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From Vogue Assistants to Startup Founders: Meet The Mothers Behind Maisonette

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For fashion-forward parents, finding stylish clothing for their kids can be a hassle. No one wants to drag their little ones around a mall in a desperate search for chic options. That might not even exist in that particular place. Maisonette is here to solve that pesky problem and make the lives of parents a whole lot easier. Rather than going on a long shopping excursion, diaper bag in hand, Maisonette provides an online shopping experience that allows parents to stay at home as they sift through a myriad of luxury clothing brands. Why not dress your kids to impress, too?


Luisana Roccia and Sylvana Durrett are the masterminds behind Maisonette; both Vogue veterans and doting moms. They were inspired to create Maisonette by their own difficulties scouring the stores and the internet for brands that would meet their expectations when it comes to properly attiring their children. “We had this light-bulb moment when we were talking about how hard it was to shop for our children and said, 'Why isn't there a platform exclusively for stylish kids clothing and accessories?'" Durrett explains, and their business was born (probably with a satin dress or classy overalls on).

“It's a chore to shop for your children in a world where there's every convenience online for you as an adult. When you have kids, it's just not the same experience. We wanted to solve this problem for parents." -Durrett

Offering up high-quality brands is not all Maisonette does, Roccia and Durrett's site has an editorial section too, called “Le Scoop." It is brimming with children-centric tips and insightful articles that foster a community of parents with one major goal in mind: to find only the very best for their kids.

When asked about naming the company, Roccia revealed the pair have always admired French style, especially that of women. “Something about their elevated simplicity is so chic," she says.

“As a woman, it's difficult to walk into a room full of men and ask for money month after month like we had to for our Series A fundraising round. That being said, we fully believe in what we are building and would do anything to make sure it's successful"

Durrett spoke about her favorite brands that are on her website; “Right now I'm in love with Age of Innocence, a shoe brand based in London," she says. “Their shoes are so timeless and classic yet modern. They are perfect for the Holidays!" Soon RS Barcelona will be featured on Maisonette; this is one of their brands that will branch out of the clothing sphere and into the realm of chic furniture for kids to enjoy, like foosball and ping pong tables.

Next for the busy moms in business is a new feature on their site. Since the long-awaited holiday season is coming up, they've launched “Petite Profile." Yes, it's as cute as it sounds. The petite rugrats in their customer's lives can get personalized profiles to ensure only the best outfits are suggested.

“We're also excited for Maisonette's holiday pop-up in New York City," Durrett adds. “It will be open from 11/16–12/24! The pop-up will feature a range of family-friendly activities to make the holiday shopping season more fun."

So to all the parents out there, instead of being plagued with unceasing stress this holiday season, take to Maisonette and let its magic do the work.

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Business

The Twists and Turns on My Entrepreneurial Journey And What You Can Learn From Them

When I look back on my journey as an entrepreneur, the path has been filled with many twists and turns, including moments of sheer panic, grounded calm, enormous fear, painful failure, utter exhaustion, exhilaration, pride, incredible fun, and huge joy accomplishing a goal. Amidst this adventurous path, what stays with me is a love for birthing and building a brand and company. You can actually watch the spirit of the company grow and flourish along with its revenues.


People ask me all the time…how did you start a pretzel company and now a juice company…what inspired you?

It all started with choosing courage over fear…and a chocolate chip pretzel. I had read an article about a woman selling soft pretzels at a farmer's market, and the idea came to me for a chocolate chip soft pretzel. I was truly obsessed and couldn't get this twisted vision out of my mind. I also was miserable in my job and felt like I was stuck in quicksand. I met Scott (now my husband) at a bookstore in Chicago, and we started playing with recipes in my studio apartment. I chose courage and quit my job in advertising to take a leap of faith. One thing led to another, and a marriage, three kids, and through lots of twists and turns, Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels eventually became a frozen pretzel brand on the shelves of grocery stores around the country, on QVC, in Starbucks and more.

We had this incredible opportunity to take this ancient twisted dough (over 4000 years old) and transform it with ingredients inside and on top to create an 'anytime' meal. There was such fulfillment in building something out of nothing but a dream, enthusiasm, and a credit card. And as we transformed the pretzel, I discovered that the most powerful experience was how the business transformed me.

Through all the challenges, learnings, failures, victories, and struggles, I found resilience, grit, creativity, courage, strength, inspiration, and most importantly, I found my voice. I found a place where I could bring more of myself, and create a company with authentic leadership that resonated with the "ME" I was becoming.

Being an entrepreneur can be a powerful "personal growth" boot camp if you live it fully. The experience calls on all of your being to build the dream. You need to evaluate your values, who you want to be, how you show up with each move, and whether or not your business reflects that.

In 2012 we had the chance to sell Kim & Scott's to a public company, and we wanted to start over. This time, two decades later, it was Scott's obsession with fresh lime juice for a margarita that was the inspiration for Twisted Alchemy.

With cold pressed juices for inspired mixology and culinary arts, we have the opportunity to work with bartenders, mixologists and chefs at some of the country's best bars, restaurants and hotels. We help cocktail & mocktail enthusiasts and party hosts at home with our special samplers and party kits, including a mimosa juice sampler to create an amazing mimosa bar. We source our fruits from around the world, in flavors including pineapple, watermelon, grapefruit, blood orange, passion fruit, orange, lemon and lime.

We're also elevating spirits of team members at companies and organizations with our Twisted Alchemy experiences, "A Toast of Inspiration." We craft custom cocktails/mocktails and themes to guide conversation and impact teams and meetings with inspiring and engaging dialog.

Photo credit: Margaret Pattillo

I like to call this entrepreneurial journey a "juicy revolution." It's an opportunity to disrupt, transform, and elevate spirits, both at the bar and out in our world community. This brings me to Purpose, the heart of any successful company.

When you build your company with purpose, it propels everything forward. It's your North Star. When we discovered our mission, "Elevating Spirits", it gave us a compass to navigate for building Twisted Alchemy. Despite hurdles that come about, I always come back to why we are here in the first place.

Here are a few twisted tips to help you build your dream:

Reach out for help.

From incubators and accelerators to industry groups, mentors, and coaches, gather your support community to help you navigate the ups and downs. Also, women business networks and circles have been a great influence and support for me. Build a team of advisers who can be there through the challenges and cheer you on.

Seek inspiring podcasts.

The words and lessons of others teach and inspire me every day, including two of my favorites, "Oprah's Super Soul Conversations" and "How I Built This" with Guy Raz. Seek the words and experiences of others to inspire and energize you.

Build with purpose and intention.

When we discovered our mission to elevate spirits, I knew it had the meaning and energy to propel us in big ways. Building with purpose and intention enables you to take a cause and focus on doing something that improves your community in some way.

Let things get messy. Fail.

I'll never forget one night when all our pretzel rolls were exploding in the oven. We stayed up all night trying to figure out how to get 300 beautiful rolls for Starbucks. In that fit of failure we discovered some key baking tactics that impacted us greatly moving forward. Out of the mess and trials are birthed amazing new discoveries that often can be the heart of your success.

Innovate. Explore. Tweak. Twist.

Turn things upside down to see another angle and another perspective. Take breaks, and give it time to simmer and develop.

Get still.

Every night before I go to sleep, I like to sit with a blank piece of paper next to me. I allow all the noise and chatter to flow through. I call it a Brain Dump. It allows me to clear it all out, hear my intuition, and enable inspiration to flow.

Create your juicy revolution.

Take the courageous step, stake your claim on a mission that resonates at a heart level, and create your own juicy revolution. Disrupt, shake things up, and do it in your own unique way.