Sleep In Luxury: Meet maison étoile
Founded in April 2016 by a 31 year-old investment-banker-turned sleep fanatic Harvard Business School student, maison étoile is your new bedtime obsession. Founder Diane Guité developed the idea after observing that many of her put-together friends wore beautiful outfits during the day, but spent the night sleeping in hole-covered t-shirts and old boxers. After exploring why, the answer seemed supply-based: Existing sleepwear was either overtly sexy (VS, La Perla), hard to manage (dry-clean only), or made with synthetics (which make sleepwear feel soft to the touch, but not breathable for sleeping).
Instead of giving in to old t-shirts, Diane searched the globe for the most beautiful natural materials with the plan to develop sleepwear styles that were consistent with what millienial women want to be wearing, whether they’re alone in bed or have company. Her ultimate dream is to build a female-focused business that promotes sleep and wellness, with an office in downtown Manhattan full of nap pods, unlimited Greek yogurt, and amazing women who wear their pajamas to work.
How does maison étoile promote wellness?
We promote wellness in two ways. First, our sleepwear is made exclusively of all-natural cottons, woven in the Italian countryside. Our mill in Italy (Alfatex Bersini) procures yarn from both Egypt (Egyptian) and from South America (Supima), both of which are considered to be extremely high-quality (and the yarn needs to be of a certain quality level to in turn be woven into fine Italian cottons), and Italy has long been leader in luxury woven cottons (such as men’s shirting and bedding). We use no synthetics, no spandex, no materials with names you can’t pronounce; just crisp, luxurious cotton. As a natural fiber, cotton is breathable, easy to care for, and gets softer with every wear, making it an ideal fabric for sleepwear. And sleepwear is for sleeping, and sleeping is just about the best thing you can do for your body.
Second, our chic French-inspired styles make women look and feel beautiful. Our chic pajamas are fun to wear, and consequently elevate the nighttime ritual process!
What’s your nighttime ritual and which pjs are you most frequently wearing?
The maison étoile tagline is “Celebrate Bedtime”! Bedtime is such a fun part of the day, and a big part of our mission is to elevate and bring intention to bedtime, rather than just let it happen (i.e. closing your eyes and falling asleep on the couch in your dress). Before starting maison étoile, I would wear random oversized t-shirts and fraying boxers collected during my high school and college years every night to sleep. Now, I (obviously!) wear exclusively M.E. I rotate between the Picabo and Jane nightgowns when I’m sleeping solo, and then opt for the Amelia set if I’ve got company!
My pre-bedtime ritual begins with changing into an étoile nightgown (whichever style and color speaks to me), pulling my probably-hasn’t-been-washed-for-two-days hair back with an étoile scrunchie, and doing a full face cleansing situation. After washing my face, I’ll head to the kitchen, warm up some water, and squeeze in a fresh lemon. Then, me and my lemon tea and chic PJs crawl into bed and—if I can keep my eyes open—I read a short story (my favorites are all by Roald Dahl!) before hitting the lights!
Where can we find you on a Sunday morning?
Sitting on the couch in my Jane House Dress, scrunchie in, eating my favorite breakfast (2% Fage yogurt with pomegranate seeds and GoLean cereal! Feeling hungry as I write these words!) and scrolling through the New York Times wedding announcements. I try and drink lemon water rather than coffee on the weekends, but only succeed 50% of the time!
What’s the most difficult part about managing a small business?
Working solo without a partner, hands down. In all of my prior jobs, decision making has been team-based. Now, whether it’s something as small as choosing button sizes, or as important as negotiating payment terms with our factory in Boston, I am making all decisions. You can ask friends and family for advice, hold focus groups, send out surveys, and more, but at the end of the day, I am the person who cares most deeply about the business, and often wish I had started the business with a partner to discuss ideas and make decisions together!
With that said, starting maison étoile is the most fun thing I have ever done. Having the opportunity to build a brand around coziness and being well is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me.
What types of pjs your next lookbook will include?
We are committed to sleepwear that is comfortable, that makes you feel pretty when you put it on, and that is made of high-quality natural fabrics. With these three pillars in mind, our next collection will focus on more nightgown styles, in different cotton weights and fabrics! They’re going to be awesome.
Thanks for sharing, Diane! Check out more about maison étoile via their website.
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