My Word Agency is owned by Melandra Smith, a time-served British English proofreader with a translations agency background.
Melandra discovered her vocation as a proofreader working as a project manager in a translations agency in 2006. Previous to that, she trained as a marketer.
Melandra was privately educated with her four siblings in the Peak District by her father, David Bethell MA Cantab (a genealogist and historian) and mother, Irene Bethell (a professional graphic designer), studying a range of curriculum subjects in addition to German, Old English, Latin and Palaeography.
She started learning Japanese at the age of 14, and passed levels 3 and 4 of the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Proficiency Test at SOAS, winning a scholarship study tour (representing the UK) to Japan at just 17. She studied Japanese again at London University and went on to do an Advanced Diploma in Marketing with the CIM.
Melandra worked for a market research firm and two legal firms before becoming a project manager at a UK translations agency and eventually finding her vocation as a freelance British English localisation expert, proofreader, copywriter and entrepreneur working from home.
Melandra has loved painting and drawing since she was a child, and is a fan of the Pre-Raphaelites, but particularly John William Waterhouse. She taught herself to paint by copying his work, however, she is happiest painting all kinds of machinery, from aeroplanes to classic sports cars. She is a keen musician and plays the drums, guitar, violin and charango. Melandra studied classical guitar as a child and is a singer songwriter who has co-written over 100 songs with her sister Metia.
Other hobbies are or have included tinkering with classic cars, crochet and knitting, embroidery, sewing, cooking and writing. Melandra likes volunteering and has built a simple WordPress website for the Derbyshire village in which she lives. She also gives practical assistance to her local PFA. When she’s not working as a proofreader, Melandra spends her spare time painting, helping friends to build WordPress websites, studying digital marketing and SEO, gardening and exploring the beautiful countryside with her two children. On a personal level, she believes in being wholehearted, dependable, consistent and kind, and this underpins her approach to everything.