A stranger to none in the kids’ fashion and lifestyle industry, the e-tailer Maisonette is renowned in the children’s market. A proud member of the Playtime & Kid’s Hub community, we sat down with Co-Founder and CEO Sylvana Durrett to learn more about Maisonette. Join us as we dive into how it all started, how this retailer has built such a loyal community, and where Maisonette crossed paths with Playtime & Kid’s Hub.


MaisonetteLuisana, Co-Founder & President; Sylvana, Co-Founder & CEO of Maisonette

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us!

Can you please introduce yourself and Maisonette?

I’m Sylvana Durrett, Co-Founder and CEO of the online children’s marketplace, Maisonette. Based in the United States, our website brings everything for baby and kids to one shopping destination! From family-owned toymakers to the safest highchair, we search high and low for the best at every price, making sure what we carry is more than right – it’s special. 

I had the idea, along with my Co-Founder Luisana, to start Maisonette in 2016. As a mother of 2 at the time (I now have 3 children), I was working full time at Vogue magazine. We both found it very difficult as working moms to find the things we needed for our children. Luckily, we live in New York City, so there were a lot of good brick-and-mortar options. But when you’re a busy parent, it can be really difficult to find what you need, especially if you don’t live in a place like New York City. You’re forced to go online, and what you find there is an overwhelming experience. There are so many choices, and it’s hard to know what is “right.”

Particularly in the last 10 years as the kid’s market has expanded, it’s become even more difficult to sift through all the options and decide where to buy, why to buy, what’s value, what’s quality, and what’s safe. All of these things are so important to parents, especially the millennial parents of today. I’ve found they are generally focused on health, wellness, and well-being like never before. There’s a lot more that goes into the decision-making funnel of what parents today buy for their children.

At Maisonette, we believe that what you consume for your children, whether it’s content or clothing, it matters. We want to bring our customers and our audience, these “modern parents,” the resources, products, and content that help them navigate the journey of raising children. Whether our customer is the parent themselves, the godparent, or a family friend, everyone in a child’s life can benefit from the experience offered on our website.


You’re so right – there are a lot of options for kid’s products today. How does Maisonette stand out in this crowded market?

When we founded Maisonette, our goal was to make it easier to find high quality products for our kids, so we could spend less time scrolling and more time on the good stuff. There are tens of thousands of brands for kids in the United States alone. So what makes us different is that we do the work for you. We make it easy to come to our site and find things for children within a specific age range, at a specific price point, or that uphold certain values like organic materials. Especially if you’re not a parent yourself, it can be really difficult to know what products are appropriate for different ages or life stages. Whether they shop with us once a month or twice a year, we always have the products that are otherwise difficult to find. We purposefully curate our offer to have about 40% of our assortment hard to find elsewhere. This means that shoppers would either have to do a lot of work to find the full range of the line, or that it might be available in smaller shops but again would take a lot of time to find. We’ve become the one-stop-shop for the whole family.

Maisonette currently has over 1,000 brands on our site, all of which have met the specifications of our brand. They stand for quality, value, and safety, which matter a lot when people are buying for their kids. We take the work out of it, sourcing for people in search of unique items and a fun, simple shopping experience. Today, our mission goes beyond the product itself; it’s a commitment to family. We want to empower parents to make the best decisions for their families, and bring a little bit of magic into family life every day. 


We love that, who doesn’t love a sweet and simple shopping experience! With such a great online store, have you ever considered opening a physical location?

We’ve definitely thought about opening a physical location! Over the years we’ve done a few pop ups as they allow us to meet Maisonette’s families which we’ve really enjoyed. As busy moms, we were shopping for ourselves online, and we felt like a single go-to destination to find the best brands for kids was missing. Being an online marketplace allows us to connect with families across the country – in cities and small towns. Our customers say over and over they love that we’ve curated the best stuff for kids while having an amazing selection of styles, colors, and price points that can be hard with a brick-and-mortar location. Never say never, though!

kid's fashion pop up - maisonetteMaisonette pop up with Amanda Seyfried’s brand, Make It Cute

Your offer covers a large breadth of product categories. Was it always like this, or have you grown to provide products for the whole family?

With backgrounds in fashion, we started with a focus on kids clothing we couldn’t find in the U.S. and expanded into toys, home, and even womenswear as we grew. Maisonette has been able to grow very quickly because there was a lot of interest in what we have to offer. With the traction we saw in those early days, we were able to onboard brands really quickly. We don’t buy the inventory, instead we represent the brands and connect them with consumers. We’re always trying new things and honing in on how families shop and what they’re looking to us to help them find. Our goal was to create a curated destination for parents to find whatever they need for their family, whether they are dressing their kids for the school year or decorating a nursery. 


Are there any categories you’re particularly excited to expand into?

