Melissa Bonney | Who's Your
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WHO'S YOUR? is the curated black book of the best in their business.

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Melissa Bonney

Founder and Director of The Design Hunter
Melissa is the mastermind behind The Design Hunter - an interior decorating company featuring an online store and a boutique in Bronte full of Melissa’s favourite homewares. As director and designer for the business, Melissa is responsible for providing clients with a design experience like no other, which she consistently achieves thanks to her eye for detail and keen business sense. With more than 18 years of experience in the industry, we find out Melissa’s tips for styling your own home.

Name: Melissa Bonney

Home is? Kingsford, NSW.

What do you do? I’m an interior designer with a design showroom, office and retail space in Charing Cross, a little local village in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Every woman should own?
Her own bank account!  I think financial independence is something that’s important for women of all ages regardless of your personal circumstance.

I want…
An amazing piece of Lisa Madigan art from her new collection -“Black Vanquish” is my absolute favourite!

Where do you discover new brands to stock in your store? I do a lot of online research – at least two to three hours a day on blogs, online magazines and websites like ETSY and MADE IT – and a lot of reading.  I talk to lots of people about their ideas and experiences and draw inspiration from that.  I also love trawling the local markets and shops wherever I travel – whether it’s overseas or in a small town locally.

What are your top five must-haves?

1. Good jeans – I have 23 pairs!
2. Magazines – I subscribe to 11 different ones from all over the world.  They keep me inspired.
3. The perfect teacup – I’m a tea drinker and love a great cup. It’s all about the cup.
4. A great necklace – I love CodeLove – we have their latest collection in the store.  She hand makes everything with the most beautiful gemstones and metals.  Divine!
5. An awesome chair – perfect for curling up with a magazine and a cup of tea. My favourite dream chair is the Panna chair by Moroso!

You’ve got impeccable taste but also a keen business sense. What are your top tips for women wanting to start their own company?

1. Research your market well before your start – know your target market, your competitors and your unique selling point.
2. Don’t do it by halves – if you can’t afford to start your business properly and invest in systems, staff, fit out, marketing and so on, then wait until you can.  Don’t underestimate the value of good marketing – it will make or break a new business.  There’s no point in having an amazing business if no one knows about it.
3. Follow your gut instinct – for me it’s usually right!  Do what you love and love what you do.

Tips to cultivate a great workspace? An open-plan layout for collaborating easily but with space for everyone to work on their own as well, a great pinboard for inspiration and the odd to-do list. Great organisation keeps things running smoothly – loads of in-trays, folders and so on.

Best and worst things about social media? 

BEST – It’s so far reaching and can access such a potentially large number of people in a way that’s never been possible before!

WORST – It can be invasive if you don’t set boundaries with it – it makes you accessible by everyone 24/7.  Plus you need to be very careful how you portray yourself and your business – it’s out there forever!

How do you jazz up a plain white wall?  Wallpaper is my favourite way to instantly inject life into a white space. Art is always an easy way to do something less permanent – think outside the box though and mount baskets or trays on the wall, collect dried palm fronds and arrange them… the list is endless.  If you’re using multiple pieces try using an odd number – it generally looks better!

 

  • Great design is important across all categories... Who’s your graphic designer?
  • I always get asked for the number of our graphic designer – we work with the lovely Stephanie Tesoriero. Her number is 0422 537 697 and her email is Stephanie.tesoriero@gmail.com.