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Melissa creates small-batch bath and body remedies from natural, locally sourced ingredients from her Melbourne home.

13 September 2019

Designer Spotlight: bee one of a kind

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Mother, ex disability worker, and natural therapy Queen Bee, Melissa: “It’s about granting others time to indulge and treat their mind and body with the love and respect they deserve

My name is Melissa Mendes, I am 39 years old and reside in Coburg Victoria. My brand is bee one of a kind- a collection of artisan bath and body products handmade in Melbourne. I am a solo artist and create everything from scratch- a one woman show.

Handmade natural detox bath salts by bee one of a kind

I am married with one daughter, Luna, (3.5years) who is a huge inspiration to what I do. Formulating natural and non-toxic skin care is important to me and my family, and I am a huge believer in natural remedies for the better health of those around me.

Natural skincare maker, Melissa, with her daughter and inspiration, Luna; ‘Formulating natural and non-toxic skincare is important to me and my family’

Travel is also a passion as my family and I make it a priority to see the world at least twice a year. Since Luna was 4 months old, we have travelled to 22 countries and we have witnessed wonder and awe in the way she has developed and grown.

Melissa creates small-batch bath and body remedies from natural, locally sourced ingredients from her Melbourne home.

Bee one of a kind is my pride and joy and this is my sole focus, to grow and successfully establish my brand.

Melissa at work on her products; ‘My creative space is simply my kitchen and every nook and cranny is filled to the brim with my stock and ingredients’

I run my business from home. My creative space is simply my kitchen and every nook and cranny is filled to the brim with my stock and ingredients. Working from home allows me to set my hours and work as I need to, with everything I need at hand.

Hand measuring, mixing and pouring handmade skincare concoctions

My creative process involves ideas and formulations created by nature. Using natural ingredients, all locally sourced, is what drives me.

A mesmerising swirl of handmade Luna shine body oil in progress; ‘using natural ingredients, all locally sourced, is what drives me’.

I am inspired by my own personal family traditions. My grandmother was a very determined, resourceful and hands on woman, even up until her late 80s, she was making everything by hand, providing for her family. She grew her own fruit and vegetables and from a very tender age of 3, I remember my Nonna making her very own soap. This was something that left a lasting impression on me.

Melissa’s grandmother and inspiration for her interest in self-sufficiency; ‘My grandmother was a very determined, resourceful and hands on woman, even up until her late 80s, she was making everything by hand’

Being brought up in an Italian family, using local ingredients and growing your own was something that was always valued in my family. My grandmother passed away early this year at the resilient age of 97. She holds a very dear place in my heart and her life lessons will be cherished forever.



I initially worked in the human services sector for 15 years as a disability service officer. Given my family background in disability, I felt this path was near and dear to my heart. After various roles in not only disability, but also Protective services, I soon realised it was taking a toll on my emotional and mental health.

Bee one of a kind natural skincare products, beautifully wrapped in sustainable brown paper and string with a touch of nature’

I set about a change of career in 2011 and followed my passion for coffee. I worked at a renowned coffee roaster in Carton for 3 years and it was here that I came up with the idea to use leftover coffee grounds to make coffee body scrubs. This then triggered an interest in learning more, and so I set about a course in Natural Therapies.

Bee one of a kind’s handmade coffee zest body scrub; ‘I spent most of my pregnant months on a mission to eliminate toxins from our home’

It wasn't long after my studies, I discovered I was pregnant! I spent most of my pregnant months on a mission to eliminate toxins from our home and created my own natural products. Melissa is the Greek name for ‘honey bee’ and so it seemed the perfect name for my new business venture.

20-year-old soap made by Melissa's grandmother

What I love about handmade is that there is a piece of the maker behind every product. A story to tell. We put all our love and passion into creating something and want to share it with the community. Handmade is unique, it is rare and so heartfelt.

Melissa sporting one of her own natural handmade face masks; ‘My idea behind bee one of a kind involves being kind to yourself and being one with nature’

There is a quote that really resonated with me and it states, “when people buy handmade, they are not buying what you do, but why you do it.” I love that. My idea behind bee one of a kind involves being kind to yourself and being one with nature. It refers to allowing time for ourselves, being gentle and forgiving. It's not just about selling bath salts or oils, it's about granting others time to indulge and treat their mind and bodies with the love and respect they deserve.

A pretty stick of natural rose gold lip tint handmade by bee one of a kind

I have been selling with Madeit since the very beginning. It has been an amazing platform for launching my business and the support has been next to none. I know that there are like-minded people out there, doing and creating what they love and sharing it all with people who truly appreciate what we do.



Visit bee one of a kind to find handmade bath and body remedies straight from nature : Beeoneofakind

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