From October 2022
For Tanner Moussa and his younger sister, Mackenzie Lewis, fine furniture is in their blood. Their paternal grandfather, Stanley Moussa, founded Best Imports. Their uncle George Moussa founded Ambella Home Collection. And their father, Mark Moussa, launched Arteriors, his celebrated home design and lighting business, 35 years ago. “Everyone in our extended family here in Dallas has some sort of an entrepreneurial spirit,” Tanner says.
As he and his sister grew up, furniture and home design were a regular part of dinner table conversations. Beginning in middle school, Tanner and Mackenzie spent summers in the Arteriors warehouse, wiring lamps and working on the assembly line. They also traveled with their father on sourcing trips all over the world. When she was in college, Mackenzie and her dad spent two weeks in India. There, they shopped for antiques and precious stones and met with artisans who had passed their trades down through generations.
“India changed me,” Mackenzie says. After getting her degree in fine arts, she began working at Arteriors full time. It took her brother longer to make his way back to the family business. He spent a decade in New York, working in accounting and consulting. But he still traveled with his dad to trade shows. Eventually he asked himself, “Why push away something that is really in my blood?” Tanner first went to work for the online luxury home company One Kings Lane before returning to Dallas and Arteriors in 2019, right before COVID-19 struck.
The pandemic and the rise of virtual shopping, Tanner and Mackenzie say, convinced them it was the perfect time to break out on their own. They left Arteriors in September 2020, and last month they officially launched Mous, their new line of case goods, upholstered seating, and ceramics. The 27-piece collection, called Narrative Arc, draws from their many adventures around the world.
“Looking back at the pieces we’ve collected through our travels, the architecture we’ve been inspired by, the cultures we’ve been inspired by—it really was a fun process of figuring out what we wanted this first collection to look like,” Tanner says.
The goal is to pair design with functionality. The ivory vellum Diptych desk, for example, features smaller drawers for office supplies as well as a cabinet for larger items, such as a printer. They also wanted a “little element of surprise” in each piece, Mackenzie says. It could be utilizing two upholstery fabrics and an oak veneer in a chair or hiding an LED light inside the Cusp cabinet.
Mous’ small Design District–adjacent showroom is currently only open by appointment. But the siblings hope that their brand’s larger online presence will allow them to stay nimble and keep up with the changing needs and desires of customers.
“It’s been really rewarding and freeing,” Tanner says. “And it’s helped me and Mackenzie grow leaps and bounds with each other having to do this on our own.”
This story originally ran in the October issue of D Magazine with the headline, “Modern Family.” Write to [email protected].