Emma Main and Kate Boyden are the driving force behind everything Maman. This sister duo from Auckland had long envisioned opening a chic space in their local suburb of Remuera for the classic, modern woman. Following their passion through research and discovery, the two sisters began assembling their favourite finds to create Maman.
The Maman Flagship store embodies a love for French design, while the name is a salute to their mother, who instilled in them a strong sense of sophisticated style and taught them to follow their dreams.
Tell us about Maman, where did it start and how has it grown?
Emma - It started from a three person team and was an owner operated boutique. At the time we had young children so we had one employee to help us. The boutique was off the main road initially, in a small alley way in Remuera. We liked the laneway because it reminded us of Melbourne and was located around the bakery and supermarket. Kate and I became an instrumental part of people’s daily visit as they would just pop in and that’s how we grew our customer base. Maman has grown in the sense that we are now a seven strong team in partnership with a marketing collaboration called Society. The boutique is now on the main road of Remuera. We have done a beautiful customised fit out to create a really unique, luxurious shopping experience to service our established loyal customer following.
Maman in the future, where do you see it going?
Kate - For now it is about building our existing relationship with our customers. It’s about continuing to provide excellent service along with a beautiful product, giving our customers a curated shopping experience in the chic new store. We want to grow our community further through our new online platform; to be able to reach a wider audience who cannot experience the store physically but can be part of the journey through the online service. We will continue to travel the globe sourcing new and unique labels not currently available in New Zealand. New product’s that give our customers the international experience within the store but also creating a personality with our business and our customers. We are constantly inspired by our travels so who knows what’s next!
When you are not busy working at Maman we will find you…
Kate - Usually hanging out with my family. We love getting to explore this cool city we live in, going out to Piha and doing the bush walk out there. On my days off I really enjoy doing a lap around the domain with my dog – it is my little escape from the hustle and bustle of my job. When I’m heading out for a night with the girls I love going to Amano.
Emma - There is nothing better then time with the family. Pilates always refreshes the mind and leaves me feeling strong and inspired. A good glass of champagne is always enjoyed!!
What’s the hardest thing about your jobs?
Emma: All the different hats we have to wear juggling our family life with owning a business is the hardest part of our jobs. Honestly though, we wouldn’t have it any other way - we live and breathe it. We are very fortunate to have such loyal and kind Maman Women along with a really supportive and dedicated team who help us along the way.
Key words of advice for new business’s looking to enter the world of retail?
Kate - Research. Research. Research. Know your competitors. Be unique and different. Talk to as many people as you can. Get yourself a mentor. We have a great mentor who we can bounce ideas off. You also have to be prepared to put in the hours, to put in hard work and success will follow. No dream is too big it’s about the execution. Our motto we like to live by is:
Think big. Start small. Evolve.
Maman is about to launch it's Online Store – why is the brick and mortar store still important to your brand?
Emma - The online store is an extension of our in-store experience. Bricks and mortar is still very important because it is a place where people can come and meet, getting to interact with the clothes and our stylist’s. The store allows us to have an incredible relationship with our customer’s and when we are buying we have a customer in mind for certain pieces. It is important for us to continue to maintain those relationships with our Maman Women and for them to have a unique, special shopping environment. The connection with the owners and staff allows them to get the best out of their shopping experience which in turn gives them confidence when ordering online as they have had a good experience in store through us talking through your wardrobe, what is missing and then being able to repurchase things through the online site.