At Mia Mélange we aim to create high quality handcrafted products, by using the best local materials we can find. Each one of our products is carefully designed and produced with great care and attention to detail. We believe in quality over quantity and prefer hand work over machine whenever possible. 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 design. 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. At our studio in Stellenbosch, we have a small team of highly valued crafters which are carefully trained and given a life skill. About the name- Mélange means mixture / blend in French. It's also a type of yarn that is commonly used in the textile and fashion industries. The yarn is typically made up of different kinds of fibers, or different colored fibers, which are blended together in a certain fixed ratio. When applied correctly, mélange yarn can be knitted or woven into a rich multicolored / textured fabric, which can be used for various purposes. The idea behind the name 'Mia Mélange' arose out of a desire to create a collection of eclectic products, with a strong emphasis on the bountiful world of textiles. Mia Mélange was founded by Mia Danieli in 2014. Our items can be purchased in local designer shops across South Africa and in selected boutiques overseas. Mia Mélange is 100% handmade in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Interview with Mia (Copyright by Highlightmyday, Zurich, Switzerland 05.09.2015) How do you chose your patterns and materials? For me these decisions are very intuitive and depend on the product, it’s shape and function. I tend to be drawn to natural materials, though I like to experiment with new things all the time.
Do you use your own products yourself ? And where and how ? Yes. I have a floor basket in the living room where I keep small cuddle blankets and I use the ceramic rejects in my kitchen.
Could you describe in a few words the production process of your products - from the idea to the production? My rope items are basically created from allot of experimentation and playing around. Sometimes I have a very clear idea of what I would like to achieve and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I think I know what I want to make and it turns into something else. Generally speaking, the function or sometimes a specific form that I want to make, guide me all along the creation process. Are there people helping you with the production and if yes who ? At this point I’m still mainly producing alone, but i’m in the process of looking for some help with the sewing. The ceramics are the only thing I don’t do myself.
Is your work influenced by the culture and heritage of South Africa and if yes how ? I would say that my work is mainly inspired by nature and everyday life and things that surround me. I’m very intrigued by the different cultures and complex heritage that this country has, as well as the mind-blowing nature I’m surrounded with.
If you had to describe your home town in three words - which words would you chose ? Simple. Small. Warm.
Your vision about South Africa? Mmm… complex, but good. I see a new generation that is starting to change this place for the better. Little by little.
Your favourite spot in South Africa? Hard to say. This country doesn’t lack in good spots! The Cape. The ocean. The coast.
Your favourite dish? Hard question. I'm such a food lover! South African dish?! A handmade farm venison pie with roasted vegetables.
Any new projects ? Yes. Working on a dyed basket and bag collection!
What are you reading currently? The 7 habits of highly effective people, by Stephen R. Covey
What music are you listening to at the moment? Florence And The Machine