Introducing Melixir House
“Melixir House” is the place where our products are brought to life and where our team works. With the customers’ physical, emotional, and mental health in mind, Melixir embarked on a journey to bring clean and sustainable products to our customers. The “Melixir House'' stands at the beginning of this journey.
What kind of spaces does everyone like to spend time in?
We asked two of the creators of the “Melixir House” — Yerin and Koeun — for their insights.
Q: Hi, Yerin and Koeun! What kind of place is the “Melixir House”?
Yerin: The Melixir House is our team’s office and where our products are developed. It was designed with the mindset of creating a place where the team can focus on their work without any external or added stress. The space not only increases the level of performance from each individual but also brings about a unique synergy among individuals in different roles that then go on to develop products of such high quality.
Koeun: I believe that creativity can be developed when individuals are relaxed and comfortable, so I wanted to create a space like home, where people are at ease enough to stimulate their creativity and also immerse themselves in their work.
Q: What sets the “Melixir House” apart from normal office spaces?
Yerin: One of the best characteristics of the House, despite its relatively smaller size, is being able to use it in a free and flexible manner. Unlike regular offices that are divided into individual spaces with a clearly defined purpose, the Melixir House is unique in the sense that there is no clear definition of what a certain room or area should be used for. It is a multipurpose environment where you can hold meetings in the kitchen or turn the lounge into a shooting studio for content. Originally, the space belonged to a cafe, but for the sake of the environment, I worked hard to incorporate Melixir’s mission and values without drastically changing what was already there. For example, there was supposed to be floor construction, but given the waste it could potentially generate, we settled on using carpets instead.
Koeun: The difference can be felt as soon as you enter, take off your shoes, and step barefoot onto the carpet. We used to start our meeting very formally, communicating while only staring at the monitor. Now, we can do so comfortably on low tables. Because it was hard to imagine an office with carpet floors, a lot of our team members were skeptical before the House was completed. However, I think being able to walk around barefoot is something that allows people to be more at ease.
Q: What was the most important factor to consider when designing the “Melixir House”?
Yerin:I named this new space “Melixir House,” because I wanted it to contain the idea of "home" since it is the first of many spaces that Melixir will go on to create. Since I wanted the space to foster the culture and essence of Melixir, I thought of the word “house.” Even though the words ‘home’ and ‘house’ are commonly used today, I didn’t want it to be a house in name only. I wanted it to embody the characteristics of a house, allowing people to be able to use things freely and live comfortably inside. This is why every aspect of the Melixir House resembles an actual home since it was intended to provide the same sense of familiarity and comfort you’d find in your own home.
Koeun: I thought it would be good if the space aligned with Melixir’s brand image, so I designed the space with that in mind. As it is where our team spends their time, the space should be able to facilitate a better understanding of the brand, whether it's its aesthetics or its message. Therefore, I decided to avoid having the furniture, sofas, floors, or anything else go against Melixir's image so when visitors come by, they are able to interact with our brand’s core identity and message on a more personal level.
Yerin:This is also why, aside from the carpets, I tried to use materials that brought about a more earthy vibe, such as wooden furniture, paper blinds, and the appropriate lighting. I think this helped bring about a space that not only aligns with the brand image but also the brand’s message.
Q: What kind of space do you want the “Melixir House” to be for the Melixir team?
Koeun: First, I want the Melixir House to be an “immersive space.” In this space, you are not only able to rest, but also concentrate on work and maximize productivity. Second, I want it to be a space where those around me can take pride in. When interacting with our acquaintances, our office goes hand in hand with the company in conversation, so I hope that each member of our team uses the Melixir House to communicate our brand and unique culture to those around them like a brand ambassador. Last, the most important space I want the Melixir House to be is one where the team would want to frequent or come every day.
Yerin: Without a doubt, there will be times when individuals on the team are under great stress and so I hope this space becomes one that helps relieve stress. I thought it would be nice if this one space could allow everyone to take breaks in their preferred way, whether it’s resting in a private area, taking a walk at Dosan Park, or just laying down on the sofa for a bit. I also thought it'd be nice to make this a place where people would want to stay even after work. When I conducted a preliminary survey about what kind of space the Melixir team wanted, I included a question about what kind of activities they do after work. There were many answers like watching Netflix, going on walks, or reading, so I wanted to give them a space suitable just for that. I think by putting our team’s preferences at the base of its design, the Melixir House can carry that much more meaning.
