Living not far from myself in Cornwall, Melanie was one of the first to join Two Red Trees. Her gorgeous illustrated products are a regular on any gift list we compile. Here’s a little bit more about her and the brand Mellybee.
What’s the best thing about doing what you do?
There’s so many aspects of my job that I love to do that at times it really doesn’t feel like I’m working! I love sketching and coming up with new designs for products. I love transferring my designs to screens and mixing up the ink. I love taking photographs of the new things and then watching people’s reactions. I guess the best thing is getting a lovely email from a happy customer -knowing that you’ve made them smile- that day is a great feeling!
A lot of designer / makers supplement their income with other non-creative work, is this the case for you?
My income comes from what I make and sell and also from offering my skills as a freelance illustrator and designer. Although there are quieter times in this industry I would say I’m kept pretty busy for most of the year. My husband is also a great support both financially and emotionally- although we do keep a tight budget we both really enjoy what we do!
You are based in Cornwall, how has that come about?
We moved to Cornwall in February 2011 from Aberdeen, Scotland with my husband’s job who works as a youth pastor at a local church.
We heard through the grapevine that you are doing a collaboration with another Two Red Trees seller, can you tell us more about that or is it top secret?
Yes of course- and no! it’s not top secret it’s just taking some time to complete! I’m collaborating with So Small Shoes- a very cute seller that makes and sews very small baby shoes. I’m screen printing and designing an exclusively made fabric specifically for their shoes. The theme is bees! We are both based in Cornwall and I thought it would be a great opportunity to collaborate with another local company and see how our work can fit together. We’re hoping to have them ready for summer making a very sweet newborn baby gift.
Which would be your ideal magazine to have your work featured in and why?
Currently I would love to be featured in Mollie Makes as I think it fits with what I do and how I work. I think it would also encourage readers to see how anyone can make and sell their work from a simple set-up like mine.
You sell lots of different products, which are the best sellers?
My screen printed cards are very popular and then tea towels do pretty well- especially for housewarming/seasonal gifts as do my badge sets/packs for little treats.
See Melanie’s shop here.