What Does a Merchandise Director Do? ft. Melissa Hemingway (Flysouth Music Group)

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What Does a Merchandise Director Do? ft. Melissa Hemingway (Flysouth Music Group)

This week we are joined by Melissa Hemingway of Fly South Music Group. Melissa is the Merch Director at Fly South. She started out in Illinois going to college and then moved to Florida to work for Fueled By Ramen right around the time of its conception. I like Melissa’s journey because it does not involve touring – which has been the minority case for us on the podcast. I think I am most impressed by how different areas of the industry collaborate and work with the artists themselves. To me, that is one of the most fun parts, but at the same time can be the most challenging. No two artists are the same, and each one takes a specific set of skills to work with successfully. Thank you Melissa for sharing your journey and knowledge with us this week. Enjoy!


In this episode of the Don’t Shit On The Bus podcast we will learn:


• The difference between a merchandise director and a tour merch
• About Melissa working at the early days of Fueled By Ramen
• What goes into designing band merch
• The importance of merchandise for an artist or band


YouTube player
(00:00) Intro
(02:18) Patreon
(02:55) Melissa gets on the bus
(05:37) What does a merch director do?
(06:46) How Melissa started out in the music industry
(10:06) Working at Fueled By Ramen
(15:01) When Melissa become a merchandise director
(16:43) How merch is created for an artist
(18:59) The growing focus of merch in an artist’s career
(21:45) Working with an artist on their merch
(24:26) Being the communicator between artists and designers
(27:53) How to become a designer for an artist
(31:58) Interning at companies
(35:54) Barriers for women in the industry
(39:47) How a tour merch line is created
(45:58) The retail side of band merch
(49:13) Fly South
(52:40) Wrap up notes
(53:47) Shower Shoes

Melissa Hemingway – Guest

► Fly South Music Group: https://www.flysouthmusic.com

Don’t Shit On The Bus Podcast

► Website: http://www.dontshitonthebus.com

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Adam Elmakias – Host

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► Website: https://www.adamelmakias.com

Edited & Produced by Connor Gaskey