Company/Designer Name: Astellamelu/Desiree Melusine
Designer Background Summary:
I am a product designer with strong knowledge in developing new products. I have experience in managing the product lifecycle, from creation, prototyping, development and production of fashion accessories.
In 2009 I founded the brand Astellamelu – fashion porcelain accessories & décor pieces. This made me an expert in sourcing materials and manufacturers in Europe and Asia. I often visit international trade fashion fairs: Eclat de mode, SIMM (Madrid International Fashion Week), Bisutex, Iberjoya, Eclat de Mode, Who’s Next, etc..
In September 2011, I was an exhibitor at SIMM (Madrid International Fashion Week) in the sector EGO new designers. A part from the development of products, I love to teach and pass on my knowledge: in 2007 I was monitor at Fine Arts University in São Paulo, and since 2009 I give sewing and jewelry workshops in Lisbon.
I speak four languages that I use in my daily work and throughout my academic and professional training, I attended more than 15 specialized courses in the field of design, materials, manufacturing and software.
Why did you join Noblivity®? Because I think it’s a great idea
How did you get started? I started to create products in 1998, but I officially opened my business ( Astellamelu) in December 2009.
How would you describe your design style, design signature and who is your targeted customer?
The pieces stand out from the world of the jewelry, having as the main material, the porcelain from Limoges. They stand out at all times for their simplicity, though with a touch of audacity, movement and shine. They can seduce and charm everyone.
The inspiration came from Nature in its purest state of beauty: the flowers, plants, raindrops and beautiful colors that nature shows us when spring arrives.
The pieces are for women who like to highlight their beauty with a unique jewelry which make them more feminine, elegant and beautiful. These are women who like to celebrate life, to be charming and also appreciate the simplicity and romanticism.
My design signature is the work I make with the porcelain, giving a beautiful, simple and very feminine forms, with a delicate touch of sparkle.
Presenting a new kind of jewelry to fell in love. Something unique!
What inspires you?
Always nature, food in special the candies.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are?
I still have obstacles, but it’s part of the business. One of them is the suppliers, their minimum quantities is always too much when your are starting. The other one is to find the stores that matches to your products.
How did you overcome the obstacles along the way?
Learning to negotiate with companies, visiting a lot of trade shows, and spending a lot of time to find them on internet.
What has been your greatest moment on your journey so far?
When I got the email, that I was chosen to be part of the selected 21 new designers and present my products to SIMM (Madrid international fashion fair) in 2011.
What has been the biggest change in your designs so far?
For me the biggest change was about the decision in the main material. I have a lot of knowledge in materials, how to work with them and bring this to the jewelry, but this always confused me.
I think my recent collection ( Nature around your neck) is the perfect mix of my knowledge, studies and a lot of experiences in samples to get to this kind of porcelain product.
I remember when I opened my kiln to see the result of the samples for the first time. In that moment, I knew it was my design signature, it was me and exactly what I had in my mind for so long. I wanted to present a new kind of jewelry to the world !
What’s next for your brand?
Oh! A lot of things! In the next collection I can guarantee you will see beautiful jewelry but the new product will be amazing headpieces products!
If money were no object what would you do right now to promote your brand?
More trade shows, hire a PR, a good photographer, web designer and a famous person to be my model.
What are the best and worst things about bringing a product to market?
You can have the best idea or the most beautiful product, but it doesn’t mean that you will have success or that you will sell a lot. Create a product is not about a great idea is about understand your clients and their customers, and create a product to them. When you do it and they loved, it´s the best part.
Describe your typical day?
I start at 9:00 and I finish at 19:00. During the day, I have emails to write, to answer, some calls to make. Talk to clients, find new suppliers and agents, make samples, make first pieces, take photos, find trade shows, etc. Of course I have days that I just produce the pieces and sometimes I give workshops to people.
What is your philosophy of life?
Working in what you love, be flexible to see errors or wrong ideas, persistence, ears and attention to listen to bad opinions about your work, eyes to see more ways to get more market and brain to always be able to develop new products.
A lot of patience, always follow your instinct and never forget the people and clients that compliment your work and believe in you. When you love your work, the word good is never enough. Apart from your work, just enjoy and celebrate life!
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? I would change the structure of my business plan and simplify a lot of things.
When will you know you have made it? When I know I’ll have money enough to pay someone to work with me. I hope soon!!!