Meet our founder

We caught up with Hura founder, Cicely to find out a little more about her love for Morocco and its baskets as well as what it is like to set up your own small business...

What sparked your desire to set up Hura?

My first trip to Marrakech nearly 3 years ago set my mind in motion with the idea of importing the beautiful baskets I had seen in the souks. I just had no idea how to connect the dots at that stage. 

What is it about Morocco that inspires you?

I have spent much time pondering this, I think for me, the disparity between the mysterious and the transparency makes it such a fascinating place. It is exotic, full of energy and intrigue and I think you could visit over and over again in a lifetime and still be surprised by what the country has to offer. 

Why did you choose to start selling solely baskets?

It felt right to start with a product that was where the initial idea sprung from, so I knew I was being true to myself by showcasing the items that first inspired me. I love the rawness and organic quality of the baskets. We are all experiencing a disconnect with nature and constantly seeking a return to it, the baskets offer that in a material sense. My home is filled with baskets, I use them for storage all over the house. I find by surrounding myself with baskets at home allows me to feel a connection to the natural environment and it transports me to magical Morocco on a daily basis. 

What has been the most challenging aspect of setting up Hura?

There have been many frustrating moments, most of them have been linked to a difficulty with communication. Although I do speak some conversational French (one of the spoken languages in Morocco alongside Arabic, Berber) there have been miscommunications along the way. Understanding and accepting the pace of work life out there too has been something to adjust to. Everyone uses the phrase ‘inshallah’ when discussing work, it translates as ‘In God’s Will’ which basically means, it will happen when it happens. There is little sense of urgency, I am just not used to working with such an attitude, especially having worked in London for many years. 

What has been the most rewarding moment so far?

The sense of responsibility I feel to ensure all the people involved in the process along the way are supported and appreciated can feel like a pressure, but the knowledge that I’m doing my bit in small communities to encourage work and be able to financially pay fair wages for the work that is done is a wonderful thing for me. Also, meeting all the bright young girls that benefit from the charity we support, Education for All. 

What are your plans for the future with Hura?

Where to start!? Launching Hura was all a complete unknown, so to have had such a positive and successful start as a small start up has been really encouraging and definitely fuelled my confidence to go forward boldly for the Autumn and beyond. With regular trips to Morocco to visit suppliers and to inspire new ideas and designs it is more a case of being really selective and curating a collection that is the most appealing for my customer base.  I want to continue selling unusual, beautiful baskets as well as expanding the brand to homeware items too. 

What is your advice for someone else looking to set up their own business? 

Be bold and brave and trust in yourself and the process all the way along. There will always be moments of doubt, that is essential to test yourself and make the right decisions but ultimately if you listen to that little voice within you, you can’t veer too far wrong.

MoroccoCicely Brown