Let me INSPIRE YOU to create your life!

Who is Melanie Brummer?

Some landmarks in my journey...

I began my professional career with cloth in 1993. I would like to share my journey with you, so you can learn from my experiences and enhance your personal journey in the industry.

If I can do it...YOU can too!


In 1993 I started selling tie dyed T-shirts at markets. I would buy cheap Chinese imported T-shirts, add some color, and sell them at a higher price. When business picked up, I started working with CMT factories (cut make and trim) to produce other clothing and styles. Eventually I was producing and selling around 100 garments every week from my stands at different markets. Monday to Friday I would produce clothing, and on weekends I would sell it at markets. In the image above, you see me in my stand among the garments. Everything you see in this picture, including the change room with full length mirror and carpet that you see under our feet, fitted into and onto the roof racks of a very small car.


One day in 2001 I started phoning every clothing manufacturer in the phone book and asking for meetings with their buyers. I would go and see them with a suitcase full of dyed samples. I took a suitcase full of dyed samples to meetings, and asked if they would be interested in my custom dyeing. I got lucky in 2002 when I called up Leopard Frock and asked to meet with them. There I met Marianne Fassler, and it was the luckiest break of my whole career. I did on-going work for her children's label, Sibella, over a period of six years. In the picture below you see us at SA Fashion Week some years later.

In 2004 I attended my first SA Fashion Week event and I dreamed of seeing my finishes on the catwalk. By 2005 they were in collections with JJ Schoeman, Sun Goddess Fashion House, Stoned Cherrie, Black Coffee and Marion & Lindie. The months that followed were very exciting as I watched the images unfold in the press. I dip dyed the silk kaftan in the image below for Stoned Cherrie that season. I was super excited when the garment made it into the Sunday Times.


In 2005 I read an Entrepreneur Magazine that suggested I come up with a product that could be easily replicated if I wanted to scale my business. Manufacturing high end custom textiles was really labor intensive and there was a cap to how much I could produce on my own. When I tried to scale up production, I would have to compromise on quality, and because it took all my energy to train and manage extra people, it did not always amount to greater outputs. The kits were my answer to the revenue ceiling I had reached. My intention was to sell them into craft retailers around South Africa. This picture was taken at the launch. When the kits first launched I packaged them in big red buckets. The packaging style very quickly changed in response to the market and today the product is more familiar to everybody in this packaging.

If you would like to place an order for Slipstream Dye, the label now belongs to Hanneke van Linge at X-Factor Crafts. You can contact her directly at




In 2009 I stopped doing custom dyeing and I started teaching full time to commit to the new business model that revolved around the kits and I took to the road. Once again, my ability to fit many things into a small vehicle came in handy.

I trained people in South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

I trained small groups and large groups.

I worked with adults and with children.

I trained into craft shops, textile factories, skills centers, schools, fashion colleges and charities.


This was the most exciting moment of my life. I dreamed of being an author from the time I was a child, and although I imagined I would write and publish science fiction when I was fifteen, as an adult I was delighted when I finally published a craft book. The little girl who had dreamed about holding a book with her own name on the cover felt deeply satisfied.

I was doubly excited because the book also came out in Afrikaans.


And only days after receiving my very first copies, I found out that we also had a Canadian publication with Firefly books. My Publisher, Metz Press, takes my books to the Frankfurt Book Fair every year so they are available for international deals.

If you would like to order a copy of this book, you will find it at this link on Amazon...


If you are in South Africa you can order here...


And you will find the Afrikaans version here...



For fear of being a one-hit-wonder the author in me pushed through to produce a second book with Metz Press. I was super excited in 2013 when 50 Silk Scarves launched into the market. I was even more excited when I found out that I also had an edition with Stackpole Books, thanks to my fabulous publishers, Metz Press.


If you would like to place an order for a copy, you will find it on Amazon at this link...


And if you are in South Africa you can order a copy at this link...


Thank you for supporting my books!

This picture warms my author's heart very much. When I see people interacting with my books, I feel warm and fuzzy inside.


In 2015 a number of factors made me decide to remodel the business yet again and I began working on creating my online learning tools so that I could teach more people at a more affordable price for everyone. The cost of travel in South Africa was beginning to eat the heart out of my profits and I needed a new model.

While I was working out what it would look like I founded the Up-Cycled Cloth Collective on Facebook. It is a global community dedicated to reducing textile and fiber waste in the landfill. Watch this movie to see how it all began.



By 2017 my online school was beginning to make more sense and today it is up and running and I am teaching students around the world.

It exists on two platform to do different things, because customers these days expect a wide range of options.

For my students who want to cherry pick the courses that you need when you need them, I have a selection of online courses on Thinkific at this link...


For my students who want a month-to-month learning experience I have my Benefits Program on Patreon.

For a monthly subscription you receive different benefits at a price point that works for your budget. Payments are automated through PayPal. You can read more about it and sign up at this link...



At the beginning of 2019 I started my podcast, Thread Bare. So many members of the Up-Cycled Cloth Collective were asking questions that needed long answers and explanations, so I decided to start a monthly podcast to answer their questions in detail.

Would YOU like me to answer your question in my next episode? Please send it in to


I would love to answer it for you.

I hope this has answered some of your questions about who I am and the place I teach from?