Two moms created solution for fragmented children’s apparel market.

Business


Back when Sylvana Ward Durrett and Luisana Mendoza Roccia were working at Vogue, they realized there was no centralized retailer catering to the growing children’s apparel market. So they created their own.

“The market is incredibly fragmented,” Ward Durrett told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Thursday. “So you’re shopping here for shoes and there for special occasions.”

The solution: In 2017, Ward Durrett and Roccia, who both began their careers as executive assistants to Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, co-founded Maisonette.com, an online market place. Now, parents can shop for children’s apparel, accessories, toys and furniture, among other things, for children up to age 12, in one place.

Since its launch, the privately owned company has raised $4.3 million seed capital from firms like NEA and Thrive Capital, and surpassed its 2017 revenue forecast by more than 40 percent. The co-founders are anticipating six times the growth this year.

While the site includes luxury brands, 60 percent of the products are priced under $100.

“People shop high and low,” said Mendoza Roccia.

“There are certain areas where people like to invest, whether it’s that beautiful crib; or, it’s that beautiful dress for their Christmas card photo,” Roccia said. “But there are other areas that you know you’re kids are going to grow out of in about five seconds,” she said of consumer appetite for discounted items.

Shoppers can browse approximately 170 vendors, representing more than 500 brands around the world. At the end of each transaction a single checkout might include multiple stores around the world, from mom and pop boutiques to more well-known names like Dolce & Gabbana and Birkenstock.

So far the celebrity following includes Keri Russell, Jennifer Meyer, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Molly Sims. But Ward Durrett said the ladies were really solving their own problem. Both have three kids under the age of 6.

Still, investors are taking note.

According to Global Industry Analysts, a market research firm based in California, the growing children’s apparel business is expected to reach $321.6 billion by 2024.

Ward Durrett said most of Maisonette’s customer base shops on the site about once a week. The company, she said, is working to expand its assortment of products to include more everyday items that cater to the business of raising children.



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