Share on...

Celebrating Women: Meet Thabisa Mjo From Mash. T Design Studio

Proudly South African, Thabisa Mjo is shaking things up in the local design industry. As founder of Mash. T Design Studio, her philosophy is always to tell uniquely South African stories using the medium of design.

Mash. T is leading the charge to create a contemporary craft-driven design aesthetic for Africa and by doing so has collaborated with craft makers such as world renowned master weaver, Beauty Ngxongo, Qaqambile Bead Studio – a South African fine art beading studio and multi-award winning furniture brand, Houtlander.

As we celebrate Women’s Month this August, we spoke to Thabisa about her personal design style and influences. Here is what she had to say…

How would you describe your personal style?

Hmmm… effortless, though it might not look like this to others, and fun. I don’t take myself too seriously and I like my fashions to be delightful.

What qualities define your colours?

Easy, breezy and whimsy.

What is your personal favourite colour combination?

Any pastels/nudes together and I’ve never met a shade of pink that I did not enjoy!

What is the most recent purchase you’ve made for your home?

I bought myself a new bed. It’s so nice to not waking up with an achy back. I feel like a new woman.

What one design element, trend or furniture item can you not live without?

Proper lighting never goes out of style… and functional pieces like a well made chair – there’s no substitute.

What design style has had the greatest influence on your work and business?

I don’t think it’s a particular style of design but it’s more of a spirit, an energy, a belief system. I love Nendo, their work is influenced by their Japanese culture and it’s super clean and conteporary yet it’s not intimidating. I love brands like Tory Burch who have evolved from just a fashion brand into a lifestyle brand.

What has been one of the most challenging projects you have worked on?

I think my quest to work with traditional crafts people and to build a scalable and sustainable design business is the most challenging project of my life. Everything from learning how to communicate my ideas clearly to my collaborators, to simple logistics, because we’re not in the same place, to figuring out how to scale handmade products and how to get our brand and our products into the homes of our customer, is a daily challenge.

What trends do you think we should keep an eye on in upcoming seasons?

Things that are hand made, that are responsible and classic; a return to making and slow making… considered and timeless.

What exciting products do you have planned within the next year?

I’m working on my first “grown-up chair” haahaaa… A beautiful, resolved chair that still feels like Mash.T and can fit comfortably in your home… and I hope we can get it right this year, still. Who knows?

Thabisa Mjo by Brett Rubin

Discover the latest online at Mash T Design Studio.


Leave a comment/Ask a question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit SA Decor & Design on social media

Interested in advertising with us? Find out how