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Meanwhile in Melbourne / An Interview with Manuela Millan /

Some time ago now we were lucky enough to meet the founder and editor of Meanwhile in Melbourne, Manuela Millan. What a powerhouse of energy, resources and information Manuela is. Let’s see what drives her – and how we can get some of that!

Please tell us a little about Meanwhile in Melbourne

I am an interior designer by trade and I still work four out of five days in that role. I founded Meanwhile in Melbourne after noticing that there wasn’t a central place to go to find locally designed and/or made furniture, lighting and other design products. At first it was just a way for me to keep track of all the innovative and amazing emerging and established local designers and grew from there.

Our first way of sharing was through Instagram, but people wanted to know more about the stores behind the pictures, so I started the website to delve deeper into that and interview people one-on-one, as well as having a central directory to list out some of the best local designers that I’ve found so far (while adding new ones as I come across them).

What has been your biggest career challenge?

For me it was learning all about online publishing, with the jump from Instagram to the website I had to learn a lot on the go. I knew I loved Melbourne’s local design and I wanted to share it, but I had no idea at first about how to interview people or write up the articles. I had to rely on my drive and enthusiasm and the help of some amazing people to get started. Like anything, it gets easier the more you do it, so I’m always trying to find new ways to do what I love and keep getting better. As well as playing to your strengths, it’s also important to realise what your weaknesses are and seek out people who can help you improve.

Do you believe in work/life balance?

Work/life balance is one of those things that we all know should exist, but it’s so hard to actually make it happen. I’ve been lucky that the company that I work for full-time is very accommodating and understanding about Meanwhile in Melbourne and they’ve given me the time to go for it and make it grow. It’s quite hard to juggle full-time work with building up something like Meanwhile in Melbourne, while also finding time for my family and friends. It’s quite a good problem to have, at the end of the day, to be trying to find the time to do all the things that you love to do.

What are your plans for the future?

For me at the moment it’s all about getting better and more efficient at what I’m doing. I would love to grow Meanwhile in Melbourne even further. I’ve recently launched Meanwhile in Sydney and I’m excited to see that grow too. I’m loving what I’m doing and I just want to keep at it!


Click here to visit Meanwhile in Melbourne.


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