Each Friday Simplifying Fabulous! presents Fab Fridays, an up-close-and-personal look at how one of our community members simplifies fabulous in their own life. Is there someone you’d like to see featured? Email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simplifying Fabulous! with Mark Moussa of Mottega
ABOUT A veteran of the home furnishings business, Mark Moussa sharpened his business and design skills working for his family’s decorative accessory business before he founded Arteriors Home (one of my favorite resources for home accessories!). Mark’s newest venture is the fabulous fashion-forward totally-custom lamp company Mottega. In the spirit of Fashion Week, we talk to Mark about color, design and personal style!
Robin Baron: Are there aspects of in the Mottega collection that embody the mantra of Simplifying Fabulous: Confidence Begins at Home?
Mark Moussa: Mottega is all about “Simplifying Fabulous: Confidence Begins at Home!” It would have been a great tagline for the company! The premise behind Mottega is to give the customer a fun and interactive way to customize their home using the timeless elements we’ve selected personalize their own design. There is no “wrong” Mottega creation. Be confident, have fun and enjoy your creation!
RB: What do you love most about your work?
MM: The product development process…Seeing the product go from inspiration to finished product. I carry a notebook everywhere I go and write notes/ make drawings of things that I see and want to remember.
RB: What is the vision behind Mottega?
MM: Customer involvement in the design process at Mottega is very important to us and core to the mission we have established for the company. And those principles of involvement and engagement are more deeply embedded in the company than just our custom configurator and are in fact part of our name. The inspiration and influence behind Mottega originally came from the Italian word, Bottega, a word used to describe a master artist’s studio in which other artists and apprentices “may participate in the execution of the projects or commissions of the major artist”. Combine that with my last name, Moussa, and you have Mottega, a company with global influence and inspiration founded with customer involvement and participation in mind.
RB:What impact has working in the design industry made on you?
MM: I have learned to push the envelope and be better tomorrow than I was today. I am always thinking, “What can we do next?” I look forward to each day and appreciate that no day is the same as the day before…There is always a new idea that can be explored, another way to think about a challenge and lots of great experiences along the way. My father had a decorative accessory import business where from the age of 12 I worked in his warehouse and later traveled with him all over the world sourcing products. Growing up, we always had international visitors in our home, some were vendors, many I still work closely with today.
RB: What is your philosophy on color?
MM: I am a fan of neutrals, but have always loved a punch of color. I am selective as it has to be the “right” color/hue/intensity. When choosing the colors for our products we go through an exhaustive trial and error process designed to introduce an item that will instantly be seen as a modern classic.
RB: How do you approach color in your own home?
MM: I tend to stick to a neutral palette with an occasional punch of color using key accessories. I feel that the right color can “take you there” by transporting you to a special time or place or evoke an emotion. I feel that accessories are easy to update if you need a change.
RB: What design elements in your home have you personalized?
MM: All of it. I wanted my place to have a clean, crisp look yet comfort is a priority. I have been very specific about materials for all textiles, furniture and accessories.
RB: What do you feel most proud about in your home and why?
MM: I have tried to simplify my surroundings to include those things that have meaning or utility. For example, my mother’s perfume bottle collection allows me connect with her memory each time I open the cabinet where they are displayed.