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Meet the maker: Mia Melange

Meet the maker: Mia Melange

Est 2014, Stellenbosch

Who is Mia Melange?

Mia Mélange is a proudly South African brand that handcrafts interior décor and lifestyle products, using predominantly 100% cotton rope. Our team of talented artisans ethically handcrafts baskets, bowls, planters, bags, ottomans, and more! We aim to create high quality products, by using the best and most sustainable local materials we can find. Each one of our products is carefully designed and produced with great care and attention to detail. Our designs are inspired by a love for nature, texture, natural materials and ancient crafting techniques. We like to combine all of these to create modern and functional designs. We make all our products in our studio in the Winelands town of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

What was the idea behind your brand?

Mia Mélange believes in empowering women and creating opportunities. We are passionate about our local community and strive to
create jobs for previously unemployed women in our area. We aim to teach our
talented team members valuable skills, provide them with an ability to earn a decent income, and empower them to be independent and able to support themselves and their families.

How many people work for you?

We currently have 7 manufacturing artisans, 3 handwork artisans who also help with assisting the shop and 3 office staff.

What are your best sellers?

Our liquorice planters and large floor baskets has always been everyone's favourite.

What is YOUR favourite product of your collection?

The conical basket is definitely my favourite. This product was actually a mistake made by one of our artisans when she first started with us. I think the reason I like it so much is because this product just shows that mistakes are meant to be made and that is the beauty of this product for me.

What to you is the best thing about selling on KNUS?

We love seeing our products on your beautifully curated platform along with other local designers and brands. And we love that you are so focussed on growing your following to increase engagement for these local South African businesses.

How would you say it has impacted your business selling through KNUS?

We have been exposed to a whole different clientele as in the past we were mainly focussed on the tourist market. We have grown a lot since working with you and hope to do so in the future as well!

Why would you say it is important for customers to support local?

Supporting local means that local businesses can perform and grow. This means that more jobs are being created and skills taught. Manufacturing locally also means that our economy is growing as we become more and more able to do everything within SA without having to import from other countries. Initially this will be more expensive, hence the hesitation to pay higher prices, but once we reach a stage where the demand for local products surpass the demand for imported products, the prices will reduce. I don't think the average South African keeps this in mind when purchasing and I think this is very crucial to grow our local production and manufacturing industry.