Sarah Easley has been in the fashion industry for years so it makes sense that the stylish maven decided to launch a new kind of shopping experience, MaisonMarché. Easley is aiming to put the fun back into shopping with a new type of curated experience for special shoppers. We chatted to the fashionista about launching this exciting new endeavor.
Tell us about founding MaisonMarche!
SARAH EASLEY: MaisonMarché is a hyper curated fashion shop that activates for 2 days about 4 times per month in private residences and luxury hotels. Each “shop” features 30 brands from all categories of Women’s fashion and no two events are alike.
What prompted you to start MaisonMarche?
S.E: I feel like shopping with our friends is a lost art. I miss my early twenties when I would spend every weekend with my friends in Soho or the East Village on a fashion treasure hunt. Life got busier, consumer habits shifted and now most people I know shop online, alone, from home. It is harder to take a risk on a new brand or adventurous style…You return half of what you buy and there is just less JOY in the whole experience. Another reason I launched MaisonMarché was to support Fashion brands I love. I know so many talented designers who go out of business because they cannot reach that sophisticated client. My clients love discovering new labels, while shopping with their friends and supporting a great cause!
How do you find your designers?
S.E: This is my favorite part. I have an overall MaisonMarché signature style in mind. This is always evolving and multi mood but I have an aesthetic core mission that I follow loosely. I find most of my designers from other designers. Someone creating ready-to-wear I love refers my to a shoe brand. A handbag brand recommends a jeweler and so forth. I have also found a lot of unique brands through my mentor work with the CFDA and the Latin American Fashion Summit. The MaisonMarché mix is a variety of price points and a mix of under the radar and established brands.
There’s a charity component to your model, can you elaborate? How do you pick them?
S.E: Yes. Giving back is another big component of MaisonMarché. The host of the event chooses a charity and MaisonMarché donates a portion of the proceeds on her behalf. Coming together and discovering new fashion brands with your friends is fantastic, but with so many important causes that need support, it is much more meaningful to know that we are also giving something back. Some of our recent charity partners include Every Mother Counts, The Joyful Heart Foundation, Everytown for Gun Safety, IRIS and Cancer Research Foundations.
How do you think retail has changed?
S.E: The problem is, many retailers have not changed much at all but the consumer habits have. I love the change that challenge brings. Our mission is to go to where our clients are. They want to be at home with their friends but shop global brands.
How do you pick your hosts?
S.E: I was my own first host on May 1, 2018 and I had about 5 friends step up and say they would like to host in other locations (East Hampton, Nantucket, NYC, Greenwich…) At every single event, I meet wonderful clients, who see first hand what it is all about, and ask to host. It’s going viral, organically. Now I am booked up for six months in advance and most hosts are on their third event.
Describe MaisonMarche in 3 words.
S.E: Creative, Community, Conscious
What are 3 must haves in any woman’s closet?
S.E: Tailored, crisp black blazer, beat up luxury leather Moto jacket and lace!
What is your favorite thing to shop for?
S.E: I love shopping for fashion, jewelry, sunglasses, and perfume. No trying on in the fitting room and you can often wear them the same day, seasonless
What makes the experience special?
S.E: One element about the MaisonMarché concept that has surprised me is the women selling to other women. I have 4 or 5 professional stylists on hand at every event to guide and provide expert styling advice. However, in reality, the guests sell to each other. They see a piece worn by a friend and race over to the racks to find another in their size (I limit the supply to 3 units per style so everyone is not twinning around town). Clients give each other sound advice and the joy of shopping with friends is restored.
Photography by: Photography Courtesy of MaisonMarché