How would you liked to be introduced?
Co-owner, with my husband, Latif, of Kat + Maouche, an Oldtown Portland gallery specializing in vintage Moroccan rugs.
How did Kat & Maouche Begin?
With a decade of talk and one rather terrifying leap. Latif’s heritage and my academic interest had driven us toward a real passion for Berber art and a desire for life between the US and North Africa. It took almost a decade to figure out how to even start to make that happen. It’s been a very slow build and we are still working on it.
One-word to describe how patrons feel after visiting your store?
Katen’s 3 Tips For Striking A work-life balance?
Uh-oh. We are a family business so all lines are blurred. And we are still pretty new so the business is pretty consuming. But I do ignore emails for a weekend every now and then. And we try to make room for non-work travel, usually tacking on a week somewhere utterly unrelated on one end of a Morocco trip. Finally, good, solid advice: hire a bookkeeper.
What is your advice for hopeful entrepreneurs especially in the retail sector?
As a culture we’ve mythologized entrepreneurship in a way I think is a little unfair. It takes money to start a business and I’d advise anyone and everyone to be extremely realistic about what money you’ll need to get something off the ground. Write a business plan. Revisit it often. My mother, a pre-school teacher, used to say she’d like to find whoever first said “find your passion and the money will follow” and strangle them. By all means, do what fascinates you. But some clear-eyed pragmatism and planning go a long way.