Séraphine Maternity has grown to be the
maternity clothing company loved by celebrities and royalty. Last year, they received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for outstanding achievement in international trade. We caught up with the lovely Cecile Reinaud, founder of Séraphine Maternity
What ignited the spark in you to start Séraphine? How did the idea for your business come about?
Before Séraphine, I worked in advertising, so I’ve always had an eye for a commercial opportunity. I had the idea for Seraphine when my friends began to fall pregnant & complained that they couldn’t find any stylish maternity clothes – back then it was all tent dresses which are so not attractive! They started coming to me with alteration requests and it all snowballed from there. I had a passion for fashion and realized there was a niche to take.
What's the story behind the name?
I spent quite a lot of time thinking about names for my brand. I wanted something feminine that sounded beautiful and reflected my French roots. The French word Séraphin means little angels, which seemed like the perfect fit.
As a mum of two boys & an entrepreneur, life must be busy. How do you find balance? What drives your work ethic?
Running a business with two young children in the picture is no walk in the park. By nature, I’m a perfectionist so when they were younger I used to get frustrated about not having enough time. I’ve since learnt not to beat myself up about not being the perfect textbook mum. My trick is to make a list of ten things I want to achieve in a day, then to cross out the four least important ones and accept that they just won’t happen today. I aim to feel 100% satisfied when I’ve reached 60% of my daily goals. With this perspective of the glass half full rather than half empty, I find I have more positive energy that I can redeploy to both my business and family. I’m also a big fan of the daily meditation app Headspace – it helps me to make sure that I get at least 10 minutes to myself each day.
You have enjoyed some highlights including receiving the Queen's Award for Enterprise 2015, can you share some of them?
This has been an amazing year for Séraphine! We received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for outstanding achievement in international trade, we had a win at the PayPal Awards, and were named the Ones to Watch on Richard Branson’s Fast Track 100 List. Of course dressing the Duchess of Cambridge through both of her pregnancies has been a dream come true for me. One of my favourite looks that we created for her was the Marina Coat - she wore it when she arrived with Prince William in New York for their first official visit to the States, and she just looked so stunning – It was a real ‘wow moment’!
What did it feel like the first time you saw the Duchess of Cambridge donning a Séraphine outfit?
Of course, I was completely thrilled! Nothing can compare to seeing the Duchess wearing our Fuchsia Knotted Dress in those beautiful first official pictures with Prince George – it was one of the proudest moments of my life!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Oh from all over! I love keeping track of the latest catwalk trends, but I find street style just as fascinating. Sometimes inspiration even comes from the girls at the Seraphine office - they’re a stylish bunch and I’ll often stop one of them to take a picture of their outfit to store away for ideas later on.
Describe this season's collection
We’ve got some gorgeous new styles this season! There’s plenty of cosy knitwear and a couple of stunning new coats. And I love our new collection of printed dresses – they’re perfect for working this season’s 70’s trend.
Do you have a favourite quote you live by?
Follow your dreams, but don’t be a dreamer.
This was what my mother used to tell me when I was growing up. I tend to dream very big, and this quote helps me to stay focused on the practical steps I need to take to reach my goals.