Melissa, the soul behind the brand

Meet Melissa de Valera, the young, dynamic and courageous woman who gave birth to the Takla Makan adventure!

Here some clues to understand this generous and talented designer, who is the true soul of Takla Makan: her life story and values are writing Takla Makan’s story.

Melissa 2

After some years between France and India, deepening my culture and knowledge in Indian traditional textiles, I finally settled in Pondicherry and founded Takla Makan, a dream mixing my different passions: Indian traditional textiles, vegetable dyes, fashion and social actions for women. (see more about Takla Makan’s story)

I am a determined woman. These past few years, I have put all my energy and heart to maintain and develop this aspiring project. I have learned tremendously from this adventure, and I am still learning! You can see the different steps of my life and maturity across the former collections, as each of them are marked with my personal touch and emotions at the time of their creation.

What “ethical” means for me?

Ethical for me is a way of life, that ought to embrace all components of one’s life, it means using our consciousness in every action, every decision, and trying our best to do what seems right: with people, with natural resources.. The risk is to get trapped in habits and take the easy way when one can do better. Life is a treasure that has been given to us, ethics draws us to respect and help everyone around us grow and blossom.

What the adventure Takla Makan taught me?

Takla Makan has been an unending source of learning: I made a lot of mistakes, creationwise, businesswise, HRwise. I am trying to learn everyday from all this incredibly solid experience, and to grow into a better, glowing, and successful woman.

What is my dream for Takla Makan?

Obviously, I wish to continue and make the project blossom. But I also picture a kind of projects incubator with other green designers. I would love to devote more of my time to design for the traditional crafts…

What is a responsible consumption for me?

Responsible consumption for me is again a whole way of life, that goes from not accepting plastic bags when you go shopping, to eating local and organic and buying clothes that are meaningful. Over the years, I have almost stopped buying garments, nowadays I purchase mostly creations that blow my mind by their beauty or complexity, or basics – that I need – made in organic material by NGO’s or socially-oriented designers.

Why India?

That’s a difficult question to answer: India is a country I have dreamed about all my childhood, and where I have spent most of my adult time… It has become a part of me, and despite all the difficulties and drawbacks, especially for a woman, I feel good here…