Exclusive Interview with KOKET & Lh Founder Janet Morais
So we may be a little bias in this article, but I am pretty sure you all will agree! Without further ado, Janet Morais, founder and CEO of Love Happens, KOKET, and DeMorais International, and the soon to launch My Object of Desire! Design and fashion connoisseur with an unparalleled sense of style and charisma, over her 20+ year career to date, Janet has gracefully put her stamp on the worlds of interior design, women empowerment, and luxury living.
After launching her design career as an interior designer, Janet wanted more. She wanted the designs of her dreams. So in true Janet style, with her voracious entrepreneurial spirit, she created the luxury home decor distribution brand DeMorais International in 2008. Armed with resources and extensive industry knowledge Janet’s next dream, her own home decor brand, came to fruition with the launch of KOKET in 2010. Then came Love Happens in 2018, an answer to the importance of the intersection between content and commerce. Followed by KK by KOKET, an irresistibly youthful new home decor line. And of course, she won’t stop there, coming this Fall is her next venture, a new e-commerce boutique called My Object of Desire.
Now that you have a mini-history on our fabulous founder Janet Morais, here is a recent chat we had with her regarding KOKET and her personal design style. Enjoy and be inspired!
Exclusive Interview with KOKET & Love Happens Founder Janet Morais
Love Happens: In your words—what makes KOKET’s home decor distinct?
Janet Morais: KOKET is about more than just design, it’s about the way a piece makes you feel. The emotions which flow through you when you sit in your favorite chair after a long day or put on your grandmother’s bracelet.
Lh: You have a mission to share Portugal with the United States. How does that show up in your designs?
Janet: All of KOKET’s pieces are handcrafted in Portugal by local artisans and craftsmen. Each design comes to life at the hands of these masters and then carries with it the beauty of Portugal, whether to the US or anywhere else in the world.
Lh: KOKET designs empowering statement pieces. What does empowerment mean to you?
Lh: Do you have any fashion or artistic muses?
Janet: I am fascinated by the Studio 54 era, and especially Donna Summer. I imagine my pieces with beautiful curvy Italian women like Sophia Loren and I admire Italian fashion. When it comes to architecture, I am all in on France, the beautiful curves and details.
Lh: We love you’re comfortable taking risks, turning heads, and commanding attention. Why do you think this is important for today’s woman to own?
Janet: It is crucial for today’s woman who has spent far too long not believing in herself. At our cores, far too many women lack confidence. We must be bold and reach for the stars.
Lh: Tell us about your unapologetically decadent designs. What goes into making a piece?
Janet: My team and I constantly study, seeking for inspiration to hit. We then sketch, design, and source the best materials and craftsmen to bring the piece to life.
Lh: You’ve created a sartorial world of your own. Are there any rules?
Janet: Yes! To follow KOKET’s core values, and always stay true to ourselves.
Lh: What materials do you tend to use in your pieces?
Janet: I love exotic materials and gold. In our pieces, you will find marbles, agates, glass, wood, metalwork, and even feathers and some mother-of-pearl!
Lh: How do you source material?
Janet: We source our materials through partners we find via research and networking. To us, the most important element of our materials is that they are of the highest quality so that our pieces can last long beyond one lifetime.
Lh: With your experience, what is something special you know about design that most people don’t?
Janet: You have to truly love it so that it can last. Things have to mean something to me, they should have a story, or evoke an emotion so that I can enjoy the design through time.
Lh: Tell us about a time you designed a piece you’re especially proud of?
Janet: One of my favorite designs is the Mistress Confidante. I love the aura it exudes—almost luring you in with the menacing hand-carved serpents. Snakes are very symbolic creatures and I love to depict them in KOKET pieces.
Lh: What led you to start Love Happens?
Janet: Love Happens began as a blog in 2012, we updated it as much as we could and gained some fabulous followers but it was not my main priority. Then I began to notice a strong connection between content and commerce and as a long-time admirer of great publications, I decided to revamp the blog to become Love Happens Magazine, offered biannually in print and in a much more robust form online. The magazine has been a wonderfully rewarding venture allowing me the opportunity to connect with amazingly talented people and continue to support women in particular.
Lh: What’s next?
Janet: Lots of beautiful designs for sure! But I am most excited about my newest venture, My Object of Desire – a new online boutique dedicated to beautiful objects of desire. More to come soon!
By Anna Beck Bimba