We’re currently building out our teen selection, and that’s been so fun for me because Maisonette is sort of growing up with my kids. My kids were under 6 when we started, and so that assortment was very strong when we launched. Now, as my children are growing and I discover other holes in the market through my own experiences and by talking to other parents who have tweens that are turning into teens, Maisonette’s offer is expanding to fill those missing pieces. For example, some 10 year olds can wear women’s clothes already! It’s been really interesting to see the holes in the market and try to address them as I grow as a parent myself. So right now, teens is an exciting category for me! I feel like there’s a massive opportunity in the teen market today. 

What are some of the characteristics the brands you work with have in common?

Maisonette has become a barometer for customers. There’s an aesthetic quality that we look for, though I will say it’s pretty diversified. We love everything from a sequin to a chic pastel palette, and in between. The attribute we really focus on is quality. Whether it’s a ten dollar t-shirt or a thousand dollar crib, we want to make sure that everything on our site is a quality buy.

We stand for brand alignment and certain values that we aspire to. We firmly believe what we say, that what you consume for your kids matters. From the content that we surface to the products in our assortment, we want to raise the next generation of children and to do that in the best way possible. So that’s a big piece of it for us as well, selecting brands that help us achieve this affirmation. Because we’re a family brand, we also don’t take ourselves too seriously! There’s a lot of fun, a lot of joy, and that’s ultimately what we’re looking for.

The kids’ fashion and lifestyle market is a massive industry. The children’s market globally is about a 600 billion dollar market, and it’s growing faster than womens or menswear. It’s insane to see where this market has come in the last 20 years. If you really think about what we’re calling kid’s luxury, the price points are very different, it’s a relatively new market. It’s grown quickly because the demand has grown, and consumers are more sophisticated. So it’s been an exciting market to be a part of.


Are there any brands joining Maisonette this year you’re particularly excited about?

There are so many brands I’m excited about bringing on! I would say a lot of the things we’re doing are with brands you wouldn’t think about for kids. We have a lot of collaborations coming this spring that are going to be exciting, including an exclusive jewelry collection for Mother’s Day with one of my favorite jewelers, exclusive styles in new prints with a classic British childrenswear brand, and a swimwear and two dress collaborations for Mommy & Me that I’m excited about. We’ve become known for elevated Mommy & Me dressing and our expertise in creating styles and prints both mom and kids love, allowing us to partner with womenswear brands on exclusive kids apparel and kids brands on exclusive womenswear apparel.

You often collaborate directly with brands. Why is that something Maisonette enjoys doing?

Having come from Vogue, what is really fun for me is melding these two worlds together. For a lot of the womenswear or luxury brands we collaborate with, the kid’s market offers a fun playground for them to work in. It’s much more intense in the high fashion world, so going to someone like Joseph Altuzarra or any number of big designers lets them be whimsical and carefree again. We’ve collaborated with brands like Marvel, Misha & Puff, Petite Plume, Minnow, and smaller independent brands as well. When we first launched we did a collab with Vans using our iconic doodle print which was really cute. Both our Fashion/Design and Merchandising teams bring such a singular point of view to collaborations, allowing us to partner with a range of brands to create something that always feels distinctively Maisonette. 

maisonette - petite plume
Past collaboration between Petite Plume and Maisonette
minnow - maisonette
Past collaboration between Minnow and Maisonette

We love how unique you’ve made the Maisonette experience.

Can you tell us about Maisonette’s content hub, Le Scoop?

There are so many questions around parenting, children, and all of the things related to raising and buying things for children. Doing the “right” thing is something parents are always looking for. Coming from Vogue, I realized that there was no “Vogue” for children, and I mean that beyond just a fashion or aesthetic perspective. There was no one resource parents could turn to. When they search online, there are a million answers and it’s hard to know what sources you can trust. Parents want information, so we felt like we had a voice that appealed to this modern family and we wanted to create a brand that resonates with their values.

We really found our voice during Covid, during that time when families were at home and didn’t know how to talk to their kids about the pandemic and why they were home. We brought to market this idea that we can talk about hard, sometimes taboo, subjects and that’s really where we found our voice. Le Scoop is becoming a resource for parents, thanks in large part to the experts we work with. We have such an amazing network of experts, from fashion to day-to-day needs to medicine, we have someone that can offer our readers insights. 

These days, you need context to buy. Because there are so many options available, customers are stuck wondering why they would buy one over the other, besides the price point. Of course, we all make decisions based on price all the time, but in a world where there’s a minimal dollar difference, it’s hard for people to sort out what the real difference is. Why should they want this one instead of that one, why is this suited to their family’s needs better than another product. Context is a huge piece of purchasing decisions now, it goes hand in hand with products themselves. For us, that was really important to the experience we have created on Maisonette. The experience is designed to help parents navigate the journey of raising children, that’s why we’re here. 

