasn’t allowed to work in the states and a man needs his woman next to him. After very few months not working I went crazy! I had to do something! I realized my first passion makeup, why not my second one? So I started to work on a shoe line. I started from nothing, no knowledge, no education, no contacts, just ideas. It took me time but I am now ready to lunch my shoe brand.
We really love you blog, you have some great tips. When did you start blogging?
Funny but only 2 weeks ago! Chris Johnson (NBA player) wife, Tammy Johnson started one about fitness and put me into this.
When you’re not busy with your projects, what do you do for fun?
I train for MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), not that I wanna fight at the UFC (laughs) but for some reason I just love it. But you know being a NBA wife takes a lot of time like a full time assistant. I wanna make sure he can focus on basketball.
How do you balance your schedule while being an NBA wife? Do you find it hard?
Very hard! At one point I had to choose my priorities and my man is more important than my career because he’ll build a family with me and to me family comes first. We both agreed that we’ll organize our life around his career knowing that those careers are short (10 to 15 years). When he’ll retire we’ll do the same with mine! Otherwise, I travel and do my heavy work when he goes on road trip with the team. Of course it slows me down a little but hey at least we have a happy home.
What do you wish to accomplish in 2013?
I really want for 2013 to have my first collection finally out! I worked really hard on it and I can’t wait to show what I am capable of. I also have another project: I wanna open my first beauty bar here in Portland Oregon.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope that in 10 years my man will be healthy and able to play still. I wanna have kids by then of course. Hopefully I’ll be a well known designer and I’ll have my shoes out in many countries but also my beauty bars all over US maybe even in other countries. Who knows! Sky is the limit to me.
You can keep up with Melanie by visiting her blog: www.trendsfashionandbeauty.com