We Are Orana – Melissa & Tayla

Posted in: Community
‘Building a home, building a community’
Meet Melissa and Tayla, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, young couple who spent their early years in Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Both grew up on strong family values with an appreciation of living with a close-knit community and a relaxed lifestyle.
After starting his job at Kmart, Tayla became very work-oriented and moved his way up to management. Then in March 2019, Melissa changed his world. Tayla tell us, ‘I always had my blinkers on and then Melissa came along for training and she kind of broke that down. Her bubbly nature was grouse!’
Melissa adds: ‘Tayla was the hiring manager and I got into the training program. Tayla helped me do stuff and then we ended up being in the office, just having breaks together.’
As their relationship blossomed, the spontaneous couple discovered they had so much in common, like doing things on a whim, loving a good chicken parmigiana and visiting display homes on the weekend.
Tayla says: ‘I like looking at how houses are styled so we watch ‘The Block’ and TV shows like that. We found a mutual taste in houses that are nice, bright, open and clean, making everything look really nice. And you get that at a display home – it’s always perfect and that’s how we want our house to look like. We want it to feel like a home.’
Melissa elaborates: ‘We walked into a display in Lyndhurst with no intention of buying. But we thought, “Oh, it’s a nice house. Maybe we should build it.” It was in our price range. From walking into the display to putting the deposit down was just three weeks. Wow!’
It was important to Melissa and Tayla that they lived amongst a thriving community. According to Tayla, ‘Community is where you feel safe and welcomed. On our first day, trying to get the washing machine in, we had no tools, but we just went across the road and asked for help. That’s probably the biggest sense of community and that’s what I enjoy.’
Melissa and Tayla started an Orana Instagram site that documented journey from an undeveloped block of land to a complete house. Their excitement at building, decorating and owning their first home is palpable.
Now they are settled, what are their plans now – perhaps a family? Tayla laughingly says, ‘Well, we’ve already got a baby – Harvey, our Golden Retriever puppy!’
Melissa adds, ‘I’d like to work from home and we’re hoping to build again as an investment. But we’re loving where we are and can feel that we will stay here.’