Mia Mélange is a South African home decor & accessories label founded by Mia Danieli.
How did you get inspired starting your own business? How did you have the idea doing baskets made of cotton strings?
I always knew that I always wanted my own business but it is sort of happened on to´s own. After moving overseas to my husband´s home town Stellenbosch, I was looking for a job in my field of studies (Textile Design). While searching, I kept creating an experimenting wit different materials, as I have have always done. Very soon I stumbled upon this wonderful technique and started to make baskets, which I then started selling. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was running my own business.
Do you do all your work by yourself? How does your working day look like?
Not anymore. I currently have one full time employee and I am looking for one more. My days usually start by reviewing our orders and deciding what needs to be done on that day. After I spend some hours on replying to emails and such. Then I either source materials, deliver products to the local shops, work on developing new products, pack-up orders, or help with the sewing. Our days go by so quickly there simply aren´t enough hours in the day.
Please describe the working process of your products.
Our products are made from 100% cotton rope, which is sourced locally. We either use it in its natural form. or dye it. When we dye the rope, we first make different bundles, depending on the desired dying process and that rope is taken to our local dyers. We then sew the cord together in a coiling technique. Each basket has its own unique sewing method, which we developed in order to achieve the different shapes.
What are the most popular products?
It´s hard to say they all sell pretty well, just in different shops. I think it really depends on where they are sold. We sell our baskets to a variety of shops. Some only buy the smaller baskets and some only get the bigger sizes, depending on the type of store and it´s location.
How does a perfect weekend in Cape Town look like?
For me that would be a sunny but cool day maybe 20 degrees. Hiking in the mountains, driving around the peninsula, drinking a bear by the ocean or wine on a farm. There is really so much to do here.
My favorite restaurant - 96 Winery road
... beach - Cool bay
...market - Constantia
...vineyard - Warwick