shop owners amy & brett morris

When I visited New York last year Amy Morris not only opened her home to me (to shoot for Marie Claire) but also her contact list - she organised welcoming drinks with a group of design types at downtown bar Smith & Mills. That's who she is: open, friendly, generous and a total New Yorker. She's also a great conversationalist, who is passionate about design. Amy has been working in offshoots of the industry for years. And just as she embodies so many of the characteristics that signify a classic New Yorker, so too does her husband Brett embody the personality of a Brisbanite. He is calm and laid-back, and has a dry sense of humour. They are perfect foils for each other - in life and their business, Morris EtcTogether they import hand-woven vintage rugs from Peru - after discovering them while on holiday. They will have a new selection of pillows online mid-October too.

Which five words best describe you? Dr Chill and Mrs Not So Chill. I’ll share a story that still makes me laugh because it truly captures us. One afternoon Brett said something funny and I couldn’t stop laughing so he started marching around the room clapping as he said “Brett is Funny, Brett is Fun, Brett is Funny…” and I turn to him and says, “What about Amy?” He didn’t miss a step, continuing his clap he said, “Amy is efficient, Amy is efficient…” We both had a good laugh.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since?
Morris Etc. came out of my love of design and Brett's desire to run our own business. The path we have taken since continues to be an expression of our creative desires. Olga Naiman [DI interview here] and I have started a design consultancy called Anchor Council and are pitching a Brooklyn Café for our first project. Brett still enjoys running the business, exploring his writing and horse breeding.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Photography is everything when selling online. Make sure you hire a photographer who cares as much about the shoot as you do.
What’s your proudest career achievement? In building Morris Etc. we’ve both been surprised by our compatibility despite our extremely different approaches.
What’s been your best decision? Listening to our instincts.
What inspires you?
Brett: Music, a colourful sentence and clear blue water filled with colorful fish.
Amy: Friends, markets, New York and badly designed spaces.
What are you passionate about?
Brett: Racehorses, swimming and travel.
Amy: Design, technology, yoga and travel.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
Amy: Brett's late sister, Joanne; Mary Louise Parker; Stephen Alesch.
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
Brett: Breed a racehorse and live half the year in Australia.
Amy: Re-invent/re-design a motel in Australia.
What are you reading?
Brett: The wind-up bird chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Amy: Just kids by Patti Smith

images courtesy of morris etc