NEW YORK, United States — Luxury ethical retailer Maison-De-Mode.com has raised $600,000 in a seed funding round, led by investor and entrepreneur Carmen Busquets, with the participation of Charles de Gunzburg, co-founder of the investment firm FdG Associates; Dia Art Foundation chairman Nathalie de Gunzburg; Sarah Berner of Aristeia Capital; entrepreneur Hannah Bronfman; and a handful of silent partners.
Busquets — a founding investor in Net-a-Porter, whose current portfolio of investments includes stakes in Farfetch and Moda Operandi — will become a partner in the company, alongside co-founders Amanda Hearst and Hassan Pierre; she will also sit on its advisory board.
“Carmen’s experience as an investor and a partner is invaluable,” said Pierre. “With Carmen on board, what were once five-year goals for us are now feasible by next year,” added Hearst. “She brings business expertise in the e-commerce sector that is unparalleled.”
Initially founded in 2012 as a physical pop-up shop, the business was rechristened Maison-De-Mode.com and expanded into e-commerce in 2015. Today, the retailer stocks over 70 ethical premium and luxury brands that span ready-to-wear, fine jewellery, accessories and homeware. While the company declined to share current revenue, Pierre said the company has been profitable since inception and expected to generate revenues of over $1 million next year.
Maison-De-Mode.com plans to use the new funding to help scale the business further by growing the size of the company's team (currently four), investing in new technologies to enhance the website and expanding into new product categories, including childrenswear and health and wellness. "The funding gives us the security and ability to take risks," explained Pierre.
All of Maison-De-Mode.com's inventory adheres to at least one of what the company calls “sustainability icons,” ethical pillars that it has identified to easily enable consumers make better-educated purchasing decisions; the “icons” pillars include “Recycled,” “Organic” and “Artisan,” as well as “Made in the USA,” “Charitable” and “Cruelty Free.”
Disclosure: Carmen Busquets is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in The Business of Fashion. All investors have signed shareholders’ documentation guaranteeing BoF’s complete editorial independence.