The blurry line of when I really started this business is… well – blurry. You see I have always worked hard, as a scholar, as a student and then when working as a young professional – I had holiday jobs, I always had freelance clients, I was constantly busy with side projects and I very rarely said no to things. As I unpack these thoughts and emotions it seems that maybe I have been preparing for this my whole life… Running my own business – it’s a lifestyle not a 9-5. I work crazy hours, I am on call every day of the week and I have an emotional connection to the people I work with, clients and colleagues. These connections is the thing that compels me to do what I do, to create beautiful functional spaces. I am my business and the more I realise that, the more I see how it’s okay that things don’t go to plan or that I have slower days and go for runs during my lunch break to clear my head. I am human and humans run businesses – I simply cannot do it all, all of the time! and that friends, is a summary of year two as a solopreneur!
I was retrenched in July 2017 and August 1st was the start of a very scary chapter for me but looking back two years I am so grateful for the opportunity to work for myself. The freedom that comes with running your own business is like no other, sure things can be difficult but things are really great too. I had unknowingly set myself up for this pivotal life shift, owning a small business, something my comfort zone would have never allowed me to do. It has taken me a while to truly believe it when I say “I run my own business”, because honestly some days I feel like I just sit on the couch with my cats cuddled at my feet while I troll Pinterest, 3D model (which is much like playing SIMS for those who can relate) and sip on herbal tea. A perk of the job sometimes dressed as self doubt. This is the most unconventional work life I dreamed for myself, yet, I contribute to our family in a way that I could never while working 9-5, I manage my schedule, I support young creatives through job creation and I host workshops and share my knowledge with amazing people.
So, today two years ago Studio Melissa Louise(SML) officially went independent! But it is so much more than that – originally launched in 2012 as a personal blog offering freelance interior design consulting, the Melissa Louise brand has evolved and in 2016 we launched our signature range of candles, then since 2017 we have been offering full scale interior design solutions and creative consulting full time. I will no longer be celebrating the day of my retrenchment, today I celebrate independence and a 3 and a half year old business.
Thank you so much for your support over the years. Every comment, message, like or share is appreciated and doesn’t go unnoticed.
Reflecting on the the past two years… Our first year of independence was a whirlwind of getting systems and processes in place as we worked our way from project to project learning as we went. This year has been nothing short of exciting…
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, You can still shop this range online here – we courier nation wide to your door and each candle comes 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 have been 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 or you can sign up to our mailer where we will be exclusively sharing the project before and afters over the next two months. eeeek! These projects were so much fun, creatively and technically.
A project timeline is entirely up to you as the client, SML is here to guide you – we are ready to be contracted at any stage of your interior design process be it at conceptualisation, the design stage, procurement or project management and implementation.
Apart from full scale interior design we also offer social and content marketing, styling and photography – this has also thankfully taken off this year. We have acquired two new retainer clients (more of which I will share come September) and we have worked independently with smaller brands like Plantify , creating beautiful content for their Pretty Blog campaign.
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 workshops in both June and July with another sold out workshop scheduled for August. We hope to host these workshops over the next few months and into next year, you can book your seat for our September date now (only 5 seats per workshop) or sign up to our mailer to be the first to know about new dates.
It never gets old having our work featured in the press , each time I gush with pride and to top it off just last month I was highlighted as an Interior influencer to follow by Livingspace Magazine. Without pressure, may the years to come be filled with growth, understanding and great community…
To celebrate today we are having a 24 hour flash sale, you can shop two of our signature scented candles for 50% less. *Cape Town CBD delivery or collection only.
Written, compiled and photographed by Melissa Lawrence.