Profile: Melissa Mendes/bee one of a kind
This is the amazing Melissa Mendes.
She is 39 years old and lives in Coburg, Victoria. Her brand is bee one of a kind (est 2014) a collection of handcrafted, natural self-care products, designed to inspire women to prioritise their wellbeing.
Melisa is a solo artist and creates everything from scratch - a one woman show. She is married with one daughter, Luna (4years) who is a huge inspiration to Melissa. Formulating natural and non-toxic skin care is important to her and her family; Melissa says she “is a huge believer in natural remedies for the better health of those around me.”
Travel is also a passion for Melissa and her family and she makes it a priority to see the world at least twice a year. Since Luna was 4 months old, Melissa and her family have travelled to 22 countries and have witnessed wonder and awe in the way Luna has developed and grown. Bee one of a kind is Melissa’s pride and joy and her sole focus is to grow and successfully establish her brand.
Bee one of a kind is run from her home. Melissa’s creative space is simply her kitchen and every nook and cranny is filled to the brim with stock and ingredients.
Her creative process involves ideas and formulations created by nature. Using natural ingredients, all locally sourced, is what drives bee one of a kind. She is inspired by her own family traditions. Melissa’s grandmother was a very determined, resourceful and hands on woman, even up until her late 80s she was making everything by hand and providing for her family. She grew her own fruit and vegetables and from the very tender age of 3, Melissa’s remembers her Nonna making her very own soap. This was something that left a lasting impression. Being brought up in an Italian family, using local ingredients and growing your own was something that was always valued in Melissa’s family. Her grandmother passed away early this year at the resilient age of 97. She holds a very dear place in Melissa’s heart and in her work.
Melissa started her career first in disability services and then in protective services; but she soon realised it was taking a toll on her emotional and mental health. So she set about a change of career in 2011 and sought to embrace her passion for coffee. It was while working at a renowned coffee roaster in Victoria that she came up with the idea to use leftover coffee grounds to make coffee body scrubs. The passion for coffee scrubs turned into further study of Natural Therapies. When Melissa found out she was pregnant not long after her completing her studies, she spent most of her pregnancy (like a lot of other women) on a mission to eliminate toxins from her home. It was during this time she started making her own natural products. Melissa is the greek name for Honey Bee and so it seemed the perfect name for this new business venture.
Melissa thinks you would love her products, because there is something special about handmade. What she loves about handmade is that there is a piece of the maker behind every product. A story to tell. She puts all her love and passion into creating something and wants you to love it to. Handmade is unique, it is rare and so heartfelt. There is a quote that really resonates with her and it states, “when people buy handmade, they are not buying what you do, but why you do it.”
Her idea behind bee one of a kind, is that it involves being kind to yourself and being gentle and forgiving. To Melissa, it’s not just about bath salts or oils, it's about “women granting themselves time to indulge and treat their mind and bodies with the love and respect it deserves.” Carte Home and bee one of a kind both believe that self care should be a priority. So often, we put ourselves last, and this serves no one. Self care is about giving our families the best of us, instead of what is left of us.
We hope you find some time for self care and bee one of a kind products soon. xx