Not only sportsmen ride a bicycle. There are many successful people that are not in sports who ride a bicycle all the time… One of them is Melina Marelja, Bikademy model, ambassador, and our-long time friend runs a Croatian design studio from Zagreb – KON2RE studio. Besides meditation and a sustainable lifestyle, the bicycle is one of her essentials.
She’s creative, a traveler, a slow-fashion role-model, and much more. That’s why in this #BikademyInterview she tells us what’s it like to run your own design studio, about perfect accessories for city cycling, and great places for cycling in Zagreb.
Tell us more about yourself and Your brand KON2RE?
Kon2re Studio is a Croatian design studio designing unique, handmade and sustainable products with curiosity, respect for the craft and natural resources. Having this in mind, Kon2re design philosophy is a slow fashion production which ensures quality, design awareness and conscious manufacturing.
As a designer and owner of Kon2re Studio located in Zagreb Croatia, I always dreamed of becoming a designer. I graduated in 2004 from the Faculty of Textile Technology majoring in the design of clothes. After gaining various experiences in the fashion and film industry, in 2012, I decided to open my design studio, Kon2re Studio. Since then, I am fully immersed in spreading awareness about the ecological potential of materials and the product itself; creating products unburdened by seasons, or rather a product that has no expiration date.
We often see You cycling in Zagreb! Why bicycle?
For me the most suitable means of transportation is a bicycle, so you can often see me driving one around running my errands. Besides its ecological and health-friendly advantages, it’s also a great and easy way to explore cities and countries.
You designed several bag models… what can You recommend as a accessories for cycling and commuting?
All my models from Party bag to Attitude Backpack are suitable for riding a bicycle. The emphasis in approaching the design is on the multifunctionality – one product/Bag can transform into several different models just by changing the way one wears it. The customer can adjust the product any way that suits him, depending on his Attitude and daily needs.
You like to travel a lot! What are the favorite places You visited and do You find inspiration on Your trips?
I love to travel and experience new places. One of my favorite places is definitely Arcachon in France with its beautiful Great Dune de Pyla; it was truly magical. Like every change of environment, it is bound to change your mind and perspective, so I found traveling inspirational and motivating for sure. The last year proved to be challenging in every aspect, with no traveling and staying in one place for so long, but it brought to the surface other areas that otherwise may not have. So, I am very grateful to be where I am right now, still operating as usual in my little studio, doing the best I can.
You became Bikademy Ambassador! What would You recommend to visit in Zagreb for all those who visit it? By bicycle, if possible 🙂
So happy to become one of Bikademy Ambassadors; hopefully, I will make you proud and try to add up my miles as often as I can. The most frequent place I visit with my bike is a green oasis Jarun. Its located outside of the city centre and it’s a great place to chill and ride the bike with no worries in sight. Also one of the great places to visit with your bike is Maksimir park, another green wonder, closer to the city centre, but somehow in its own world.
Back to KON2RE! What are Your next moves and plans?
If this year taught me anything is to make plans no matter what, have goals, write it down. There is a 50/50 chance that most of them will come true or even create some better opportunities. Some plans for last year was postponed like trade fairs and exhibitions, but others like my new webshop (www.kon2re.com) finally came to life because I had more time to work on it. So, I allowed myself to go easy and not stress too much.
This year most of my plans include new designs I am working on and testing natural, renewable and vegetarian materials. Since all of them are obtained from other countries, shipping is the main factor when everything will be ready to showcase. But no matter what I have great faith that everything will show itself when it’s ready, there is no rush in anything.
When do You plan to cycle all Bikademy exams in Zagreb?
Well, hopefully, it will be this year. ? I will do my best to fulfill my role as a Bikademy ambassador to the best of my abilities and keep you up to date with my progress through your app, no room for slacking ?