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Meet the Aussie startup that was selected to feature in the 2017 Oscar nominee gift bags


On the 26th February, millions worldwide, tuned in to celebrate the film industry’s finest cinematic achievements – seeing Mahershala Ali make history as the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in Moonlight scooped Best Picture.

Behind the glitz and glamour, however, two young Aussies made history of their own too as their MOUS Fitness Bottle was featured within the gift bags given independently for the 15th year by Distinctive Assets to the top nominees. One of a select few of Australian brands to achieve this for 2017.

The story of MOUS started in 2014 when university friends and training partners Jarahad Valeri and Matthew Kempe, decided to develop a product that would assist others to live a healthy and active lifestyle. What started out as a hobby to help their own lifestyles soon developed into a business mission to help others’.

How did Jarahad and Matthew start MOUS?

After years of using protein shakers and water bottles within their fitness regimes, the young business partners had grown tired of the generic designs available and the way their supplements would stick to the bottom of their bottles despite repeated washing, leading to odour caused by bacteria.

What concerned Valeri and Kempe came down to two factors. The first, that many people didn’t even realise the health risks their bottles posed, causing symptoms similar to food poisoning. And second, the rate at which people used and disposed of plastic bottles, contributing to a worldwide plastic pollution epidemic.

Founder Jarahad Valeri said something had to change; a healthier, hygienic option was needed that wouldn’t damage the earth.

“Health and fitness is so important yet we focus so much on eating the right foods, our exercise regimes and what supplements to take, that we miss the basics. Water bottles are something we use day in and day out,” said Valeri.

“We came up with the idea when Matthew and I were both at uni studying engineering. We knew we needed something that had stylish appeal for both men and women, and we wanted something that was versatile; to be used for water, supplements, smoothies or water infusions.”

MOUS Fitness Bottle

Sporting attractive aesthetics, functionality and timeless style, MOUS bottles are easy to clean and sustainably designed said founder Matthew Kempe.

“We wanted to focus on design first. When you look at active apparel it’s constantly evolving yet when it comes to sporting accessories the lack of innovation is so apparent,” said Kempe.

“Why should bottles have corners, narrow stems and sharp grooves? It doesn’t make sense. That’s why we created an innovative round-bottomed shape to stop anything from getting trapped.”

A bottle for a healthy lifestyle

Having launched in 2015, MOUS is now stocked in over 20 countries worldwide, and wider interest from big name brands, gyms, fitness studios and health events has led to an expansion into custom branding.

At a time when our own health, as well as the health of the planet, is on everyone’s lips, the development of the ergonomic, round-bottomed MOUS bottle couldn’t have come at a better time.

With the highly-profiled social conscience of actors like Natalie Portman, Jeff Bridges and Denzel Washington, we can see that wider society does have a desire to do its bit for the planet.

“This gives us hope that people are willing to embrace change. People just need to be aware of something and well informed, then they will embrace it. We hope that by obtaining a platform like the Oscars we can continue to develop awareness around a healthier, more sustainable society. This has always been our focus,” said Valeri.

“Our aim is to partner with the nominees who share a similar mission to our own. Alongside them we would produce their very own branded bottle and run a campaign with all sale proceeds going to a charity of their choice.”


A qualified engineer, Matthew Kempe works for one of Australia’s most renowned design agencies. Blessed with a creative mind yet a technical perspective, this strategist can always be found thinking outside the box, finding ways that design and business operations can be done better.

Jarahad Valeri is a product design engineering graduate who later found his calling in marketing thanks to a brilliant mind for business and a knack for problem solving. His analytical mind, that is geared towards numbers, ensures his ideas are always innovative yet strategic.

The MOUS Fitness Bottle is designed for those seeking to live a healthy and active lifestyle. With a 850ml/28oz capacity, each bottle is made from the highest-quality, BPA-free, non-toxic materials.

MOUS Fitness Bottles feature a modular, ergonomic design with a removable outer-frame and leak-proof soft seal. Perfect for all hydration and nutrition needs.