Sweetcase is a perfect example of a shop that could only have been created by a mum. It all started with a clever concept – to create a perfect maternity suitcase, ready to act as the most stylish hospital bag and filled with first essentials — all those bits and pieces a baby needs (and none of the ones it doesn’t!). Murielle had a vision to make things easy for other mamas – and now she has a beautiful shop filled with carefully crafted, functional options for first bedding, clothing and décor. We’d love to know more and we thought you might like to as well. Here our 5 questions — read on for inspiration!
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live and about your family.
I am French and live in a suburb of Paris, near the Vincennes woods, with my husband and our two girls, Ella 6 and Salomé 10. We both grew up in the south of France in Marseille, so getting used to the Paris grey weather wasn’t the easiest thing! Our jobs keep us here and we try to make the best of it – we go back to the sea as much as we can but in the meantime enjoy our neighbouring woods!
I was a legal council for Intellectual property rights for more than 15 years, but actually, I always wanted to “create” much more than to protect creations! I started on my own project whilst I was still working but I’ve been working full time on my brand for almost two years now. I feel very lucky to be able to do what I love and to meet so many creative and inspiring people. My husband is a film director, and together we share the love of art and beauty in everyday things and we try to pass this love on to our daughters.
2. Tell us a little bit about your brand, and how you came to create your beautiful maternity suitcases and linens.
I created Sweetcase a little over three years ago now; I was 6 months pregnant with my second daughter when I came up with the idea. I struggled to find classic and high quality essentials for my baby together with special “first” bedding available in the same shop. From the beginning, I had in mind the idea of creating a ‘real’ suitcase that future parents would like to have to prepare baby’s arrival, to welcome baby with and then of course to keep for a long time after that. The process of developing the suitcase itself, however, was very long! Our first production was definitely not the one we dreamed of… We had to do it again and again before we were truly happy with the results – the suitcase we have now!
For the linen, I was inspired to create a “modern” version of what we call “le trousseau de naissance” in French, which is what grandmothers traditionally made for a new baby arriving in the family. I wanted special and unique items, “made with love” and with a kind message. That’s also why I wanted to create my own prints.
Bringing the idea to life was very much due to dear and kind friends around me… Cécile, (who is behind Bien Fait’s unique wallpaper), who notably designed our unique and delicate prints and Dorothée, who is based in Delhi and has handled production with great care from the beginning.
3. How do you select the items included in your newborn essentials?
The first things I have in mind when selecting any item are the needs and experiences I had as a new mum with my own two kids. Then I search for the best, most perfect option for babies and new parents – looking at fabrics, quality style… All the first clothes that I’ve created for the brand are made in Spain with incredibly soft Pima cotton – perfect for newborns.
When I first selected items for the suitcase from other brands, I was so happy to come across the beautiful basics brand Limo Basic. It has all I wanted to add to the bedding I was creating: softness, organic fabric and great style – simple, chic and delicate! The relationship and contact with the brands and providers I’m working with are also very important to me. I love working with each person that is a partner in Sweetcase webshop.
4. What is your current favourite product to gift a new mama and baby?
My favourite gifts have always been gifts with a sense of message, with a story. Something you give with a kind intention. At the beginning of this year I created a new collection called “go back home with baby” – a range of decorative items such as dream catchers and garlands, and linens as cushions, cot bumpers and more. My favourite item from this collection is a small pin, a “lucky charm” that was inspired by various traditions around the world (it’s also a tradition in my family!) — a small and delicate gift with good vibes for the mom and baby, like a good fairy wish! Our suitcase is also a great gift for mother and baby; it can be baby or mum’s bag when traveling!
5. How do you juggle motherhood and your career?
Well it’s a challenge every day! My goal (yes, it’s still a goal, I’m still working on it!) is to be fully with the kids when I am with them and not try to work at the same time. When it’s homework, dinner or vacation time… This is pretty hard (at least for me!) because it always feels like I have a lot to do and that I’m behind schedule. But it always feels better for everyone when I do achieve this! Still, I must say, I love handling my own schedule even though I often have to work evenings or weekends!
A few months ago I joined the office of my friends Cécile (from Bien Fait) and Séverine (from Titlee) and I don’t work from home everyday anymore. That was a great step that really helped me to juggle motherhood and a career. I must also say that my daughters have the best dad ever, and I’m definitely not alone in all this!
Murielle will be bringing her beautiful cases and first baby essentials to the London ShopUp on the 4th and 5th of December. Stop by to have her help you pick up perfect options for your next new baby gift!