Agathe Blanquart has been a fan of this particular brand for years and when the chance to buy the company came up she thought “Why not!” And together with her husband, she decided to jump right into it! We talked with Agathe for our second #CoolKidsBrand interview that comes with a very special COMPETITION with an amazing prize just in time for Christmas! See the details at the end.
We asked Agathe about her fantastic journey with ALICE à PARIS, her memories of how she used to celebrate her birthday as a child in France and we loved to hear about the fun activity her mum used to do at her parties and that she now did for her son’s 7th birthday.
How did this project start?
It all started with a bit of craziness and luck! I was a fan of the brand for years and had been shopping in their lovely stores in Paris for years when I met the sister of the founder of ALICE à PARIS in Mauritius the first time, and then 18 months later met her again in Miami. Since we first met in Mauritius, I had been secretly dreaming of helping them grow the brand in the UK… but instead, when we found out in Miami that the founders wanted to sell the company off, my husband and I thought “why not us!” We then looked at the opportunity, asked ourselves if we wanted this kind of entrepreneur life etc… and we decided to jump right into it! For my greatest pleasure…
What did you do before starting this amazing new adventure?
I have been living in London for almost 13 years now but I am French, from beautiful Normandy, and Paris. I have been working in Marketing and Business Development for 10 years at Shell in their Retail department. Quite far from the fashion industry but I love fashion and I have two wonderful kids that I enjoy very much dressing up: a boy, Armand who is 8 yo and a girl, Ambroisine who is 3. With Shell, I have done many different jobs which gave me the confidence to get out of my comfort zone and throw myself into my new role as CEO of my own company.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
My kids, haha! With ALICE à PARIS, my biggest achievement is to have exceeded my first year’s target plan and to have managed to take over the company and keep its style while adding my own touch. Now, my biggest challenge is to let customers know that ALICE à PARIS is back online and to get the UK mummies to know about our lovely brand and creations!
Who is your target audience?
Our customers are 95% of mummies – surprising huh? The majority of our customers are French (living in Paris but also in big cities), followed by the UK, Italy and the US. The ladies who buy from ALICE à PARIS are mums who enjoy fashion and who like to dress their children in style but not in a too sophisticated way. They also look to combine beautiful prints with comfort and quality without spending too much.
What has been your most successful Marketing & PR strategy?
I am very proud to have recently teamed up with Merci Maman, a brand I love for personalised gifts. We have more plans together but this is too early stage to share!
Do you like a DIY party or you prefer to buy/order?
I like to mix both: I love to prepare the theme and decoration with my kids when it comes to their parties, to surprise their guests with a nice (and useful…) goody bag that I make myself and together with my husband we lead the party and organise games, but I also enjoyed using the services of Parentville Parties to book a make-up artist and to surprise and impress my son with a beautiful and tasty sport-themed cake for his 8th birthday!
Are the kid’s parties now very different from what they were when you were a child?
In France, the tradition is different than in the UK. Only your child’s good friends are invited so this reduces the party to 6-8 kids and parents organise it all, from food to activities etc… Having said that, we see more and more kids birthday party planners arising in Paris but I do not think
this has really reached the rest of France yet. Like I said, my husband and I are following the French tradition but with a bit of British influence from time to time and each time we have used Parentville Parties!
Any special memory of your own childhood parties or your friend’s parties?
I was born in May so my birthday party was very often organised in the garden. I vividly remember one fun activity organised by my mum, so we did it for my son 7th birthday party and he loved it! One attaches a strong from a tree to another for instance and hangs the party bag to it. Kids are blindfolded and have to cut the string of the party bag to win it, finding their direction thanks to their friends shouting “left, right, straight, higher…!” But be cautious to organise this activity for older kids to avoid so any risk with the scissors.
What is your favourite quote?
“What one want, one can”. It applies to everything: your relationship with your loved ones and friends, work, the life you live!