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For Chicago-based Entrepreneur Melissa Stinson, Coffee Is Just the Beginning

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by Paulina Isaac

December 7, 2023

Melissa Stinson launched Everybody’s Busy, a coffee concept brand and bar that fused her passion for hip-hop and her love of coffee. The creative space centers on hip-hop music and serves as a physical place for people to connect.

Stinson has had a diverse career in the TV and film industry, working as a costume designer for Roll BounceEmpire, and more. Despite the fact that her jobs were changing, coffee remained consistent in her life. Stinson would often make a cup for herself and her coworkers, and soon, she became known for her cup of brew. Eventually, she decided to take a leap and start a coffee concept business.

“It’s a great game,” Stinson tells Because of Them We Can. You learn so much about yourself and people if you’re really paying attention. But just know that your best business partner is your gut. There’s going to be crazy highs and lows. I’m in sort of the low period, but you never know the next day something could change it. I mean, just like that. So, you have to hang on.”

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Stinson made the smart choice to rely on her relationships with notable brands and storefronts to keep her business successful. She collaborated with Showtime’s The Chi and partnered with fashion and streetwear stores like Fat Tiger Workshop, Leaders 1354, and Sir & Madame. In 2018, it was official: She had made a name for herself in the coffee community. She’s been featured in prominent publications like Rolling Out and Okayplayer and has even been named as one of NBA star Jimmy Butler’s favorite coffee spots.

Cover photo: For Chicago-based Entrepreneur Melissa Stinson, Coffee Is Just the Beginning/Photo by Melissa Stinson/Everybody’s Busy

But she doesn’t want to stop at just coffee. When it comes to the future, Stinson is always going to create. She has dreams of developing an entire lifestyle brand with coffee at the center.

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“I’m a creator. I have a great eye, I have a great ear, and at the end of the day, everyone has to contribute to the world,” she says. “So, this is my way of actively going about it for myself and for others. Producing lifestyle products, I mean, it could be anything from toothpaste, to toothbrushes. It’s all coffee adjacent because I’m not just coffee. I’m a lot of things. But I would like to use products to tell my stories and my experiences, the way I see my culture.”

For her, that culture is full of infinite possibilities and Stinson is having fun exploring them all.

She continues, “When I say my culture, just it’s very vast. I would like to produce products, books, calendars, sneakers, mugs, coffee machines, toys… just lifestyle. You start with a good cup of coffee, of course, maybe making some more coffee. I have two coffees that are out with Onyx right now, and I use those to tell my story. So yeah, I would like to tell stories using products that inspire me with no money, but if I can do it, you can do it too.”

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Currently, Everybody’s Busy is open by appointment only, where coffee aficionados can book a time slot for an intimate pop-in for just $20 per person. Stinson will brew you a fresh drink at her studio located in the Mana Contemporary Chicago in Pilsen, and you can enjoy the vibes of her creative studio. While the hip-hop-infused brew menu regularly changes, the vibes stay the same, and it’s the perfect spot to unwind, get inspired, and get into a delicious cup of joe.

To support Stinson and book your coffee appointment with Everybody’s Busy, click here.

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Cover photo: For Chicago-based Entrepreneur Melissa Stinson, Coffee Is Just the Beginning/Photo by Melissa Stinson/Everybody’s Busy

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