Connect with Melanie

Where it began

Mel has had an interesting and winding path to becoming the guest speaker she is today.

Mel graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours in 2002. She then went on to co-own La Strada Ristorante in Northriding Johannesburg together with her husband, Nick.

In 2004, they moved to Durban to help Nick’s parents manage their new acquisition, Crinkley Bottom Park (a wedding and conference venue, B&B). In March 2006, they launched La Strada Ristorante Hillcrest, a successful family Italian restaurant. They sold this in 2009 to launch their WSI Franchise.

Melanie in La Strada
Melanie in La Strada

Then to Online Marketing

WSI is the largest network of Internet Marketing professionals in the world, with offices in over 80 countries.

Mel became a Certified WSI Internet Marketing Consultant in July 2009. She attended the WSI Excellence and Innovation Conference in Miami, Florida in 2010 and received her Advanced Internet Marketing Certification for 2011 at that event. She is Google Adwords and Analytics Certified. In 2015, they moved the business from their home to offices in Abrey Eco Park in Kloof.

These years of successful (and unsuccessful) business ownership have given Mel fundamental skills in entrepreneurship, business management, project management and customer service.

Social media is vital in todays world of communication.
90% of young adults—ages 18 to 29—use social media and fully a third of millennials say social media is one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses.


Of the 7.2 billion people on earth...


  • 3 billion have Internet access


  • 2.1 billion are active on social media


  • 1.7 billion use social networks from a mobile device

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Some of the interesting things I've achieved in this digital age.

Website Consulting

Over 50 clients assisted with Design & Development Consulting

Website Optimisation

Over 40 sites optimised for over 450 keywords with 70% reaching Page 1 of Google.

Sharing my passion for speaking

Mel is a regular speaker at events for networking groups, events and Chambers of Commerce and has been invited to be a speaker at Durban Chamber of Commerce, Zululand Chamber of Commerce and SEDA.

She has been on the Committee of KZN Women in Business since 2010 and was elected as Chairperson of the organisation for the 2016-2017 term.

In June 2016, she was named as one of three finalists in the BWA’s Regional Business Achievers Awards in the Entrepreneur Category.

  • February 2019

    South African Nurseries Association, KZN Chapter

  • July 2018

    Leadership Development for Women in Government and State Owned Enterprises

  • February 2018

    Professional Speakers Association of South Africa, Durban Chapter

  • Oct 2017

    Varsity College Client Appreciation Event

  • Sept 2017

    Action Coach GrowthClub

  • Sept 2017

    BNI Gala Dinner

  • Sept 2017

    Bizmark Networking Group

  • Sept 2017

    EXAS Networking Group

  • August 2017

    Independent Schools Marketing Association

  • March 2017

    Creston College, Port Shepstone

  • July 2016

    Leadership Development for Women in Government and State Owned Enterprises

  • July 2016

    Leadership Development for Women in Government and State Owned Enterprises

  • June 2016

    Strategic Talent Acquisition Seminar

  • May 2016

    MC, Maya Dance/Floorcraft Show, Sibaya Theatre

  • May 2016

    Expert Community Network (Professional Nurses)

  • October 2015

    Penzance Primary School (Digital Parenting)

  • August 2015

    Women of Diversity

  • May 2015

    Durban Chamber of Commerce & Industry

  • October 2014

    Social Media For The Hospitality Industry (Online)


Family Life

Nick & Mel have two beautiful children. With so many commitments, she doesn’t really have a lot of free time, but she tries to stay fit with regular Zumba classes and enjoys reading and mosaicking in her limited spare time.

Are you ready to book Melanie Gard?

Contact me know and let's chat about how I can educate and entertain at your event.