Q&A - Alex and Ryan from Mahiya

How did Mahiya come into fruition?
It started as just an idea that grew into our first small range of wallets and handbags. We started small to see what the response would be like and it grew organically from there with the addition of constant new designs and the addition of Clothing, footwear, jewellery and accessories.

Can you tell us about the inspiration and creative team behind Mahiya?
I was always a lover of 70s fashion after my mum was a hippy growing up and had a few cool pieces that she kept. I was a bit of a collector of vintage hand tooled leather bags and saw that there really wasn't an updated version on the market. I just designs things that she personally loves and hopes that everyone else will love them too.

With all the material in the world, how do you pick your designs and prints?
We have a fabulous print designer we work with for our clothing designs and when it comes to the leather items I hand draws all of the designs before they head into sample stage. We have sourced beautiful fabrics to incorporate from Mexico, Guatamala, Argentina and also Indonesia. But we tend to just stick to things we love. We don't really follow trends, I love so many different styles that I like to mix it up a bit.

We hear you have a little Mahiya on the way!! Congrats! When are you due and do you have any inspiration in maybe bringing out a kids clothing range?
Thank you yes we are so excited to bring another little human into the world :) He will be arriving late October. If he was a girl I think I would have had more reason to work on a children's range but at present I am just going to focus on being a mum for a while before I think about adding a kids range.

What are you inspired by?
Right now I’m inspired by… Textures, travel, exotic locations and vintage styles . It can be the oddest thing that I can pull inspiration from.

You have a bit going on now with your bags, wallets, clothing and bridal range, so you want to tell us a bit more about how you balance all your projects? There is always something in the works, I like to be constantly designing new leather styles but the clothing range is only 2 collections a year which makes it easier. Our lovely Bridal designer Gabrielle Rose does all of the Bridal designs.

My favourite part of the making process is… 
My favorite parts are definitely seeing the first sample come to life and also the reaction of our customers when we first post a picture of the styles :) All of our styles are designed by myself and hand made in Indonesia

A typical day for me involves... 
It changes on a daily basis but a normal day would be waking up and checking my emails. Working on social media posts and getting back to customers via Instagram and facebook. Checking in with our tailors to keep updated on how manufacturing is going and when deliveries are expected. Working on new marketing ideas and designs. Visiting our the warehouse and showroom to make sure the girls working are fine and dont need anything. There is a whole range of things I will do across the week depending on urgency.

My proudest business moment was… 
I think it would be opening our new showroom and warehouse. It had been a long time coming and to see all of my designs displayed beautifully in our own shop was a very proud moment.

When I started my business, I wish I’d known… 
EVERYTHING! I think when you own your own business you are constantly learning everyday. We haven't had any training or studies business so we are constantly researching and learning new things all the time.

I’d describe my personal style as… 
I find myself mixing my styles with my moods. I definitely love the Bohemian style with floaty florals and fringes but then I also love the relaxed surf beach look as well. Being a professional singer I find that I also get to wear some pretty glamourous outfits for shows and gigs which I love as well. Interior wise I love the shabby chic whaite wash beach house look with a splash of colour.

The first thing I do when I wake up is…  Make me and my husband a coffee to have in bed while we do our emails. We are really early risers so we get a lot of our work done before we even get out of bed in the morning :)

The motto I live by is… 
Work to Live, Not Live To Work... We are all about creating a work life balance. We could be working more hours and making more money if we wanted to but we are all about being able to have a great quality of life and enjoying the freedom we have instead of working a 40 hour week ... AND... Everything tastes better with a little... LOVE💛

I’m hoping 2017 will bring… 
We have already ticked off a lot of our New Year resolutions this year, Opening the shop and warehouse was a big one for us.

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