For Charles Mouchtaris everything started when he was an architecture student and he couldn’t find the proper size for the desk he needed. The craft of wood was passed on him by his grandfather and today, Charles makes anything we can think of under the only condition… to be on wood! The products of mouchmouch are known all over the world! Get to know them as well!
• I’ ll say 3 words to you. Tell me what comes straight to your mind.
• What Mouchmouch means for you and your team?
Mouchmouch represents a collective way of thinking throughout the entire team as a result of our studies abroad in different design sectors as well as knowledge and experience that has been passed down by my architect grandfather. We work with an open mind in order to achieve both a practical and aesthetic result in our design methodology.
We believe when embarking upon any given project, one must go further than just how something looks aestheticaly. We must keep all of our five senses in mind in order to achieve a wholesome experience of our creations keeping in mind that what we create will ultimately be a customised creation to the individual user.
Therefore as each individual is different, every item we produce is different.
• You find industrial design more challenging than architecture? Or that those two have things in common?
This is a tough question. I have become deeply interested in both architecture and product design. Both practices serve the creation and evolution of ideas. I believe that architecture has served a great deal in building the ‘thinking’ foundation blocks into the core of the design arena. With that in mind, I view product design as an extension of architecture leading to the realisation of creating day to day objects of a smaller scale. Ultimately, in my mind, these two subjects are intertwined and I try to use knowledge from both areas in order to achieve the best possible results.
• Why all of your creations are wood-made? Have you thought of using another material?
Ever since I can remember myself, I have been drawn to wood. I admired wooden creations and was baffled to how a tree could become a dining table from start to finish. I like authentic, raw materials. Perhaps this is the main reason why I started exploring carpentry as well. It is not a man made material. When you have or use something wooden, you connect with it. The more you use it, you develop a relationship with it, you can see it age with you.
With that said, we are looking into exploring more mateirals. Some of our next projects will include raw steel, concrete as well as a new material which we are experimenting with which is not used in Greece at the moment.
Overall however, we do want to keep the element of wood in all our creations as we believe its our signature material.
• All designs and mottos engraved on wood are pretty imaginative and original. Do you deal with custom requests as well? Can someone ask you to engrave something in particular?
Thank you! Of course we do! A large portion of our business is custom production. Whether it’d be furniture or our iPhone cases everything can be tailor made to the clients’ needs. We have engraved a wide range of designs from family portraits to corporate logos. The only limit is the clients’ imagination.
• The famous mouchmouch mobile cases have reached even the most distant places of the world like Russia, S. Africa, Singapore, Australia etc. How do you feel about this?
This makes me very happy. From the beginning, my main goal was to create a brand which intrigued people from all over the globe. In the current era we are living in, where online shopping is blooming it was a great challenge. Therefore when we started getting clients from different continents we knew we were on the right track.
• In times when everything seems still, you, a 26year old guy, are experiencing an unusual increasing business activity. When you first began, you were sure that you would reach a point that reality would exceed the initial dream?
Honesltly, I was not sure at all. The last two years which were the start of mouchmouch have been the hardest. Not because I was trying to start something new but because I did not leave any room for failure for me. Ever since I can remember myself, I was always tinkering, testing and making things . As a result there was an inate feeling to create mouchmouch which would serve as a breeding ground for my ideas whilst I would try to solve every day problems.
In the end, isn’t this part of the charm of creativity? An endless quest in search of ideas all the while believing in yourself with patience and perseverance to achieve your dreams.
• Nevertheless, Greek reality supports this significant business activity of yours?
The Greeks, we are experiencing now is different than any other era my generation has experienced. In it’s current state, it is at a very uncertain equillibrium, however we strive to seek opportunity where others see obstacles. I can say, I believe that you have to try to create opportunities for yourself, there is never not a gap in the market for innovation and we are optimistic that there will be a positive response in what we do.
• Any future plans? Perhaps a store in a city center, in Athens or London?
There are plenty of future plans ahead! The one thing we have a surplus of, is ambition. Over the next quarter we will launch a complete new line of household products. We would of course love to open our own physical store in either city but for now we are progressing in a steady and healthy rate. We hope this strategy will reward us in the years to come.