2019 Retrospective

The last quarter of 2019 was uncomfortably challenging, the kind of uncomfortable that had us wanting to close shop and never write this post… A wave of negativity washed over us after a disastrous project but knowing that future us would be grateful for documenting this and more, how could we write off the first three quarters because of unrealistic expectations, mismatched trust and a dodgy contractor or three on a single project! Time has a funny way of healing and so maybe next year we will be able to look back on this learning curve with smile.

This year of growth was made achievable with the support of this community. Thank you for each and every like, comment, subscribe and share – we notice them all, its these small gestures that make a big difference in the day of a small business. 

2019 Top Nine

Our 2019 goal was to collaborate and collaborate we did…

On the eve of 2019 I was approached by Design Indaba 2019 to create a limited edition candle for their Capsule Collection, a retail space of hyper-curated collections featuring limited-edition made-for-Design Indaba gems by local talent…

Having come off the back of an incredibly successful collab with M/MSKII, I knew that producing a sister range to the Floral Slumber collection would have you swooning all over it. Introducing our Nature v. Nurture collection, inspired by the contrast of the lines, shapes and textures of the Cederberg Mountains and soft scents that evoke feelings of care and comfort.

A soothing blend of neroli and vanilla organic essential oils delicately infused into soy wax and hand poured into these limited edition, bespoke M/mskii ceramic vessels. There are only 29 units in this series, now sold out, each candle came with a certificate of authenticity.

Here at SML we do full scale interior design but like to fill our schedule between projects with smaller maintenance projects. This all while consulting and styling for clients who need quick advice or to simply brighten up a tired space.

For the first 6 months of this year we were focused on two large scale renovation projects – The House Vrede and House De Wet project. You can watch the full transformations saved to the highlight reel over on Instagram.

House Vrede – Kitchen before.
House Vrede – Kitchen after.

We then went on to complete House Thomson, VC no.4 Bathroom Reno, House Adderley, House Citadel and a string of maintenance projects in-between all while working on The Armoury project which we will be excitedly kicking off again early 2020.

My dream for Studio Melissa Louise has been to bring people together, to connect with one another through creativity. This year, April, I took a giant leap into launching candle making workshops. We first hosted a workshop with a few friends, people who have supported me through the years and showed kindness as I navigated this unfamiliar space, since then we have hosted 6 workshops – this has been a personal highlight of 2019!

We hope to host our #SMLcandlemaking workshops monthly next year,  sign up to our mailer to be the first to know about new 2020 dates.

Heading into the new year these 3 simple steps to organising your space still apply… and we will be here rehashing our 2019 goals tweaking them for a stronger Studio Melissa Louise both personally and professionally next year!

Thank you for a full and exciting (keeping us on our toes) 2019! Happy holidays everyone.


Written, compiled and photographed by Melissa Lawrence. 

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