Fashion for youngsters

We get to know the face behind stylish kids' e-tailor

Interview, Shopping

Where did the idea for come from?
I began to take an interest in children’s fashion after my first child was born in 2003. It was a niche industry that I had previously been unaware of, and like with women’s fashion, I was immediately seduced when I started to follow the world of children’s design, style and luxury. When my first child was born, I was really disappointed to see the fashion choices in the multi-brand shops. The clothing was simply not attractive to me, and was organised by size, and not trend, which is one of the more important aspects for me when I shop for my children. I wanted to showcase the creative inspiration behind children’s collections, which eventually lead me to launching my own e-boutique in 2007.

How long did it take for your idea to become a reality?
The website was officially launched in 2007 with three brands specialising in baby clothes, and then everything took off really fast after that. Melijoe quickly became the go-to reference for parents looking for designer brands for their children in France, and the site became number one in its market. Six office moves and two years later we were up and running. The site also developed quickly outside of France to include international clients, as well as celebrities and royals.

Melijoe is an unusual name. What’s the story behind it?
Melijoe is simply the mix of two names, a girl’s name, Mélie, and a boy’s name, Joe. In fact, it was Mélijoe that inspired me to name my daughter Mélie, and not the opposite. If I had another baby, I would name him Joe, because we don’t have ‘joe’ in our family. Yet!

How did you decide on the type of clothing and brands you wanted to offer? Were you inspired by the brands your kids wear?
I wanted to offer the same type of online shopping experience that I currently have for myself: on-trend clothing all in one spot, to make life a bit easier. Raising a family is a hard enough and shopping for stylish clothes for children can be difficult if you have to go from boutique to boutique. I am very much inspired by the trends spotted on the adult runways; I have always followed fashion very closely, and wanted to offer the same stylish pieces that brands offer, in one centralised location and to an international market.

How do you juggle your own business and being a Mum?
I start my day at 7am by having breakfast with my children, at 8:45am I arrive at the office, then it’s meetings meetings meetings with staff, buyers or investors. Between meetings, I find time to check in with the rest of my staff one at a time, catching up with what they have been working on. Later in the evening I return home to spend two hours with my kids with no work-related distractions. I usually go back to work after they’re all asleep. On top of that, during busy season I have even more meetings and a lot of the time it feels like I’m working two days in one but I always try to find the right balance between my professional and private life and I always make time for my children. To the best of my ability, I am 100% involved in the day-to-day running of both my family and my business.

Why will appeal to parents in Dubai? Are the shipping costs to the UAE expensive?
Mainly due to our offer: we carry brands that parents in Dubai and the surrounding areas love to shop, especially those parents who are already interested in luxury fashion for themselves. We’ve seen a growing popularity among our Italian designers such as Lesy, I Pinco Pallino and Ermanno Scervino, not to mention better-known brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli. In terms of shipping, the majority of our clients are delivered free of charge, as part of a perk we offer for orders over $350USD.

Where would you like to see the site go over the next few years?
First of all, to establish ourselves as the world’s number one luxury fashion site for children. That is our main goal, plain and simple. Past that, we will continue to expand our website to include editorial from our Read, Click and Buy magazine so that our site also turns into a fashion reference for parents who are looking for up-to-date fashion news, family-friendly luxury travel bits, new collaborations and collections, etc.

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