Fashion designer Melissa Jansen says that if it was not for her family’s support, her business would not be thriving. Her family played a part in starting Forevermel Couture, helping it grow and ensuring that she continued with her journey even when wanting to throw in the towel. She started out when a family friend saw her potential while she was in high school.
“I didn’t plan on being a designer, but I was artistic from an early age,” Jansen told Vutivi News. “I started Forevermel Couture when I was in high school in 2014 when a family friend organised a fashion show and asked me to stitch a few garments together to showcase my artistic ability. “I tried it (and) the fashion show was a success and people assumed that I could design.”
Jansen, who is from Sonland Park in Emfuleni, Gauteng, said her family brainstormed with her until she came up with the name of her business. She now specialises in formal and streetwear, and her customers are largely based in Vaal and Johannesburg. She is also the owner of Curated By Forevermel, which she started this year.
“I would always organise gifts for my friends because I hate giving bad gifts so I would encourage them to put in more effort in their gifting,” Jansen said. “One of my friends approached me before Valentine’s Day and she said that a lot of people are looking for gifts during Valentine’s Day, and that’s how I started the gifting business.” Her clients are based across the country as she uses a courier service to get gifts to them.
“I design the gift according to a customer’s needs. One of my bestsellers is the Spotify panel as a photo frame, where I would add a picture of the couple in question,” she said. “My gifts are for couples and loved ones mostly, ranging from infants to grandparents.”
Jansen said that it was not for her family, she would have given up. “In the business world we won’t always strive and when I would take a knock, I had the family that picked me up,” she said. “There were times when I wanted to give up and my family would ask me how I could give up when I made so many people happy and the impact I had on people’s lives,” the designer said. “They would always…pick me up and would remind me to push and that there is greatness in me. Even if I slack, I have them pushing and motivating me.”