Simply (although not shortly) translated, Moois & Meer Coterie means “All That Is Pretty & More, made by persons with a common purpose”. One look at their online anthology and you will clearly see that the two brains behind Moois & Meer Coterie – Marnhe and Anelda – who are also cousins, have an eye for the alluring and that they share a passion for the fanciful and unique. Something just had to be done, and thus started thier venture on 21 February, 2012.
“Our desire is to create unique, whimsical and nostalgic keepsakes for all those romantic at heart,” says Anelda, who combines her previous Gauteng retail experience with an unusual flair for coaxing silver into magnificent pieces of keepsakes.
As fulltime graphic designer and experienced business owner, Marnhe manages and drives the business from the Cape Town studio. “Moois & Meer Coterie wants to keep alive the things that remind us of a time gone by, those that help us dream of a future full of beauty and promise, those that trigger the senses to relive memories almost forgotten and to build a happy future” the ladies say.
Moois & Meer Coterie stocks Simply Sterling silver jewellery, including Simplicity – their basic range with no additional materials – only sterling silver – simplicity is the ultimate sophistication; the Pebble range; the Desert Rose range, which includes semi-precious stones and Kant & Klaar – the vintage range made with sterling silver, resin & lace and available upon request.
But the company also dabbles in making beautiful clothing for little girls and ready-to-wear outfits for ladies. The Sun House just had to know more about this captivating brand.
1. How did you start and how long have you been doing this?
Anelda: We started half out of necessity, half out of a lust for adventure and exploring the unknown. Two and a half years and never looked back.
Marnhe: This combination (of necessity & adventure) gives us a unique drive to carry on and enjoy the moment.
2. What sort of products do you make? Do you also provide services?
Anelda: For the most part we offer products. Some of our jewellery can be personalised, like for instance the Pebble range on which one can have a name or short phrase stamped.
Marnhe: What adds dimension to our offering is the special occasion flower girl dresses and womens clothing range designed and made by my mom, Magda Grové. She is actually a wedding gown couturier, so her exquisite expertise really shows in these products.
Aslo in the pipeline (from the beginning, really) is a stationary and gifts category. This branch has not yet been fully developed or launched, but we’re hoping it will come to life in the near future.
3. Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
Anelda: I suppose like most artists I am inspired by what I see and what speaks to my spirit, what I am able to understand and relate to. Boy, that sounds fuzzy… Nature inspires me immensely. I’ve had most (actually probably all) of my ideas when I was in a quietplace and surrounded by nature and life. Simplicity inspires me a great deal also. I love how the most genius ideas and designs and inventions are usually the most simplistic in nature.
Marnhe: By looking, perceiving, taking in everything, everywhere. Drawing a quick sketch of an idea. Isolating shapes in waves or leaves or patterns and fabrics. Our creations aren’t normally very flamboyant or way-out. It is an honest reflection of both our personal journeys and of what speaks to us at our respective stages in life.
Keeping track of trends is not very high on our priority list in terms of inspiration – we do take note of trends (it is impossible not to, what with the oh-so-addictive-pinterest), but we try not to let it dictate our style or designs. We have discovered that we need (as in it is imperitive for the existence of Moois & Meer) to stay true to ourselves even if that means not being ‘on trend’. Luckily, design and beauty is subjective, so the sky is the limit.
4. What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?
Anelda: Self-discipline and shutting down. It is a paradox, really. In the end I think they balance each other out, as long as you keep a firm grip on both (and yourself)
Marnhe: What she said.
5. How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?
Anelda: Sjoe, that’s a difficult one. In general, from what I’ve seen, we South Africans mostly seem to stick to what inspires and motivates us. We love what is beautiful and colourful and loud. We express ourselves with passion, no matter what the medium. And in that there seems to be an inexhaustible amount of genius and variety. I think it has a lot to with our general sense of innovation. Also, I think it works to our advantage that we are geographically so far removed from the “center of the world”(Europe & US). We stand out just because we are who we are and we do what we love.
6. What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?
Anelda: I enjoy working with silver. Its colour draws me, no matter the finish. It’s fun working with gold just to mix things up from time to time, but in all my years I have never gotten tired of or bored with being a silversmith. I think it’s because of the simplistic elegance of silver.
Marnhe: Being a graphic designer, I mainly work on the computer. Soooo… I guess I can say that my favourite programme to work with is InDesign & Photoshop. But when it comes to doing things with my hands, it’s the mix that has the magic. Collage style, mixed media – there’s no limit. From scraps of paper, to string, lace. Give me a glue gun and I’m sold.
7. What would you do if you won the lotto?
Anelda: All the boring stuff, I suppose. Buy a Jaguar, buy a house on the West Coast or around Clarens or somewhere breathtakingly beautiful. And travel for 3 months straight.
Marnhe: Travel non-stop and set up a mobile studio to work from my boat/plane/bus/train.
8. Where to from here?
Anelda: I honestly don’t know. I’m a terrible long-term planner. I mostly live in the moment of the day, the week, or the month at most. I do know we are aiming to set up at least one showroom cum studio within the next year or two, and whatever happens in and around that will be part of the adventure
Marnhe: I’m strung a little differently – I inadvertently think about these things. About where to, why, how, what. It helps me to see purpose and stay driven. Concrete plans are not yet visible, but we have a vision and a few ideas up our sleeves…
9. What has been your proudest moment since you started?
Anelda: This is where living in the moment makes things difficult for me; I tend to forget the past… a definite milestone was being accepted into Kamers Vol Geskenke in 2012, our birth year. For us it was a fantastic launchpad, and validated all the months of hard work leading up to the event, as well as inspiring us to new heights. To me this journey and business has been a succession of little milestones and triumphs and lessons and highlights, all inextricably part of me personally as well as professionally. I am just proud to call Moois & Meer Coterie my baby, however small she may be.
Marnhe: Today. And tomorrow it will be that day. And yesterday it was yesterday. Everyday moment for me. I think we have come a long way, but we’ve still got so much to learn.
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