The mama behind the brand
Nathalie Genty, founder of gorgeous online childrenswear boutique Melijoe, is a mama of five (yes five!) – Mathis, aged 13; Antone, aged 12; Melie, aged 5; Neva, aged 4 and Mahaut, aged 2. We spoke to her about her sense of style, her Parisien roots and how she achieves a work-life balance (the key is being mama 100% after work). We are also mega excited as Melijoe.com has just launched a dedicated service for its Middle Eastern clientele – bring Paris to the UAE at super quick speed!
Three lucky Sassy Mama readers can win $200 each to spend at Melijoe.com – read on to find out how!
Where did the idea for Melijoe come from?
I only became interested in children’s fashion after I had my first child, in 2003. I’ve always followed grown-up fashion, but when I went shopping for my son, I was disappointed with the selection I found in multi-brand stores. So I decided to launch my own e-commerce site specialising in children’s fashion and before I knew it, Melijoe became the online go-to for kids fashion!
For mamas wanting to order on Melijoe.com do you deliver to Dubai and what is the delivery time?
Yes, we deliver in Dubai with DHL Express within two days!
How do you balance work life and motherhood?
The secret is to keep the right pace and have a sense of timing! I’m a mother of 5, with kids aged 18 months to 13 years old; my children are my inspiration every day. During the week, I’m in 100% mama mode after work (I practically never go out) because their father works in London. But on Friday night, when Nicolas comes back, we take time for ourselves to have a romantic diner, or sometimes we slip away for a romantic weekend in London or Florence just the two of us.
Have you always had an interest in style?
I always loved fashion, photography, black with white, Chanel, Saint Laurent: I would tape fashion shows and watch them over and over after school, I collected magazines.
How would you describe your style?
I’m a Parisian at heart. I’d describe my style as natural; I’m not really into make-up. For everyday, I use Chanel Perfection Lumiere #20 (since I’m 17), Night Repair from Estee Lauder (my second skin!) and my Saint Laurent eye liner.
For clothing, I like mixing a strong designer piece with a pair of trainers – that’s really my uniform. Sneakers from Nike, Balenciaga, Valentino work even with a Dolce dress!
Do you have any advice for readers starting a business?
Don’t give up! You need to have THE idea, to be sure of yourself and your concept. If you’re passionate you can do it!
Your children must be the best-dressed kids ever. What are your go to brands and have your children got their own fashion style?
Five children = five personalities… and so many different styles! I like to blend brands that I love such as Chloé, Marc Jacobs and Gucci but also Petit Bateau, Scotch & Soda, Kenzo, Little Eleven… I try every brand!
What city do you live in and what are your favourite addresses?
I live in Paris in the 10th arrondissement. I love my neighbourhood!
– My favourite bakery is Julhes, wholemeal bread and traditional baguette every day and croissants and chouqettes the weekend…
– Dada for all organic food and especially for my orange juice on the morning (8 per day!)
– For romantic dinners ,the 52 Faubourg or Le Richer
What do you love most about your city as a mama?
There’s always something to do! Where I live, I have everything I need within a radius of 500m: home, school, company.
There’s always an exhibition to see. Lately we went with the children to the Gallerie Sakura to see « Des Chauves-Souris et des Hommes »
What are your go-to mama stores for fashion and home?
L’Atelier de Pablo and Chez Bénédicte for the little decorative items. Kotozane for birthday gifts of the friends… almost every weekend ! And L’ouvre-boîte for Mathis’ books.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Without hesitation, Mauritius. We go there every Easter. We stay at the same hotel, so now it’s a little like being at home, but in vacation mode! The kids feel right at home, they have friends there. Everyone has his or her favourite activity. The grounds are immense, with two pools, three beaches, a golf course and lots of activities. And the food is great.
What is your must-have mama item?
A soft toy… One per child! It’s the most precious item for them. They follow us everywhere under any circumstances.
Check out Nathalie Genty on Instagram here.
We’ve featured some other fab females in our Global Mama series – have a read here.