Happy Mother’s Day to the mums, caregivers, guardians, protectors, and more. Today and everyday we champion the mothers who have taken us this far, whether born or honorary, here or there, earned or found. Wherever you find and bestow your unconditional love, this is for you.
To truly celebrate, we sat down with our Founder Matt and the ever-delightful Zenya, Matt’s mum.
As the Banks family matriarch and idol to her four children, Zenya’s worldly touch and creative aptitude has well and truly been inherited by her progeny. From her early life in the big smoke in London to her happiest memories amongst her children’s sandcastles in Indonesia, Zenya has fostered the determination and zeal exhibited by Matt, which has ultimately prompted the Merchants Culture.
“Mum has definitely influenced me in many ways throughout my work and business,” Matt said. “She has always been my number one supporter and backed pretty much every decision or direction I have taken in my career - despite them being sometimes unconventional.”
Matt’s meticulous nature is clearly not a new phenomenon, as Zenya reflects on the first moments she realised Matt was a true creative.
“When I watched him building with the LEGO at five years old and everything was colour coordinated in an exact pattern,” she said. “Also Matt always loved drawing.”
Under Zenya’s watchful eye and caring guidance, Matt was privy to contexts of living and cultures beyond his own. Such experiences have imprinted on his creative understanding of the world and the pair’s shared vivacity for art and community.
When asked to describe each other in three words, they were both quick to respond.
“Very smart, strong, generous and loving,” said Matt about Zenya. “Whoops that was four…”
“Visionary, creative, leader,” said Zenya on Matt. We can’t help but wholeheartedly agree.
They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, which couldn’t be more true in this case. On top of channelling his mother’s strength and drive in his day-to-day, Matt also reflects her reactive inclinations.
“We’re both Cancers,” he laughed. “I guess I could say we can both be pretty sensitive.”
On a more serious note, Matt credits his generosity to Zenya’s impact, as well as his unique ability to think outside the box.
Our greatest lesson from this chat? Never underestimate the power of a mother’s touch.