Moniëlle, a business run by mother Monique and daughter Steffie. Together, they are the creative team behind Moniëlle. They design handmade ‘leather interior-and-lifestyle- accessories’ inspired by the never-ending beauty of flowers. You can read their story here and now on The Ambitious Brune.
How did you get started with Moniëlle?
There is a little story about how we started with Moniëlle. During a difficult time in our lives, we could ‘only’ fall back on a handful of good friends, our love for nature & flowers and especially being creative whenever possible.
It’s very cliché, but I’m going to say it anyway: life can be beautiful, but also very though. We’ve learned that no matter how hard it may seem, you need to appreciate the little things and give meaning to your day. When life goes wrong, often something unexpected can happen and a beautiful thing can rise from it. That something ‘new’ has resulted in the creation of our brand ‘Moniëlle’.
Being creative makes us happy and we want to share that happiness with our customers through our collection of leather lifestyle and home accessories.
Furthermore, I’ve always aspired a career in something creative, but the timing was never just right. My mother is also very passionate to create new things. So now it was the perfect opportunity to combine our forces and to just go for it.
You make interior and lifestyle accessories in leather. Why the choice of leather?
As long as we can remember we have always been both interested in fashion, interior and creating things. Through the years we’ve followed several workshops and courses. One of these courses was the 4-year training ‘Maroquinerie’ in PVCO Waas & Durme (Lokeren).
We just love to work with leather and the skills involved in making things by hand. The combination of different materials, textures, the variety of leather accessories, and turning that into a harmonious piece, is something that we love to do.
How did you get the name Moniëlle?
Monique’s father, Daniël, was a special person and also very creative. He taught himself how to make classic oil paintings. Apart from that, he was always busy repairing things. His motto was: ‘there is always a solution for everything’. He also had a soft spot for plants and flowers, especially roses.
The name Moniëlle is the combination of my mother’s name Monique with my second name, Daniëlle (which is, of course, derived from my grandfather’s name, Daniël).
We chose this name because it represents different generations of creativity (this way my grandfather will always be a part of it) and we also think it sounds nice.
Which message do you want to spread with Moniëlle?
We want to spread a couple of messages which we try and live by.
- Enjoy the little things in life as much as you can (drink a coffee with your best friend, laugh so hard at the dumbest joke ever, have a nice conversation with someone, see the beauty of a blossoming flower, enjoy that cozy corner you’ve created in your interior…)
- Appreciate handmade products, creativity, the makers…
- And for everything in life our message is: ‘Create your own harmony, choose your own style and own it’. This is not always easy, we also struggle with it, but we feel it is definitely worth a try.
What is your ambitious as a designer?
Personally, we really like to supplement our interior and our outfit with unique elements, which match with who we are. It’s all about a certain feeling of harmony. And also, about what you feel, or you don’t feel.
It gives us a lot of satisfaction when people fall in love with something that we made, and they truly cherish it.
On a design level, we mainly work with leather, but we love a mix of materials. For the moment we combine leather and fabric in our pillow collection. We want to grow in that area and experiment with other materials.
We also have the ambition to do something creative with the leather remnants, which you automatically have when creating leather goods.
We want to keep creating small collections. This way we can deliver the consistent quality that we want to deliver, provide custom-made products to reduce oversupply and produce locally in Belgium.
What is your ultimate advice for beginning entrepreneurs?
We are also at the very beginning of our entrepreneur journey.
What we have learned so far, is that it is a good idea to ask people for feedback, and you can definitely reflect on the advice and adjust things where needed. But at the end of the day, it is your business, your design style and you have to make sure, not to drift too far away from your authentic style.