This week we spoke to Melly Lym, founder of Malang-Malang, a ceramics brand she owns and runs by herself. Melly is very passionate about what she does and is inspired most by nature and being outdoor. Melly shares with us how her lovely grandmother sparked her love for flowers and how they bond over plants to this day. Read on to find out more about Melly's passions and plans!
Hey Melly! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do
Hi! My name is Melly Lym and I’m an artist/ceramicist based in LA. I’m also the founder of Malang-Malang, a one-person-owned ceramics brand. Working with clay and painting are my passions that bring me so much joy.
We love your brand and the aesthetic of your work. Where are you from and where do you call home now?
I was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea! I lived there until I finished middle school and I decided I wanted to study in the US. I’ve been living in LA for 8 years now and I’m feeling more at home here every year.
We have to know--where did your love for flowers come from or what first drew you to flowers?
One of my daily routines that has kept me sane through quarantine and through these years has been walking my dog every morning. We both love our nature walks so much and they truly inspire me all the time. Also I was raised by my grandma until I finished elementary school and I grew up watching her care for her plants like her babies. Now we love to communicate over the phone to talk about how our plants are doing. It’s one of the sweetest moments I have with my grandma that I want to cherish forever. My grandma’s favorite flowers are Cosmos flowers. They are wild flowers that you can see often in Korea. That’s where I got the idea to paint my petal flowers. My personal favorite are tulips and I try to incorporate them often in my own work.
What a beautiful bond you have with your grandmother. What are you working on at the moment?
I am actually working on something that’s not clay related! It’s been my longtime goal to work with children and I’m working on getting my teaching credential to teach elementary school students. My big goal for Malang-Malang is to open a ceramics studio one day just for kids where they feel safe, loved, and can be as creative as they want to be.
That would be incredible! We need more elementary teachers like you. What are some inspiring words you love and live by?
I have had many people in my life who tried to take control over how I live my life and it’s been a struggle. Now I always remind myself it’s my life and I can live however I want to!
Sounds so freeing. What’s a daily ritual that’s made an impact in your life?
Walking my dog Boonda for my morning ritual. I just learned to crochet this year and it’s become my nightly routine before I go to bed. There’s something therapeutic about working with yarns. It helps me clear my head.
What are you drinking and eating currently?
I can’t get enough of drinking black bean soy milk with my coffee. I used to love my black coffee but once I tried my black bean soy milk with it, I couldn't stop! This might sound crazy but for breakfast, I like to make oatmeal porridge. I boil the oatmeal with soy based broth and some green onions and I crack an egg in there and mix it up to make it more gooey. Then I eat it with some kimchi. The color might freak you out but it’s really good!
Love some good kimchi. What brings you pure joy?
Eating yummy food with people I love. A spontaneous day where I don’t set any plans.
Who is someone that had the most impact in your life for the better?
My sweetest angel grandma.
And lastly, Where do you find inspiration or what have you found super inspiring lately?
Quick fire Q’s
- I live and work at my own pace and not comparing myself to others.
- I have a lot but I would pick Hunger by Roxane Gay for my favorite book of this year. I used to and still struggle with my body image issues and this book helped me connect with someone else who went through a similar experience with me.
Favorite food to cook?
- Korean soups! It’s hard for me to pick just one.
- Ponyo On the Cliff
What is one advice you would tell your “younger self”?
- Don’t rush yourself to find what you want to do in life. Don’t try to change yourself to how other people want you to be.
If you would like to learn more about, or connect with Melly, follow the links below: