Melissa Rein Lively is the founder of The Brand Consurtium Public Relations (TBCPR), a lifestyle and luxury PR firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States. She was dubbed the Target Karen because of a viral video showing how she tore masks off a shelf at a Target store at the Scottsdale Pavilions in Scottsdale.
Lively took the video herself on July 2, 2020. In the video, she claimed to be the global spokesperson for the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon so other netizens called her the QAnon Karen.
“Finally, we meet the end of the road,” Lively said in the viral video. “I’ve been looking forward to this s–t all my f——g life so, Target, I’m not playing anymore f—–g games. This s–t is f—–g over. This s–t’s all f—–g over. This s–t’s f—–g over.”
Two employees approached Lively. She asked them, “Why?”
“You let everybody else do it,” Lively told the employees. “I can’t do it because I’m a blonde white woman? That’s wearing a f——g $40,000 Rolex. I don’t have the f——g right to f—k s–t up?”
After the incident, Lively lost all of her clients. Her husband Jared Lively called police from their home and she was taken for a psychiatric evaluation.
“I think mental illness has been really something that has not been addressed as a result of this pandemic because what happened to me was scary and it changed my life forever,” Melissa told USA Today. “I felt I had absolutely no control over my actions.”
Melissa told the publication that she spent more than a week in a mental health facility. Here are 13 more facts about the TBCPR founder:
- Originally from Denver, Colorado, USA, she attended Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
- In 2002, she moved to Scottsdale.
- From 2003 to 2007, she attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
- From 2005 to 2007, she served as a PR account executive for Porter Novelli in Los Angeles, California, USA.
- From May 2007 to June 2008, she served as a regional director and business development specialist for Brosseau Public Relations in Los Angeles.
- From June 2008 to August 2011, she was the director of PR for Rose, Moser and Allyn Public Relations. In 2019, she accused one of the firm’s principals of engaging in a smear campaign against her by telling people including her clients that she was mentally ill, the Phoenix New Times reported.
- In August 2009, she founded TBCPR. She has been the CEO of the company since.
- In 2010, she started volunteering for Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
- On June 30, 2011, she got married to Jared. They have traveled together to different countries including Argentina, France, Greece, Italy and Spain. On July 7, 2020, he took to Facebook to explain why he was filing for a divorce.
- In 2012, she started volunteering for Make-A-Wish America.
- In 2013, she started volunteering for the American Heart Association.
- In an interview on June 10, 2020, radio host Billy Harfosh asked for her thoughts about how Scottsdale was dealing with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. She replied, “Where does government overreach take place and where does personal responsibility begin? When is it appropriate for a mayor or a governor or a federal government or anything to put restrictions on what people can do and what businesses can do?”
- She wrote a Scottsdale Independent article published on March 21, 2020, in which she described Arizona as “an incredible place to live, work and own business.” She also wrote that Scottsdale mayor Jim Lane needed to protect the residents in their city before it was too late.