What does your personal coffee ritual look like? And what does it mean to you? Market Lane’s How Do You Brew? series features brilliant, unique, passionate and innovative people from our wider community – including creatives, entrepreneurs and changemakers – generously giving us a glimpse of their own special coffee moments, and sharing the rituals and meaning behind them.
Fatuma Ndenzako is the co-founder of of Collective Closets, a fresh and dynamic slow fashion label, which she runs with her sister, Laurinda. We first connected with the amazing duo in 2019 when we had neighbouring shops at the Queen Victoria Market. In 2023, we were lucky enough to collaborate on a beautiful Limited Edition bag!
Based in Melbourne/Naarm, with roots in Angola and Kenya (where they source their vibrant, signature textiles), Collective Closets use their fashion collections to showcase the incredible culture and craftsmanship of East Africa, and to foster connection and community here in Australia.
As a busy creative and a business owner, a cup of morning coffee is a non-negotiable part of Fatuma’s daily schedule. She chatted with us about her preferred way to brew coffee, her favourite places to enjoy it, and her Sunday family dance parties at home.
Market Lane Coffee: How do you start your morning?
Fatuma: I start off with a coffee every single morning. I feel like my day can't really start until that happens. No matter what I have planned for the day, my routine is always coffee first, and then I go on to face the rest of my world.
Tell us about your daily coffee ritual.
It depends on what day it is. From Monday to Thursday, I call my husband and say, “I think it's time for you to make me a coffee!” And then the rest of the week I attempt to make it myself. I really like a simple coffee: an espresso with a bit of extra hot water through it. And no sugar! I've cut out the sugar, so I can really appreciate the flavours of the coffee itself.
What's your favourite spot in the world or in your home to enjoy a delicious coffee?
Out of anywhere in the world, it would be a toss-up between Nairobi and Tokyo. The coffee in Kenya is so lush, fruity and complex, and the Nairobi coffee culture is really relaxed, which is refreshing. There aren’t many fancy coffee shops, but there is guaranteed fantastic coffee everywhere you go. And Tokyo takes coffee culture to another level. I love the cool coffee spots, the service, the deep coffee knowledge, and the theatrical experience; it’s really exciting. And my favourite place to drink coffee in Melbourne? Probably just in bed.
Can you describe your perfect Sunday?
My perfect Sunday is listening to The Supremes. Making bagels and coffee with my family. Dancing around. Taking turns to do DJ sets. (But always keeping it to funk because Arlo, my son, would prefer it to be seventies rock, which really kills my vibe!) Having a good dance and singing out loud. And probably torturing our neighbours a bit in the process.
Who or what feeds your creativity and gets you inspired?
I would have to say my team. There is always creative problem-solving going on at Collective Closets, especially when we have some kind of challenge. Everyone will spend hours or days going down a YouTube or internet rabbit hole and then bringing their thoughts and ideas back to the team. They might present an article or some visual inspiration, and it always feeds my creativity – to see how they’re perceiving and thinking about our brand, and how they want it to look, and how hard everyone works to get us there. It’s very inspiring.
What projects do you have in the pipeline that you're excited about right now?
Well, my favourite project at the moment is our Market Lane Bag collaboration! It's like a dream come true. It’s such a special way for both businesses to put something out there that we feel is really meaningful. And working with the team at Market Lane has been amazing, a real inspiration to be honest. It’s been so gratifying to see how much love there is for the final product, and to spot our gorgeous bags out in the world!