Melanie, the founder of Melly Raya
Melanie, the founder of Melly Raya, has had a life steeped with influences of interior design, film making and a decade of living in Asia…
‘My mother was a huge influence on my design creativity, constantly moving from one house project to the next – growing up I watched her style all of our houses to perfection. Whilst this is a normal practice nowadays, back in the 70’s nobody did this… As children all of our trips to London were built around our mother’s mandatory visits to the Designers Guild on the King’s Road and London estate agents for design inspiration - needless to say I now love Tricia Guild!’
My childhood walks with my mother were also memorable - she was passionate about nature and a lover of wildflowers at a time when everyone else just loved carnations! As a hater of concrete, she would drum into us that ‘there are no straight lines in Nature’. This mantra has unconsciously filtered its way into influencing my designs for Melly Raya…
My mother wanted a "National Wildflower Day” where everyone would throw a packet of Wildflower seeds. So as a thank you to her for inspiring me with her incredible gift of style, vision of design and love of nature, I’m going to make a promise to give back to nature and include a packet of seeds with every Melly Raya cushion sold.’
Melanie founded Melly Raya in 2020.
“After many years in the film industry I felt it was time to hang up my producer boots and get the paint box out. I knew I had a deep passion for fabrics and textile design, as I have wardrobes full of fabric samples - there’s no room for my clothes! It was just a case of being brave enough to roll up my sleeves and say, “Right, Let's Go!”. During lockdown, with the gift of time to really stop, stare and observe Spring flowers, fabric designs started to consume my life and feed my soul and wellbeing.
All my textile designs are hand painted, inspired by the plants and wonderful ‘unseen’ heroes found in my mountain garden in Alaro, Mallorca, and this gave rise to our first design the
“Thistle Collection” range. All my designs come from the heart, if a plant is green, it comes out blue on the page - that’s just how it is. I have never been formally trained or follow any rules, I just seem to have an eye for designing patterns. I guess after years of film making and editing you get used to sensing what feels right and how get the best out of a creative process - following your intuition is really important.
When I’m happy with my designs they are then printed in Jaipur using an ancient hand block technique delivered by experienced local artisans.