The Sorting Office welcomes up-cycling duo MouLou into its folds
MOULOU is an interior design business founded by Mother-daughter combination Mia and Lara Taylor. Between them, they create, renovate and up-cycle beautifully rustic pieces of furniture, cushions, and other miscellaneous objects. Mia is largely responsible for the more nimble elements of the pair’s collection, working to create craft and textile pieces with her sewing machine, whilst Lara takes care of much of the DIY, and is far more at home with a paintbrush or a screwdriver in her hand.
Mia and Lara have already established themselves as a successful interior design business, selling their wares from their unit at Molly’s Den in Winchester. Now the pair has a proper workspace in the shape of The Sorting Office, and their hopes are high for the future of MOULOU. We went down to the studios to catch up with the new arrivals.
H: How did MOULOU start?
M&L: It started on our kitchen table one rainy January afternoon, we had just moved into our new flat and it needed a lot of redecorating and furnishing. We had a great time painting and learning lots of new DIY skills, but when it came to furnishing we couldn’t find any colours or designs we liked (we are very picky!) – so we started upcycling and transforming pieces
We loved the process so much and had such a great response to our interior design style that simply transforming our own flat wasn’t enough. And so MOULOU was born. MOULOU is an amalgamation of our pet names for each other: Mia Mou & Lara Lou.
H: What made you decide to join The Sorting Office?
M&L: We really needed workshop space to grow our business; our kitchen table just wasn’t cutting it. Most studios we looked at were too expensive, isolated or just down right horrible – and then we found a-space and the SO and it was everything we had been looking for: a bright, professional space with a great creative community. And the Production House space with power tools!
H: What are your hopes for the future of MOULOU, and how might being at the SO help you fulfil this?
M&L: The next step for us is to expand, and The Sorting Office is a perfect environment to nurture our business. We need the space, light, power and creative community to allow us to develop into a creative brand that doesn’t just sell unique, small scale items, but also supplies homeware shops in the local area and further afield. We also want to sell on online platforms such as Etsy. Our goals as a brand are to start running workshops and classes to pass on our skills to the community. Our dream is to grow the business to become MOULOU & MORE – a boutique shop, café and meeting point.
Having a studio at the SO provides us with everything we need to continue creating high quality upcycled items, while thriving in a creative environment that opens new doors and has so many great opportunities on offer.
H: What projects will you be working on in the near future?
M&L: Our retail unit at Molly’s den in Winchester has just expanded, so we are busy stocking and designing our new collection for the next year. We are also aiming to roll out a workshop schedule of creative paint techniques for complete novice through to advanced techniques to be held in the SO Production House in the spring.
Through The Sorting Office, We also have been given the opportunity to create prototype designs for the Creative Commercial Collections project, run by Hampshire Cultural Trust, the Jane Austen House Museum and the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu - we have lots of floral inspired ideas for this!
H: You’ve been at the SO for a few weeks now, how are you finding things?
M&L: Fantastic! Everyone has been so welcoming, friendly and helpful. It was a bit of a rush moving in the week of the winter open studios, but it gave us the chance to introduce ourselves to everyone properly.
We have only been at the SO for a short period but have already noticed a difference in our productivity thanks to having such a great studio space.