Melissa and John for home pageWell . . . here it is! Our first post for, and where do we begin? We thought it would be appropriate if we used this space to tell you who we are and why we have taken on this unique opportunity.

To dispel any rumors . . . no, there was no hostile take-over of the business, and no, we did not force Tara out on the street (yes – we heard both of these!). In fact, quite the reverse! Tara is one of our dearest friends and a client of ideaologie. During our discussions, Tara expressed an interest in moving on to an exciting new project, and felt that we should be the ones to take the reins of her absolutely wonderful and tremendously beneficial education and training program. We are honored beyond words to step into these shoes, and want to preserve and build upon the legacy Tara has created. We will continue to seek her advice, and joyfully play a small part in the continued growth of her design business and the development her new venture – Pivot to Happy! Check it out at!

So why us? What credentials do Melissa and John bring to the program? Here is who we are . . .

Melissa Schulz

Melissa brings to the table vast experience as a Creative Leader, associated with leading brands such as Hallmark, American Greetings, Westminster Fibers, Kathy Davis, Disney and Harry Potter, to name a few. With close to 20 years of experience in the art licensing and product development fields, Melissa has strategically led creative teams through transitional and successful growth periods. Charged with entrepreneurial spirit, she has spent years helping artists and companies strategize their business growth path. Most recently, Melissa has devoted much time building the Kathy Davis brand online through social media marketing, as well as achieving great success in traditional marketing channels. Through the process of building her own jewelry line, she has proven her “hands on” capabilities in all aspects of the business. Finally, she is an optimist, a relationship builder and a brand ambassador

John Mavrakis

John draws on his deep executive expertise from working with brand titans Hallmark, American Greetings, Discovery Channel, The Body Shop, Intl., Kathy Davis Studios, Mary Engelbreit Studios, and The Gap/Banana Republic to carry out ideaologie’s business strategy. Earlier in his career, John was appointed Vice President of Stores for Banana Republic, responsible for the company’s meteoric rise and national launch. Tapping his industry skill, John created and developed Streamers, a chain of highly recognized party goods stores, served as Vice President/General Manager for The Body Shop, Intl., and led the Discovery Channel/The Nature Company’s retail operation as Vice President of Retail. John was recruited by Hallmark to become the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing and National Sales at one of their subsidiaries, InterArt/Sunrise Greetings; and also served as President/COO for Kathy Davis Studios, as well as President/CEO for Mary Engelbreit Studios.

We have known each other and worked together for over 15 years; and with more than 75 combined years of building and maintaining a multitude of successful companies and brands, and a combined 35 years in licensing experience, we certainly have the necessary knowledge and success rate to be an invaluable asset. We have the unique perspective of both navigating and negotiating, since we’ve worked on both sides of the fence, with brands, manufacturing and retailers (such as Target, Barnes & Noble, Hard Rock Café, and Walmart).

So that’s us – we are innately driven to helping people! We’ve generated great successes over the years and we want to share that knowledge with all of you!

 Here’s to your continued success!