Mum-and-daughter duo Sandy Cubitt and Courtney Henderson run Moi on George and Moi St Clair, two Dunedin lifestyle stores with a carefully curated point of view
What brought you to retail and design?
Sandy: I always loved home decor, fabrics and textures from a young age. We built a house in the 1980s when we had small children and I did all the interiors – I was only 23. Many years later I studied interior design and decided to make a career of it. After 15 years working in the industry, I opened my own store.
What are the origins of the Moi stores?
My first grandson had the nickname ‘Moi Moi’ when he was really little and ‘mooi’ also means ‘beautiful things’ in Dutch, so it just fitted. I wanted to create a space where my interior design clients could see linens, furniture and accessories all grouped together.
How did you come to be working together?
I opened a Christmas pop-up store on George Street in 2013 and the response was immediately positive. Courtney was living in London at the time and was looking for a reason to come home. She committed to running the new store in 2014 and has never left.
What’s it like being in business with family?
Courtney runs the George Street store (pictured) her own way; she has more international labels, loves looking for new brands and is extremely capable. It is great having her more youthful perspective. I stick to interior design and ordering for our St Clair store.
How would you describe your product mix?
How has that mix evolved since you opened?
When we first opened, bright orange lockers and coloured stainless steel were trending – it’s hard to believe that was only five years ago! Now we are into neutrals and minimalism. The store is always changing. We are always looking for ways to better ourselves and what we stock.
What’s the hardest thing about running a small business? And what are the best things?
Running your own store is great fun, but the hardest thing is definitely switching off from work mode and into relaxation mode. The best thing for me is coming into a client’s home after we have transformed it, and seeing how happy they are in their new space. We also do window treatments and a full design service so we can change any space into something wonderful on all budgets.
What do you love about living in Dunedin?
The lifestyle in Dunedin is great. We have the beaches, beautiful walking tracks and wildlife, and then on the other hand we have amazing shopping and so many good eateries.
What are your top tips for Christmas gifting?
Beautiful wooden chopping boards and handmade ceramics to make platters are key this year. Everyone loves entertaining over Christmas.
Words by: Sally Conor. Photography by: Isabella Harrex.