Brand interview with Maison Deux
Today we are presenting Maison Deux to you, one of the youngest brands to join us, focussing on Home & Living for kids and their parents. You have probably already seen their products without being aware of it: Does a rocking cloud, a bowler hat or a slice of watermelon sound familiar?
Woes Weinberg, who founded the brand together with his wife Pia is telling us a bit more about their beginning, their working processes and their expectations for the future:
How was Maison Deux born?
We started the company when our children were born two years ago, where we had quite a rough start. All in all, this was quite an experience and we took some time off to set out to do what we would truly like to achieve in life. For us, that is to build great stuff, to build high quality and cool products. We came up with the idea to start a Home & Living brand for kids and their parents: To create high quality, natural material products and an environment where both the child and the parents feel comfortable. That’s where we are at today.
Minimalism meets fun. That is our motto.
Are you planning on introducing more products?
Yes, we launched with the Iconic Rockers, classic toys and easy textiles but we really want to expand into more Home & Living style. You could imagine furniture for kids but also additional furniture for grown-ups, and definitely more toys. We aim to build a label with different products.
We launched the brand in May but we really only presented the whole collection in September, when showcasing Maison Deux at Colette, during the Paris Design Week, followed by Maison & Objet in Paris. That was our kick-off and I think the real start to Maison Deux.
For us the whole build-up towards the final product is extremely important. We are really focussed on craftsmanship, creating our products locally and making use of natural materials like the woolen fabric of Kvadrat which makes our rockers very durable. They are a long lasting kids item. We need a long breath but it is important for us to build this together with our partners and to make sure people can experience the quality and the design of our products.
We aspire to create long term kids icons.
You can view our Iconic Rockers like chairs for example. They are not only a toy but a design product and if you wanted you could re-upholster them, changing the color. Kvadrat is of course of very high quality so it is not necessary to change but you could keep the rocker in your house for years, for generations to come, and change it with the style of your house. We would like to see our rockers going on for generations and staying in the homes even after the kids are long gone. We see it as an icon of the home and even grandparents buy it for their own houses, even though the children might stop by only occasionally. Usually you store away all of the brightly colored kids items when cleaning up, but our rockers stay. They are more than just a toy.
Will you be showcasing the products at trade shows?
Most probably we will not be attending the shows this February as we want to focus on new product development and new collaborations and from there on in September we will present a whole new collection in Paris.
Are you working with other brands or retail stores on producing something exclusively for them?
Yes, definitely. For the rockers, we would like to continue to do collaborations with other brands but also with retailers. Colette is of course a brand of itself and they do a lot of cool collaborations so it was a really nice kick-off for us during the Paris Design Week. Currently a few other collaborations with fashion brands but also high end department stores are already in the making for 2017.
Were you able to get these contacts through the fashion week?
Yes, and no. We contacted some directly with a proposal and others we met at the fair. We have our own ideas of people we would like to work with and people contact us in saying ‘Hi, could you make a special edition for us?’. So it goes both ways.
Where are your products currently available?
We sell through our own webshop – through which we ship globally – but also through selected retailers in Europe. You can find our products on colette, Smallable and X-Bank which belongs to the W Hotel for example. Both channels are growing and they are alimenting each other. Social Media and media attention like magazines, blogs and influencers have been extremely important for us over the last months.
It is very important for us to build an omni channel experience, to tell one coherent story through our webshop, our online presence but also through the retailers who feature our collection. We are looking for retailers who love our branding and fit theirs: Our partnership is not only about selling but also about giving a consumer experience. We have been collaborating with luxurious hotels that place our Iconic Rockers in their suites where children and parents can test the product but also buy it. This has been a very nice experience!
Just as we do with our production partners, we see our retailers as part of our value chain and we want to learn step by step from them, what customers look at, what they ask and which products sell or do not sell. This process takes time. We have just started and have a long way to go.
I hope that people can appreciate what we are trying to build. We have to see what the future brings.
And how do you see FashionTrade.com in this future?
FashionTrade.com seems very interesting as it is giving people a new opportunity to do business in a different way. We are in a changing landscape of how business is done – before you used to go to trade fairs and now it has become a mix of fairs and online connection – and FashionTrade.com is showing one way to go. I think we both try to facilitate change. FashionTrade.com is facilitating in doing business, in working more efficiently and we want to create a home that fits your needs better, makes you happier and lets you have fun. We are both starting to build a new trend, we see the behavior changing and are offering a service or a product to fit this new need.
So it remains to be discovered what this future looks like. We will stay tuned to Maison Deux this next season to see what they will be presenting in 2017 but most importantly to see what is in store for them starting September. A very promising brand with a solid product and a very captivating story.