Today we welcome Melanie Hurlston, one half of the Melly & me design dream team.
Tell us about you
I am a 30 something mother of two who only fell into the land of crafting/quilting approximately 5 and a half years ago. The earlier part of my life was spent working in computer system support in the insurance industry before I became a mummy. Now my days are spent playing mum as well as making or dreaming up the next new design. When not sewing I love to spend my time reading, visiting craft markets and going to the beach. My family and home and super important to me and I love that my business allows me to spend my work time surrounded by all that I love!
How did Melly & me come about?
Through lots of persistence from my sister Rosie!!! I had only just began quilting/sewing when I confided in my sister (Rosalie of Rosalie Quinlan Designs) that I just wanted to sew more and more, but had trouble finding patterns that inspired me or spoke my language. Rosie's simple answer was "Well design them then!!!" I think it took a further 4 months of her pestering before she convinced me to have a go and start a new design label with her. My start was very unsure and as a complete newbie sewer I was sure that success would not be possible. With the mindset of just having fun, having a go, and making things that brought us joy, we started Melly & me in June of 2006.
Tell us about your products
One philosophy that I try to keep with my patterns is that they are all completely usable! I love to create bright and fun softies/toys that are completely play friendly, handbags that are practical and wearable for everyday as well as fun quilts and other items that will brighten up a room. I am not really inspired to make things that are purely decorative by nature but like to make things that can be used and enjoyed. A lot of my patterns are perfect for making gifts for all of your loved ones - young and old.
What is your favorite product?
This changes monthly!!! When I create a new design it almost automatically becomes my favorite because it is new and fresh! Over the last 6 months I have released approximately 6 new designs and if I was to pick a favorite from those it would have to be my dolly, Dahlia. This was the first dolly I have ever made and for some reason I just go "awwwwww" every time I see her. I also am super partial to my brand new handbag, Raspberry Ripple, and just love the pleating effect I have come up with!
Where do you find inspiration for new products/designs?
I could almost turn this around and say "where do I NOT find inspiration!!" I find that inspiration is everywhere, all the time! I find that ideas assault my mind at all hours of the day, but it is only when an idea gives that excited feeling in the belly that I sit down and start sketching. The things that inspire me are my children and their drawings, nature and colour, cartoons and television, fashion and fabrics, different cultures and experiences. I think that we are always taking in information and images and all of these things bring different inspiration and ideas.
What does the future hold for Melanie Hurlston/Melly & me?
This year holds a lot of known and unknown possibilities. I find that one of the exciting things about this business is that you never know what opportunity is around the corner! With that in mind, I like to hold the future with open hands, knowing that Melly & me may take any number of directions depending on where opportunities and ideas lead me. There are two major projects that I am starting on this year which I am still keeping under my hat, but I am sure if you keep your eye on the blog, they will come to light shortly!! Other than these two adventures which will keep me fairly busy, I hope to continue creating fun and fresh designs that will bring joy to me and hopefully some of you too!