We love Maisonette! Tell us more how this idea came about?
Sylvana Durrett: Luisana and I had grown frustrated by the process of shopping for our children online. As working moms, we had had come to expect the ease of online shopping for anything and everything – clothing, groceries, or home decor. We found that the same was not true for the children’s market; we would be up late at night with 20 different browser windows open, one for shoes, one for special occasion dresses, one for basics, and hours later, tired and weary, we would abandon our cart altogether.
Luisana Mendoza-Roccia: The children’s market, until now, has been incredibly fragmented. Don’t get me wrong – there are endless amounts of beautiful products and special brands out there, but they are impossible to find! We created Maisonette to solve this problem, and to offer high-quality, beautiful childrenswear and home goods at a variety of price points, all with the ease that comes with shopping on one, curated online destination.
Working at Vogue helped us not only grow our love for fashion, editorial and storytelling, but also our overall understanding of what it takes to run a successful business.
What was it like working at Vogue and now together again as co-founders?
Sylvana Durrett: We met while working at Vogue, and have worked together for many years, although not as entrepreneurs, of course. We were both Anna Wintour’s assistants right out of college. Working at Vogue helped us not only grow our love for fashion, editorial and storytelling, but also our overall understanding of what it takes to run a successful business. We learned from some of the best editors, businesspeople and creatives in the business.
Luisana Mendoza-Roccia: Syl and I tend to finish each other’s sentences these days- we are very much aligned and in tune not only with each other, but with our brands, customers and ultimately the needs of the business. However, we also complement each other very well, and divide and conquer the various roles based on our strongest areas of expertise. We are also lucky in that we have a truly amazing team who support us and challenge us daily; it really is like working with your family in the best way possible.
Syl and I tend to finish each other’s sentences these days- we are very much aligned and in tune not only with each other.
How do you find the brands that you feature on Maisionette. What are some of your favorites?
Sylvana Durrett: We’re discovering new brands and boutiques every day! One of my favorite new finds is Oso & Me, a great new line out of San Francisco.
Luisana Mendoza-Roccia: We also recently discovered Brooklyn-based toy store, Norman & Jules, which has such a great selection of games and books, but also more unexpected, creative items: temporary tattoos, craft kits – even kid-friendly nail polish that washes off with soap!
What are some of your go-to time saving hacks that you use in your life?
Sylvana Durrett: Teach your kids to dress themselves, brush their teeth, and set a table. These are surefire ways to save time – plus it gives them some (age-appropriate) responsibility! This means you’ll have to be ok with your kids getting creative with their outfits. Although, as long as you love everything in their closet, it should all work out.
What are some of your non-negotiables that keep you centered?
Luisana Mendoza-Roccia: Family dinner. Sitting at a table together, eating together, talking about our day. This was a tough one, because I do love a good TV dinner once in awhile that I watch with my favorite show and a glass of wine. Although my husband has always be adamant about sitting down at the table for dinner- even when it was just the two of us. These days, I’m grateful for this-it definitely helps to keep the family connected.
What advice would you tell a mama with a dream who wants to build her own business?
Luisana Mendoza-Roccia: Just do it. The timing will never be perfect, nor will you ever have all the answers before you start. Sometimes you just have to go for it and then figure some things out along the way. You will have to make sacrifices, but just know where you draw the line in the sand and be firm with yourself, as well as with your team and your family. And finally, involve your family in every way you can. It will inevitably be a family affair, whether you planned it that way or not, so it’s better if they feel they have a say, and have some ownership in this new adventure.
Outside images by Amy Frances Photography
Never stop exploring.
Always look for the positive.
Never give up.