Their fashion and lifestyle brand Mahiya may celebrate Boho LUXE, but for gypsy souls Ryan and Alex, the enforced simplicity of Life on the Open Road has awakened a love of living with LESS. We jumped on board for tales of their choose-your-own-adventure van life, teething toddlers and the joys of the 5-minute house clean!
Created in 2013, Mahiya translates to ‘My Love’, how did you come to find and be inspired by the name Mahiya?
We searched for awhile to find the perfect name that was exotic, different and a reflection of our products. We wanted our label to be a labour of love so Mahiya was the perfect fit. Mahiya is my love in Sanskrit, which is the language of ancient India.
A husband and wife business partnership, how did the two of you meet and how did you come to create Mahiya together?
We met at a mutual friends Christmas party nearly 6 years ago and we have been together every day since! At the time I had another label with a friend and I was looking to move on and do my own thing. It all just kind of happened on a trip to Bali where we decided to try a new direction and give it a go together. Luckily it has been a match made in heaven as we both have our different strengths. I have a design & photography background so I oversee the creative side of Mahiya, and Ryan has a business background so he looks after that side of the label.
Devotees of the Bohemian lifestyle, Bohemian & Gypsy elements flow through into your designs, what drives your design inspiration?
My mum was a bit of a hippie back in the 70s so I always loved the Bohemian style and lifestyle growing up. It all comes kind of naturally as I really just create things I would personally love to wear and use. Inspiration comes from so many things and can come on anywhere. The colours and exotic textures from different countries definitely inspire as beauty is everywhere.
With design in Australia and production in Bali, do you travel back and forth frequently?
We had both travelled to Bali a lot over the years, and when we first started the business we were traveling there 3 times a year. As time has goes on, we now do most things via email as we have built up a great team. The language barrier can be very difficult at times, but we make it work.
What do you love most about Bali and working with the Balinese?
We have always loved the laid back lifestyle, culture, beautiful scenery and great weather that Bali offers. Its so great to be supporting and working with the local families.
You’re at the beginning of a 12-month adventure around Australia with 13-month old Ziggy. Tell us, how is life on the open road so far, and how is little Ziggy adjusting?
To be honest it has been a big adjustment for little Ziggy who has slowly got into the swing of things, he is finally getting used to his new home on the road. Unfortunately he has had about 5 teeth come through since we left so there has been a few sleepless nights but nothing compares to being in so many beautiful places and getting to enjoy this gorgeous country of ours. We are totally loving living with less, we are such consumers and are always wanting more but its so nice to have everything we need and know that nothing else will fit. The best bit is realising we don’t actually need much.
What do you love most about caravan life and what parts of the country you are most excited to arrive at?
There are so many great things about van life. We spend so much more quality time together as a family without the distractions of everything that goes on at home. I also personally love only having our small space to clean! It’s heaven...5 minutes and our whole house is clean what’s better than that!
We are super excited to visit the Great Ocean Rd, Ningaloo, Esperance and Broome - WA is definitely at the top of our list.
Your Caravan is one of the most well styled Caravans that we’ve seen! Any advice for anyone who might be considering a Life on the Road adventure?
We are so happy you are loving the van, we think she is pretty special.
For those who are thinking about it, I say go for it!
But a couple of things to consider. You will be spending endless days together in a small confined space..so you better like that person A LOT! Also make sure you do your research before you purchase your van has and can do everything you will need for your adventure. We are loving being able to go off grid for days at a time. Being self sufficient with water and solar is a must!
Once you return from your big adventure, what’s next for Mahiya & the Hutchinson family?
Our goal is and has always been to continue to keep evolving and creating new and exciting products for our customers. We would love to continue to expand a little more into the overseas market. Our Brand awareness trip this year is to visit our stockists attend some markets and basically meet as many people as possible and introduce them to Mahiya. There are so many cute little towns with beautiful boutique stores that you just won't find until you roll on through town and check them out ✌🏻
For our own curiosity, and as an on-going source of inspiration, we always like to find out as much as we can about our featured guests, can you humour us with the first thing that comes to mind for each the below?
Currently I am...
Drinking | Scotch. Our love for this really took off at the start of this trip...nothing like a scotch at the end of a long day with a 13 month old! Amen
Cooking | BBQ everything! We don’t have an oven so it’s lots of yummy meats and salads most nights
Planning | The trip ahead. How do you choose locations where there are so many beautiful places to see?!
Dreaming | Of all the amazing sunsets we are going to see this summer!
Watching | Ziggy exploring all his new surroundings and touching everything he shouldn’t lol
Reading | Articles on "Am I going crazy? - or are 13 month olds just hard bloody work?"
To hear... Live Music
To see...Whale sharks in Ningaloo
To hold... Our family and friends back home x
Shop plates | Shop tumblers