Hello, I’m Melody! A Singaporean recently transplanted to kangaroo-land Sydney and I’m the hands behind MELO handmades.
I’ve always loved making things, working with my hands, painting, crafting, sewing – transforming ideas and thoughts into something more tangible. Having been exposed to drawing and painting from a young age, I pursued creative studies at every turn of my life and armed myself with a degree in Fashion Design. After a short but thoroughly rewarding stint as a designer at now defunct Singaporean label alldressedup, I moved on to more positions in the fashion industry, ranging from merchandising to production managing to retail logistics. All the while, feeling extremely unsatisfied. I realised I really wanted to create.
In 2016, I started MELO handmades to fulfil my dream of making a living from making things. While both my work and myself have evolved since I first started this handmade journey, the guiding fundamentals of my creations have never been clearer: I want to tell stories, evoke emotions and capture memories while committing to working in tandem with nature in a mindful and conscious way. My passion in fibre and textiles led me to discover natural dyeing which has opened my eyes to the ancient art of creating colours with nature and the magical process has let me connect with nature like never before.
From sourcing botanicals to create one of a kind imprints to cooking thick brews to bath fabric in, each step is a test of patience, mindfulness and trust, that nature will take its course if you let it. Just like fresh produce or flowers that mark the changes in seasons, natural dyeing is also a reflection of the Mother Earth’s cycles, creating seasonal snapshots of geographical locations. The many variables that play a part in the natural dyeing alchemy also means every piece is unique and one of a kind, making them perfect symbols of special milestones or sentimental occasions that can be treasured for years to come.
Sustainability is something I feel strongly for and at MELO handmades, I try my best to create as mindfully as I can. I use non-toxic metallic salts to pre-treat my fibres and source my dye stuffs consciously, collecting my own food and floral waste, gathering botanical windfalls and also growing my own pesticide-free flowers. I take time to consider and cut my patterns with as little wastage as possible and off cuts are used for wrapping or tying in the studio while water used to rinse dyed pieces are reused in steaming bundles or washing up. Gift boxes are also made from recycled material while other packaging items such as ribbons and mailing pouches can be easily reused or recycled. As a small, independent maker myself, I believe in supporting other independents and buy my supplies from small businesses as much as possible.