Along their own journeys through motherhood, Marie and Bérengère were unable to find an Australian community that put the women behind the children first. When wanting to send beautiful gifts to friends going through pregnancy, they struggled to find shops that focused on the mum or mum-to-be. Everything was about the babies. This inspired them to create something themselves and shift the focus back to the mama. The result is a community focused on sisterhood, offering luxurious, quality products made in Australia with sustainability at the centre of it all. At Maison Mabé, you will find a nurturing space helping women to flourish in their role as mothers while focusing on themselves and prioritising self care – it is all about nurturing the women behind the children: supporting pregnant women and mothers to put themselves top of the priority list.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Our motherhood journey is the starting point of Maison Mabé. We have 6 children between us. From the elation and slight terror of seeing a faint second line appear on a pregnancy test, to the meeting of that little person who will forever change your life, we’ve been through it all.
What we realised very quickly during our own motherhood journeys is that there is a lot of support for the babies, but not much for the women. Women need mothering too, especially when going through such a life-changing experience. This is why we created Maison Mabé, a nurturing space to support women to flourish in their role as mothers while staying true to themselves. Mama, we’ve got you: Baby always but Mama first.
Because all mothers matter, we are a profit for good business. Maison Mabé donates 50% of profits to its not-for-profit partner caring for women and their families: St Kilda Mums.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
The main driver for Maison Mabé in the beginning, and still today, is to care for mothers. In the early days we spent most of our time talking to mothers to understand the type of support they need. We are both French-Australian and had access to brands and products not yet available locally.
We started by bringing these exclusive products to Australia and offering them to our local community in Melbourne. The pregnancy necklaces were an instant hit! We keep developing by focusing on pregnancy and breastfeeding essentials.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The proudest achievement we have had to date is our creation of the most innovative breastfeeding T-Shirt: beautiful breastfeeding tops, made from 100% organic cotton right here in Melbourne.
As breastfeeding mums, we knew all too well the struggle to find elegant, ethically made clothes that offer easy feeding access. We found that most nursing tops are also pregnancy tops, which means large and loose around the waist. No thanks! This is why we were especially keen to come up with something better – and over 12+ months, we developed with a group of breastfeeding mamas what we think are the perfect tops – elegant and comfortable, using the best organic cotton and Australian made. The quality is so high that the tees can be handed down as they still look their best after many many washes.
It is so special for us to pass mums in the street wearing our creations. We are about to launch our second collection, so it’s a very busy and exciting time.
Now women have even more options to easily breastfeed anytime anywhere!
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
To be honest, the key to balance work and family time is to have the right people by your side, be it your partners, your friends, your family or whoever your support network may be.
Only superheroes could manage to do it all effortlessly! All parents know that you need a village to raise a family, and the same is true when one is creating their own business.
We apply the same methodology to our family life as we do to our business life. Every week we look at the current priorities and must haves vs nice to haves, then divide and conquer and assign who is responsible for what task.
Granted, the current priorities and must haves in our family lives are often the same week in week out: fed, clean and happy kids! The secret though, is that once a task is allocated to someone, there is no hovering, no checking, no commenting on how the job has been done.
Our mantra is the one who does it is the one who is right.