Maisonette founders Sylvana Ward Durrett and Luisana Mendoza Roccia are the epitomai of Girl Power! Both women began their careers at VOGUE as Executive Assistants to Anna Wintour and remained at the magazine taking on new roles. Later, from 2008 to 2013, Luisana co-founded the Runway to Green project that provided a platform for designers to raise environmental awareness and integrate sustainable practices into their businesses. Now with children of their own, this powerhouse duo has come together to create an online boutique for stylish kids clothing and decor that leaves a better earth for our children. The family-focused company works to promote brands that are trying to clean up their production, work with sustainable materials, and move towards environmental and social sustainability.
MINI MAVEN: How has your experience at Vogue translated over to kids fashion?
SWD & LM: Working at VOGUE exposed us to the industry’s most valuable resources and connections. However, a pivotal moment for both of us was when we became working mothers and started to grow our families. Our experiences throughout this transition made us recognize a gap in the market for parents – a simple, seamless, and one-stop shopping experience that offers a balance of function-meets-style. Bridging together experiences as working parents with our backgrounds in fashion and sustainability have and continue to serve as the foundation of Maisonette.
MM: What is Maisonette’s mission?
SWD & LM: At Maisonette, we are always discovering and sharing unique products that excite us. We are constantly inspired by our customers and the many different cultures, lifestyle and personal styles that define the business. Anything we do and offer is in response to listening to the Maisonette customer. We want to bring them simplicity, style and function that eases the unnecessary stress that can come with parenting so they can spend more time creating special memories with their little one(s).
MM: What do you think about eco-friendly, organic, mindful brands?
SWD & LM: As parents, we only want the best for our children, so when it comes to product, anything organic and natural always makes for a great discovery. In terms of evaluating a brand’s business model and method of production, we value and aim to support those that employ sustainable practices, understanding that how we care for our planet impacts the future of today’s youth.
MM: How has the industry and demand for eco-friendly brands changed in the last couple of years, and where do you see it going in the future?
SWD & LM: The industry has been increasingly more aware of the concerns around sustainability and continues to be shaken by the demand of the market that’s challenging brands to shift their practices. As a marketplace dedicated to providing both emerging and growing brands with exposure to new customers, we’ve committed ourselves to a responsibility in continuing to progress this movement through supporting those that fuel such innovation.
MM: Tell us about your Mommy & Me SUN-PROTECTIVE Swim Collection!
SWD & LM: A customer (and personal) favorite brand sold through Maisonette is Mott50! The collection offers playful and stylish sun-protective apparel that’s certified UPF 50 to help block the harmful rays every parent worries about. It’s truly a fashion-meets-function dream come true!
MM: Highlights of your business? What’s your biggest accomplishment so far?
SWD & LM: Since we founded Maisonette in 2017, it has been such an exciting journey to see the marketplace grow through discovering new brands and product that simplify the lives of our customers. Being a parent involves a lot of emotions, gear, and everything in between, so having the opportunity to provide expertly curated collections that bring joy and relaxation to every parent has been the most rewarding. We also love when our customers and their children share their #MaisonetteMini moments with us!
MM: What makes Maisonette different from other online boutiques?
SWD & LM: Maisonette offers a one-stop shopping experience with hundreds of brands from all around the world that our team carefully curates to accommodate for every lifestyle and personal style. Merging parenting with fashion, it’s a marketplace where one can find function, safety, and style in one place.
MM: Are all the brands you carry eco-friendly or is it a mix?
SWD & LM: Maisonette carries a robust assortment of brands from around the world, and sadly, many of them are not 100% eco-friendly. We do our best to support and promote those that are, as we know they will inspire other brands to work towards better practices. Some of our favorite eco-friendly and sustainable brands are Gaia, Art & Eden, Bebe Organic, and Wolf & Rita.
MM: Do you think incorporating sustainable fashion into people’s everyday wardrobe is possible?
SWD & LM: Yes, it is definitely possible as today, sustainable fashion has become accessible throughout so many different products and categories. Our team works tirelessly to discover and meet with new and exciting brands. We can tell you that every day, we never cease to be amazed at the innovation and techniques that brands are working towards, especially when it comes to sustainability.
MM: What are some things you wish people knew about your business that you don’t promote or share on social media?
SWD & LM: We’ve built Maisonette to be grounded on transparency and are always looking to have a conversation with our customer, listening to and addressing customer feedback and concerns. Trust and loyalty are so important.
MM: What does living a sustainable lifestyle mean to you?
SWD & LM: Being sustainable to us means being conscious of your choices every day; from choosing not to use single-use plastic, to making a commitment to buy in bulk, or shop vintage, there are so many different ways to contribute to this movement that is so critical to our future and the health of our planet and its inhabitants.
MM: Favorite eco-friendly products?
SWD & LM: Babyletto offers modern collections of furniture made from safe and renewable materials. Another favorite is In2green’s assortment of playfully designed blankets produced with a sustainable blend of recycled cotton that minimizes natural resources and the use of new chemicals. For childrenswear, Art & Eden has stylish sets that are comfortable, organic, eco-friendly and ethically produced!
MM: How do you unwind after a big work day?
SWD: A glass of Chardonnay please with a side of Dragons: Race to the Edge on Netflix with the kids.
LM: A good dinner, a glass of wine and doing a puzzle with my girls. We are doing our first 1000 piece puzzle!