For the articles and topics, we draw inspiration from all around us. We are a company of moms! There are so many moms that work with and for us, and our social media community asks questions a lot, too. We are responding to the zeitgeist. Things happen every day that I personally question how to deal with them with my own kids. How do I speak to my children about current events? About going through puberty? All of the topics that arise on a daily basis are the things that inform how we speak to our customers.

Maisonette has built an incredibly strong community on social media. How have you leveraged this, and is there any advice you can share with us on how you built it?

Social media has been so integral on many levels as Maisonette has grown. First and foremost, it’s been sort of our content platform. Before we launched Le Scoop, social media was how we started testing our community’s response to the content we wanted to produce. It helped us understand what our customer wanted from us. Social media is incredibly valuable from that perspective, to gauge interest and curiosity in new ventures you want to try. It’s where a lot of parents communicate now as well. Once they find a brand or influencer they follow that they feel they can trust and relate to, it becomes how they inform a lot of the decisions they’re making. So it’s really important for us to keep those channels up-to-date with what we’re doing. Our community really enjoys what we put out, and it helps us build a loyal relationship with them.

Of course, it takes time too! When we launched Maisonette, we worked to align ourselves with other brands that were right for us. When you’re small and just starting a company, it’s hard to get traction and to get other people to work with you. Micro-influencers and other small brands are great resources, but doing what you can to really leverage big brands for whatever it is that you offer was the strongest method for us. Leveraging your network is another channel that’s super important when you’re starting a business. This builds organic growth and loyalty. It’s one you have to nurture and really listen to, and a great space to test and learn. You might start with an idea of what you think should be on that channel, but then you have to listen to what people actually want and how they are responding to it.

We’ve pivoted many times, and that’s sort of how we found our voice. We started as an apparel resource, but we always knew we wanted to help parents navigate raising the next generation. At the beginning, we didn’t really know how that would manifest. So it’s really important to be open to change. Recently, we’ve found that doing videos is the way to go. Static posts aren’t really building communities today, now it’s about speaking to the community via videos, stories, or reels. The moving image is driving community growth.

MaisonetteInstagram post from past Valentine’s Day selection

You’ve been a member of our community for several years now. What was your first experience with Playtime & Kid’s Hub?

Our first visit to the show was before we officially launched Maisonette. It was our first trade show, and it introduced us to so many brands we hadn’t heard of!

Playtime & Kid’s Hub really showed us how vast the children’s market is, and how little the consumer knows. At the time I was a consumer, I had two and a half children at that point and had never heard of many of the brands at the show. It was so exciting to come to Playtime & Kid’s Hub and see the world of opportunity and how many things we could bring to market. I find that the children’s industry is a pretty anonymous space if you’re not in it. If you asked a parent to name two brands they know of, it would likely be hard for them to do so. The idea of bringing these brands to life and being a marketing partner to them was really inspiring. When we put them on our site, it does a lot for their business. Playtime & Kid’s Hub was the first time I realized the opportunity we had ahead of us.


Your team comes to the New York show each season, and will attend Paris again this season after some time away. What are your thoughts on the shows?

The New York show is always getting bigger and better, which is great! This is a testament to the growth of the market, and Playtime & Kid’s Hub does a great job of helping the brands. There are a lot of customer insights at the show, and Playtime & Kid’s Hub does a great job of vetting and curating the selection of brands. Both shows are the place you have to be if you’re in this market, which is a testament in and of itself.

Our team is excited to return to Playtime Paris this season! We are always excited for the international offer that can be found there, it’s always been a more global experience for us.

Playtime & Kid's Hub New YorkPlaytime & Kid’s Hub New York

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our community?

Our team is very excited about 2024! Our brands and vendors have made Maisonette what we are today, and we are so happy and indebted to them. We are grateful for the brands that have stayed with and are loyal to us, and we are excited about the new brands coming on. There will be a lot going on with Maisonette in the next few years, there’s a lot of expansion planned and several strategic moves. We’re excited about it all, and optimistic that 2024 is going to be a great year, for us and the rest of the kids’ fashion and lifestyle industry!


We are excited for 2024 too, especially because we are less than 2 weeks away from Playtime Paris where we’ll get to see some of the Maisonette team! Thank you so much to Sylvana for sharing the story of Maisonette with us. We are honored to have such a unique and creative e-tailer in our community, and can’t wait to see them in Paris and New York this season.

Fellow buyers and professionals in the kids’ fashion and lifestyle industry can get their pass to join Maisonette at Playtime Paris January 27-29 and Playtime & Kid’s Hub New York February 11-13!

P.S. – Stay tuned on our Instagram for a special surprise coming during Playtime Paris and hint hint… it may have to do with Maisonette! 😉


Header image from Misha & Puff
Share on
Madeline Blankenship
Madeline Blankenship