Without a doubt the highlight of our recently released Holiday collection are our collaborative designs created with Den Studios.
Den Studios is led by the gorgeously creative mind of Melita Dedden, also a Mama to two little tots. You may recognise her signature playful prints as seen in the collections of By Billie, Chekoh and Lillefolk.
To celebrate the launch of our collaboration we sat down with Melita to chat about the inspiration behind her designs, being a creative Mama and her coastal lifestyle. We are hugely appreciative to Melita for her time and for sharing a little bit of her creative magic with us to create these designs!
Please describe a little bit about you, your family and your work.
I’m Melita Dedden, director and designer of textile pattern design agency Den Studios. I live on the South Coast of NSW with my husband Brent and our two girls Arley – nearly 5 and Romy – 8 months. My journey into surface pattern design started sort of accidentally after collaborating on some prints with a girlfriends' brand a couple of times. Interest started to grow quickly so I created Den Studios in October 2020. For the past 2 years I have been designing on the side whilst still working my day job, but I’m hoping to one day soon get the courage to take Den from being my side passion to my full-time job.
The Holiday collection is all about capturing the essence of joyful carefree days, the warm sun and creating tomorrow's future memories. What do these notions evoke for you either growing up or with your own little family?
We actually just got home a few weeks ago after an incredible 3 months travelling around Australia in our caravan, so when I think of joyful, carefree days in the sun I think I will forever be reminded of this trip.
Where did you draw inspiration from for the Sun over Sea and Lemon Floral prints?
Sun over Sea was inspired by a morning I had with my eldest daughter Arley last year. It was getting close to the end of daylight savings and darker mornings, so we decided to walk down to our local beach and watch the early surfers catch some waves whilst the sun came up.
Lemon floral was one of those prints that just kind of evolved. When the Pekpi team approached me to do a couple of prints for The Holiday collection I knew I wanted to do something floral but not typically floral – I played with different shapes and styles and it quickly evolved into this pretty but organic lemon floral print.
Your designs often reference sunny, seaside emblems - this seems like your happy place. What do you love most about being by the ocean?
I’ve grown up and have always lived on the coast – so to me the beach is home. No matter where I am visiting in the world I am always drawn back to the ocean. Even on our caravan travels this year – we spent most of it inland and although we saw incredible landscapes and beautiful bodies of water, nothing compares to that crisp salty feeling that you get from being near the ocean.
As a busy mum, how do you like to get in the creative mindset for work?
For me getting into a creative mindset is heavily influenced by environment. I find I do my best work in spaces filled with fresh air, music, and natural light, so I will quite often work on the veranda whilst Arley is playing in the backyard. Coffee is also a must to help focus on the task at hand.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you and your little ones?
We’re all pretty lazy in the mornings, it usually starts with cuddles in bed followed by coffee and breaky. The rest of the day is spent either at the beach, Narrawallee inlet or park, filled with loads of snacks, catch ups with friends or my parents, a couple of cat naps for Rom, a bit of work for me and playing puzzles or mums and babies with Arls. Brent my husband works from home so we are home for lunch with him most of the time so he can have some time with the girls, then before we know it it’s time for the dinner/bath/bed routine.
What is your favourite thing about the stages of life your children are currently at?
For Arley it’s watching her take on the role of big sister. These last 8 months she has really grown up, and although a big part of me is grieving her not being my baby anymore, I am so proud of the big girl she is becoming and I just love watching the way she dotes on her baby sister – even if she is a little heavy handed at times.
Romy, it’s all the firsts – her first smiles, first word – she just said Dada for the first time this week. We’re not planning to have any more babies so I’m really trying to savour all of these firsts and take it all in.
The Pekpi lifestyle is all about the journey to sustainable living. What are some of the ways you try to be more eco-friendly as a young family?
Sustainability is something that we are continually trying to incorporate into our household. When we built our new home one of the first things we knew we wanted for the house was a solar panel system big enough to power our home and also feed back to the grid. We also use eco-friendly products throughout the house, compost our scraps and recently built a veggie patch in the backyard.
We also understand the importance of education when it comes to sustainable living so we are continually teaching our girls the importance of living a sustainable life doing little things like teaching Arls about what things she consumes are recyclable and using items like boxes, toilet rolls, jars and packaging - things that would normally end up in the recycling bin to create her craft projects.
What would we find in your mum-bag?
Always a packet of eco baby wipes because when are they ever not handy. Snacks – because I literally hear “Mum I’m hungry” 450 times a day and a small notebook and pen to quickly sketch out ideas when they come to me throughout the day.