They've also introduced the brand to a new whole new set of customers. "We have totally reached a new audience with the mini line," says Parikka. "Before, our shoes were mainly for a trendy crowd, and now with the mini we reach customers from 0 to 70 years old. I think our oldest customer has actually been way over 90." After all, who can't appreciate a tiny sneaker with rabbit ears for a tongue and a pom-pom tail?
Bonpoint was founded in 1975 as a couture house for children, and although the brand now owns and operates more than 110 boutiques worldwide and sales are estimated at around €100 million, or around $114 million per year, it still maintains a Paris atelier and shows a couture collection (which, according to the FT, accounts for about 10 percent of sales) twice a year. Along with Baby Dior, which opened the doors to its first Paris boutique in 1967 — Princess Grace of Monaco cut the inaugural ribbon — the brand was a pioneer in the field, and with its exclusive focus on childrenswear, it has since developed a reputation for impeccable fit and attention to detail, eschewing trendiness in favor of timeless design. This, of course, doesn't come cheap: A smocked floral baby romper, for example, costs $235, while a leather varsity jacket in sizes up to 12 years will set you back $1,665 (Pukay, for one, says she tries to wait until pieces go on sale to shop).
She and Ward Durrett have three children each and cite the frustrations of shopping for them as their inspiration for launching the platform. "The process of shopping for your young children is incredibly tedious," says Ward Durrett. "You have to go to a number of websites to get the things you need for your kids — you're at a shoe site, you're at another site for pants, you're at another site for a special occasion dress. It's a disaggregated market, and it's incredibly inefficient. And when you're a mom, you have the least amount of time in your life." The aim of Maisonette, then, is to be a one-stop shop for apparel, accessories, toys, decor and more, all aimed at a style-conscious consumer who values quality as much as they value convenience. The parent demographic is also a smart target for an e-commerce venture: According to a recent study by Big Commerce, parents spend 75 percent more time online shopping each week, and spend more of their budget online in comparison to non-parents.