Since graduating from Otis in 2000, Melaina Mayhew (’00, Toy Design) has worked with many of the leaders in the toy industry, including Mattel, Lego, Applause, and Equity Marketing. She also worked on an array of character licenses such as Hello Kitty, Sesame Street, Scooby-Doo, Finding Nemo and other Disney properties.
While at Nakajima USA, she led a team of designers that developed stationery, gifts, jewelry and fashion accessories for the Sanrio stores. She also worked with Gwen Stefani to launch a line of the popular Hello Kitty-inspired accessories for Harajuku Lovers. She has largely been responsible for overseeing the US product strategy. Her work has involved extensive travel: to New York, Hong Kong, Shenzen, Shanghai, Quingdao, Seoul, and Tokyo, building relationships with factories and solving development issues.
Since 2007, she has been freelancing and consulting for girls’ and women's personalized jewelry, revamping a cat food brand, and helping to launch an empowering accessories line.
Mayhew says that in her design process “ I scour the internet, looking at retailer sites, what DIY people are doing, and at runway fashion show images. I'll shop where my consumer shops. I skim magazines related to the subject."