A light-filled space above one of Dunedin’s busiest streets offers a place to relax, sip coffee and browse beautiful and cutting-edge homeware
When Dunedin interior designer Sandy Cubitt opened the doors to her pop-up store in October 2014, it was only meant to be a short-lived affair. With her homeware store Moi already well established in coastal St Clair, opening the pop-up on George Street in the city centre was simply intended to offer customers some pre-Christmas inspiration.
It was a hit and the crowds flocked to it. “I worked there on opening day and people loved it,” says Sandy’s daughter Sarah Hussey, who helps out at the Moi stores. “From the first day Mum said, ‘Let’s do this’, we’ve kept it open as a homeware shop ever since.”
Keeping the pop-up open permanently made sense as the St Clair store, in operation since 2008, has limited room. “We needed a space in which to display furniture, given that it is such a big part of Mum’s interior-design work,” Sarah says. The ideal location turned out to be a loft-style space that Sarah and sister Amy Henderson were already renting. The pair own fashion store Slick Willy’s, a few doors down on George Street, and used the loft for fashion shoots and as an office. Located above the shops, it is roomy and light-filled, with large windows looking over George Street.
Inside Moi On George you’ll find Scandinavian-inspired furniture and homeware, lighting, books and giftware. Bianca Lorenne linens mix with on-trend designs from Pony Rider. Jewellery can be found next to beautiful marble chopping boards and children’s wear by Minti, Babu and Pretty Brave.
Sandy’s first venture into interior design began 18 years ago when she and her young family lived in Mosgiel. She undertook a correspondence course in interiors before opening a recycled-clothing boutique, Lillie Langtry’s. She went on to work in interior retail, later opening Moi. Now she is taking a step back from the running of Moi, but still continues her interior-design work for clients.
Daughter Courtney, who returned from overseas just before Moi On George opened, took on the role of running the store and she’s since set up a seated area serving coffee and food, and high tea for groups on request. It’s a cosy place to sit among the beautiful homeware and watch people go by on the street below.
“Homeware stores are a dime a dozen these days,” Sarah says. “Moi On George differs in that it has an in-house interior designer, a cafe and Courtney – a young, motivated trendsetter who is always sourcing new products and ideas.”
Moi on George, 309 George Street, Dunedin, (03) 477 1684
Moi St Clair, 1 Bedford Street, St Clair, Dunedin, (03) 455 7106
Words by: Catherine Steel. Photography by: Emily Hlavac Green.