Children’s Website Curates Brands and Boutiques
Maisonette offers design-driven curated childrenswear.
Fellow Vogue alums Sylvana Ward-Durrett and Luisana Mendoza Roccia, both busy working new moms, were frustrated. Cool design-driven children’s clothing, nursery items and furniture appeared abundant on Pinterest and Instagram. But when it came to actually procuring these items, the process was more difficult and time-consuming than the two ever imagined.
So, like every great necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention idea, they landed $2.7 million in seed funding and launched Maisonette.com, a website dedicated to chic children’s clothing, furniture, toys, in March. Maisonette.com not only sells brands but also promotes the entrepreneurs’ favorite boutiques. Think of it as the children’s version of Net-A-Porter-meets-Farfetch.
“It’s a very personal process,” says Roccia, speaking from the company’s headquarter in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, describing what it was like to curate the site’s wares. “We’ve been in the market since conception trying to find unique products, boutiques and assembling a merchandising team, many from One Kings Lane,” echoes Ward-Durrett, adding, “These are our go-to places.”
The website is inventory-less. It’s up to the brands and the boutiques to fulfill orders but the consumer never has to leave Maisonette.com. “This particular [children’s] market and independent boutiques lend themselves to this model,” Roccia explains. “Many of the businesses are smaller and don’t have the resources to market themselves. We’re able to give them a platform. We’re partnering with brands and boutiques and supporting them through Maisonette.”
The website features dozens of brands like Bonpoint and Finger in the Nose and designers such as Tia Cibani and Stella McCartney serving newborns to 12-year-olds. Retailers include Acorn Toy Shop in Brooklyn and Tiny in Charlotte, N.C. Prices range from $12 for a wooden milk and cup set to more than $7,500 for a sculptural crib by Nursery Works, but according to the two owners, the focus is more on aesthetics rather than price tags.
Less than a month from its launch, Ward-Durrett and Roccia says customers have been responding not only to the convenience of the website but to its design-driven editorial point-of-view.
Up next, the women are planning designer collaborations and exclusive merchandise for Maisonette.com as well as a pop-up store in the Hamptons this summer. World domination can’t be far off. “Obviously, we’re serving the U.S. customer right now,” says Ward Durrett. “But we have a list of international brands and boutiques we are planning to grow partnerships with and we want to get that started as soon as possible.”