We sat down with Lee Ann Sauter, founder and CEO of Maris Collective, to talk more about the brand’s first time at Coterie.
The Knockturnal: How did the Maris Collective get involved?
Lee Ann Sauter: We are a multi-brand retailer and we carry everything from new emerging brands to the tried and true, most luxurious brands out there. Coterie came to us and said that you are really focusing on innovating retail and helping retailers succeed. So come help us do that and help buyers see brands, both new and existing brands, in a new way. So we did. We have a design company called Maris Studio. We do all of our own design work and fixtures and everything is truly one of a kind. We created this beach club because we thought it was really appropriate for the collections we were going to be showing. We picked the brands and asked them to be a part of our collaboration with Coterie. I think we succeeded and you feel like you’re in your own oasis. We’re trying to educate people on how to be successful in business in what is a challenging retail environment for most. Not for us, luckily we’ve been hugely successful. We started the company in 2008 and we’ve been able to grow year after year in a significant way. It’s really about a combination of what’s the next thing for trade shows. ‘How can they help people want to stay in an environment?’ Our clients want to stay in our environment because it’s special and they feel really good about their experience.
The Knockturnal: How did you choose the brands you were going to showcase in the Beach Club House?
Lee Ann Sauter: This year, we’re showcasing Figue, State & Manor, Rosa Chá, Planet Blue, among others. These are all brands that we truly believe in and partner with in one shape or another. So it was easy to pick who we were going to showcase.
The Knockturnal: What are some mistakes retailers are making in the present challenging retail environment?
Lee Ann Sauter: They don’t start with their clients. It’s not just about having a cool store that stands for something, it’s really about asking who’s my client. Ask yourself what does your client want and figure out how to do things differently. Don’t be afraid to try new things but listen to your client first.
The Knockturnal: Where do you see the retail environment going?
Lee Ann Sauter: Well we have a decision to make. We either work together and stop working in silos and create synergies or it’s going to be difficult for brands to survive. We’re choosing to be a platform for designers and retailers alike to create synergies and efficiencies to allow them to be profitable.