Q: “Work-from-home Friday” is part of Melixir’s culture. What’s the difference between working from home and working at the Melixir House?
Koeun: The biggest difference would be not having to spend time commuting to and from work (laughs). Since moving our office to the Melixir House, I gradually began going to the office on Friday afternoons after working from home in the morning, because it simply had everything I needed. On the other hand, an advantage of working from home is being able to take the time to sort out my thoughts and spend time developing them since I can focus without being distracted.
Yerin: On Fridays, I bring my dog Ricky to work at cafes. I think it's nice to be able to work and at the time, take care of tasks outside of work I otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to do if I was at the office.
Q: In the last interview, you said “a space like Melixir” is a “mindful space.” Which area of the Melixir House do you think is the most “mindful”?
Yerin:I think the kitchen, with the low table and sofa, is the most "mindful" aspect of all. The level of comfort you feel there is different. Not only is the workspace and the kitchen separated by a curtain, but everything is soft and plush to the touch. Our Marketing Manager, Rahee, whose style is to sit in front of the desk all day and work, once said that it’s nice working in the kitchen since you can relax and focus on yourself.
Koeun: I also think the kitchen is the most "mindful." I always arrive 30 minutes to an hour early and spend time drinking coffee in the kitchen with Dani, my coffee buddy. I feel calm and at ease when I go over my to-dos for the day all the while the coffee brews. Sometimes when I come to work earlier and read on the sofa, I’d suddenly be overwhelmed by the happiness of knowing my mental health is prioritized at Melixir. Thanks to this space, the team can spend time together comfortably, with people standing, sitting on the sofa, or on the floor. While there are advantages of being in our previous shared office, it was inefficient to have to schedule a separate meeting room for us to exchange ideas. Now, we can share even the smallest ideas without having to go through such, making our exchanges faster and easier.
Yerin: It’s nice to have new Melixir products that are currently being developed placed at the kitchen sink. Team members can try it together and exchange feedback, which is then used in developing even better products. Recently, the kitchen has become more popular because of the new snacks that were brought in (laughs).
Q: What has changed since coming to the Melixir House? For me, I don’t use paper towels, I learned how to better separate and dispose of garbage, and now use tumblers and glass cups.
Koeun: Right. Because this space has become a place of our own, I think we have developed habits that are more conscious, mindful, and healthy. Also, as a designer, I often look for inspirations and ideas online. I felt like I was in a desert of creativity, but being here in "our" space helps me come up with new ideas, solidifying our brand by creating more things that are more "ours."
Yerin: In terms of work, I think the process of generating ideas has become faster and more efficient. Back in our previous office, I could only sit at my desk and think. Now, I have the space to test out my ideas and know right away if it works or not. The transition between developing ideas and executing them has become more seamless. For example, today, when I was working on a layout design for a Sephora store’s entrance to the market, I found it much easier since I didn’t only have my computer, but a space where I could physically test ideas out. Also, it’s nice to be able to take pictures of our products and create content for our Instagram here.
Q: It has been very interesting learning about the process behind the creation of the Melixir House and the concept of a ‘mindful space.’ In the future, what kind of space do you want to make the Melixir House into?
Yerin: Right now, only our team members are enjoying the Melixir House, but when there’s an opportunity in the future, I would love to invite customers over and share our mindful, conscious culture with them. I hope we can create a healthy community through the sustainable exchanges that take place here between the people. In addition, I hope this becomes a space where more conversations are held about sustainability and the cosmetic industry.
Koeun: I hope the Melixir House paves the way for spaces with similar cultures. I enjoy this culture where we maintain a healthy lifestyle while also taking care of our respective tasks for work. It’d be great if this space is where cultures like ours spread because I believe that strong communities are formed by strong cultures.
Yerin: Spending so much time here together has raised awareness and sympathy in everyone, forcing us to think more about recycling, handwashing, and using sustainable products in daily life. I think the reason why such great products could be brought to life is the ability for individuals working in different fields, such as product development or marketing, to brainstorm together. By sharing and communicating this lifestyle of riding a bike or scooter to work or making salads with the basil and berries grown here, I think we are better able to reach and interact with our customers.