I (=brittni) recently had the pleasure of interviewing Gemma Antelo, who is the proud mother of two children and the owner and creator behind Meli Melon, a handmade children’s clothing line. Gemma currently lives and works in a beautiful Barcelona home, all the while balancing life as a mom and a creator and artist. Hope you enjoy the tour…
I live with my hubby and my two little princesses in an old Mediterranean style house in the mountains surrounding Barcelona. We moved here two years ago from a small flat downtown because we needed to take a break from the city madness, and actually we still haven't finished the renovation of our home.
In everything! Before moving to this house, I was working as a freelance graphic designer. I was very stressed and didn't have the time my family deserved, so I decided to become a stay-at-home mum. But I was a little bored, so I begin sewing my children’s clothes and this is how I eventually ended up opening my Etsy shop.
On average, about how much time per week are you able to put into creating for Meli Melon?
Maybe the average time is around 20 hours per week, but if I'm very busy, I can work up to 35 hours or more. I start working at 9:30 am and at 11:30, I take a half an hour break and drink something on my terrace if it's sunny. Then I keep working until lunch time and then spend the time before the children are out of school in promoting, taking photos and other "not creating" working tasks. On Fridays, I go to the flea market and to my favorite supplies shops, so it's my favorite weekday.
Once someone asked Picasso the secret of being successful, and he answered that the inspiration always has to find you working... As a stay-at-home mom, my daughters come first, so I decided to hang a big timetable and clock in my sewing room wall to be the most productive I can while they are at school. Also, my iBook is my best friend, so I make most of my promotion efforts when I'm in bed at late night.
Being organized has been the key to having fun while working and helps me keep calm when I'm very busy. And if the inspiration finds me cooking dinner, it will have to wait until next morning.
I really love my almost one hundred years old sewing machine, and it's still working!
It once belonged to my great grandmother and whenever I look at it, I am always reminded of my childhood and my mother, who left us a few years ago.
When we bought the house, it was really ugly, so we have changed almost everything. We still haven't finished the terrace and the garden, but hope will be able to do it in the spring. The only thing we decided to keep as original was the kitchen, that has a really country and warm look. There is an antique fuel wood cooking kitchen that my husband restored and we often use it on cold winters.
I'm usually the "home maid", but my daughters really enjoy helping me make great cakes and muffins, and on Sundays, my husband cooks "paella" for us and sometimes a few friends. I love guests!
I studied Fine Arts, so I have lots of artist friends that help me decorating my home. I love painting too, so I have some of my own creations hanging on the walls. And one of my favorite pieces is a sculpture my sister made on hard stone that is titled
The playing room is where all the family spends the most funny time of day. We decorate it thinking about creating a comfortable place to be together while playing, watching a movie or listening to music. I also spend a lot of time painting a lot of flowers and butterflies on the wall, and my children love it. So, this room is always sunny, even when it's raining outside.
I love to make big collective paintings with all the family together! I also try to spend a lot of time making crafts and playing with the toy kitchen with my girls. I think too that books are the best way to develop their creativity and actually I'm currently reading to them "The Small Prince", my favorite book.