Meet our Exclusive Retailers 2017 – A chat with Moteef

©Moteef terri ioann#135E624What inspired you to start Moteef?
I’m a trained graphic designer so I’m no stranger to creative business. After taking and abstracting photos for fun for at least a year, a chance conversation with my sister in 2012 about her unhappy search for unique outdoor cushions, inspired me to look into how I could develop my digital patterns into a collection of outdoor scatter cushions. Finding the right fabric base, having it printed in specific colours and then lab testing them for durability and colour stability was a journey over 1 year as I slowly learned about the processes involved – as well as marketing, social media promotion and ecommerce. I was finally ready to officially launch my first collection in September 2014.

A year later I launched a collaborative luxe outdoor candle range which I’m very proud of too. I teamed up with Self Organics, another Perth Upmarket retailer, to create 3 hand poured, soy wax candles, using our bespoke blend of essential and fragrance oils known for their insect repelling properties. The cherry on the top was the gorgeous vessel we had custom made for the project – a reusable double walled coffee glass with a snug bamboo lid. The packaging incorporates 3 signature patterns that I designed for the project.

What’s your favourite piece in your current collection?
I love all of my designs but ‘Circles’ is very close to my heart. In 2013 we discovered (the hard way) that my daughter Lauren, who was 3 at the time, suffered anaphylaxis to some tree nuts. This diagnosis very quickly brought to the family’s attention that research into new treatments and cures for allergy and other immune diseases, as well as community education and improved access to care, was urgently needed.

As a family commitment to raising funds and awareness, I digitalised a design that my son Ben painted, and that our family loves, and we now donate $10 from the sale of every ‘Circles’ outdoor cushion as part of our CUSHION FOR A CURE initiative to help fund medical research into allergy and immune diseases through the efforts of The Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia. Of course, Ben also gets a royalty for the use of his artwork from every sale – something that the now 10 year old is very pleased about!

What inspires you?
I’m drawn to bold abstract art, 70’s Op art and modern, mid century influenced furniture. I’m particularly inspired by the decorative arts of Africa, the Middle East and South America – I love their textured, painted urban decay and their tendency towards striking colour and pattern. I try to draw on these things when I create my designs.

What do you wish people cared more about?
Conversation starters – it sounds like a joke answer but it’s not! There’s so much information that we can graze on daily that it’s hard to find the time to digest it all, discuss our findings and grow ourselves and our own ideas. I imagine a world where people are supportive, in-touch, considerate and curious. They share food, experiences and knowledge, enriching each others lives with challenging ideas, fun experiences, humour and culture. Sounds idyllic, but I’m all for face-to-face conversations.

Why did you choose to be an Upmarket Exclusive this year?
I think Perth Upmarket is the best market for Moteef. It’s extremely well organised, the visitors appreciate the products, the crowd that come to enjoy the day justify the effort that I put into being there and I adore the venue. Since leaving the safety of a traditional graphic design job to pursue Moteef full time, I have found Justine to be a wealth of knowledge and support as I’ve travelled my steep learning curve and taken advantage of her retailer mentoring groups and other workshops. I feel an affinity with the Upmarket brand now.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I absolutely adore a donut! Nothing fancy, just a fresh, unfilled traditional glazed! Shhhh!!

You can meet Terri and see the complete range from Moteef at Perth Upmarket on Sunday 26 March 2017.