Maman boutique captures the essence of French chic

Sisters Emma and Kate have captured the essence of a French boutique with their store Maman by using a mixture of modern and classical elements

Fashion boutique Maman, located in the Auckland suburb of Newmarket, has an interior to die for. The classical/industrial decor – with a touch of whimsy thrown in – was a collaborative effort between sisters Emma Main and Kate Boyden, Harriet from Young & Richards Interior Design, and the builders who brought the vision into being. The store opened in August 2015, selling a mix of fashion and lifestyle items with luxurious homeware, gifts and art in a gallery-style space.

The store and its name, which means mother in French, is inspired by Kate and Emma’s late mother who instilled in her daughters the art of dressing well, and the importance of beautiful material and simple silhouettes.

The pink neon ‘Oui’ sign above the counter is one of Kate’s favourite pieces as it is a nod to their French aesthetic as well as to the sisters’ dedication to customer service.

Which have you completed in your shop?

✓ New Build

How much have you spent compared to your budget?

We spent our budget. We were strict on keeping to that. We did have a 10 percent contingency plan; always allow yourself a little bit of fat in the budget to play with. We spent a large amount on our fittings, which we thought were the things our customers would notice the most.

The marble benchtops and replacing the building’s frontage were our biggest splurges. These give customers their first impression of the store; the changes completely opened up the space, allowing lots of natural light to pour in.

Do you tend to buy high-end or seek out a bargain?

We did a bit of both, for the shop and my home. Places like Citta Design were great to buy through – amazing pieces at such fabulous prices.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned in regards to projects?

Find a great builder and trust them to add value. We were lucky with the building team who worked on the shop – they were creative and thought outside the brief, often suggesting different options to us. We wanted parquet flooring but it was too expensive for us so they suggested putting it on our changing-room doors instead.

Be open to suggestions! We also sat outside our site and watched the foot traffic to understand better how the area worked for our customers.

Any DIY disasters?

By accident we burst a mains water pipe that other businesses upstairs were connected to. It was terrible as our site was flooded and set us back with our timings. The tenants upstairs were without hot water and it nearly landed us in a lawsuit. It was all very scary.

Be aware that other businesses may be affected by your renovation!

What would you never do again?

We would do it all over again! We loved the whole process.

Professionals you can recommend:

  • Tradesmen – FD Building and Construction
  • Architects – Young & Richards
  • Furniture suppliers – Citta, Le Monde, CC Interiors, Le Forge

Words by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Helen Bankers.


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