HANDWOVEN HERITAGE WITH MO'S CRIB & WOOLWORTHS
Discover Mo’s Crib: a local, home décor brand started by the Mokone sisters, specialising in woven products made from sustainable materials.
Weaving is an age-old craft on the African continent and two sisters, Morongwe ‘Mo’ and Michelle Mokone have harnessed these skills to create a sustainable home décor business. Mo’s Crib produces high-quality, handwoven baskets and homeware accessories using traditional techniques and sustainable materials.
The Insider SA paid a visit to their warehouse to learn more about their story, as well as their exciting new collaboration with Woolworths.
Mo shares their start-up story, saying, “We started the business about four years ago. It really started as a hobby and something I was doing on a part-time basis.”
Both Mo and Michelle had full-time jobs, but once they took their product to market in 2016, it became an overnight sensation winning several awards. After that, the sisters knew they were on the right path and pursed their side hustle on a full-time basis.
Mo’s Crib produces handwoven baskets, place mats, trays, and many more products. Their aesthetic is simple, yet modern and sophisticated, with all of their products having dual-purposes that prioritise functionality.
Most importantly, their business is grounded on values of sustainability. Mo’s Crib focuses on reducing waste, reusing, and recycling resources using local talent to create employment opportunities. From their locally sourced impala palm leaves to the material of their shipping boxes – the Mokone sisters have dedicated their business to cultivating a greener society.
This business ethos made Mo’s Crib the perfect collaborator for Woolworths. Together, the two brands have released a range of hand-woven baskets and homeware accessories, including serving trays and place mats.
Mo explains, “I decided to approach Woolworths because we knew we were aligned in terms of our values, our mission of bringing sustainable products, creating sustainable jobs, and bringing authentic products to market.”
Mo’s Crib products are either single-woven or double-woven. Mo’s favourite, the laundry basket, is single-woven making it lighter in texture and more flexible. Paired with a lid, you can make sure whatever you store inside will be neatly tucked away. Double-woven products like the place mats and serving trays provide durability and stability to hold up flowers, drinks, or platters of food.
Michelle shares, “They’re strong, solid, and they add a beautiful texture to a dinner table. But, there’s many other ways you can use these; you’re not limited to the dinner setting. You can incorporate them into your outdoor picnics as well!”
Most importantly, The Mokone sister’s hope is that their products inspire you to style your home is a more sustainable and green manner.
Reflecting on their journey with Woolworths thus far, Mo shares, “We’ve been able to reach a wider market through Woolworths. We’re no longer just selling to markets in Pretoria or Johannesburg, we’re literally reaching the whole of South Africa.”
Through local businesses like Mo’s Cribs, age-old traditions and crafts on the African continent are given new life, and in doing so, preserve their heritage.