Stib Meets...Melissa Bowden


Meet the brilliant Melissa Bowden…..

Founder of A Circle Back @acircleback, a collection of beautifully curated products & brands which provide a starting point for 'full-circle living'. Through A Circle Back, Melissa has gathered a number of Ethical Entrepreneurs and their products under one digital roof & in her beautiful store, championing their modern, design-led ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly brands. As well as searching by who you are buying for, ‘new in’ & price, you can also shop by ‘Values’; inspiring customers to thinking about ways of living which give back in someway, to the planet, to the people, and in return to themselves too.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

 I vividly remember wanting to be a vet for a long time. I realised it wasn’t going to be when I couldn’t watch an episode of Animal Hospital to the end after a budgie had his leg amputated!


What advice would you give to yourself as a child?

 To enjoy the moment and the age you are at the time! There seems to be so much of childhood where you’re wishing to be older. The extra ‘half’ on an age is so important. Life is so short and it’s there to have fun and to be grabbed with both hands!


What was the 'big idea' which inspired you to set up your business?

 There wasn’t a eureka moment, A Circle Back was something that had been bubbling in the background for a long time but didn’t know how to form. On holiday in Mexico, whilst on a long journey I had a huge brainstorm and those scribblings in my notebook were the first step to properly forming A Circle Back. I’ve always loved travel, different cultures, protecting the world we live in and helping people – combined with my professional experience it all started to click into place.


What do you say to yourself when you need a confidence boost?

 I sort of just keep going. I don’t let doubt creep in as it’s a waste of time. When I am worried about what I’m doing and if it’s as good as it can be, or whether it’s worthwhile, I remember what’s been achieved so far. I also am incredibly lucky to have the reinforcement of wonderful friends and family who encourage, brainstorm, promote and push the idea further. I want A Circle Back to grow to be so much more that gives me the motivation and confidence to keep at it.


What's your favourite Stib word and why?

It’s a tough one but it would have to be Big Thinker. A lot of the time I wish I could switch off my thoughts but ultimately, it’s what creates new ways of seeing and doing, so thinking is a really asset we should nurture! Thinking is so important to continue to reassess how we live, what we can do better, come up with great ideas, remember people’s feelings and promote kindness. Without Big Thinker’s the world would be very small. Big Thinkers don’t say ‘No’, they say ‘How?’ 

Emily Sayer