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Momspiration: Wunway Co-Founders Melanie Chu and Nicole Kim

Influential Moms in the World of Kids' Fashion

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Wunway co-founders Melanie Chu (left) and Nicole Kim.

© Wunway
Founded by three mothers with ten children among them, Wunway is an online boutique for girls ages one through eight. Melanie Chu and Nicole Kim spoke to me from their office in downtown Los Angeles. Ella Kim lives in Seoul, Korea, and was unable to join us.

I loved chatting with Melanie and Nicole -- they laugh a lot, talk over each other, and finish each other’s sentences. This passion and playfulness is evident in the unique and inspired space they have created on the internet. Wunway is much more than a shop. The product shots are wonderfully editorial, with well curated pieces styled to perfection.

My girls and I pored over each image as we would those in a magazine. Contrary to many magazine spreads, however, every item was for sale (none of that “stylist’s own” business), and affordably priced at that.

Tell us about how Wunway came to be.

Melanie: We’ve known each other a very, very long time. Nicole and I, we’ve known each other since freshman year in college, and Ella is my identical twin sister. We’ve always just hung out together. We’ve always talked together about what we wanted to do, about our children, and one day we were talking and it just clicked. Like, why not? There’s nothing like this out there; we can do it better -- better quality, better price.

Nicole: Because we are moms and we like to keep close to our kids, and sometimes it’s really hard to find, or get together, the cute stuff.

Melanie: You know, selling just one T-shirt and pants -- not like that. Everything is a look, it’s put together.

The styled product images are such a key component of Wunway, and I know that you are each obsessed with fashion and style; do you draw straws to see who gets to mix and match the latest merchandise?

Nicole: We do it together. Just put all the clothes --

Melanie: . . . lay it out, talk about it.

Nicole: Yeah, and when it’s a floor shot, you don’t know exactly how it’s going to look when your kid is wearing it. So, all the kids’ clothes, I like to show them wearing it. So when moms are shopping for their kids they can imagine what their child will look like when they’re wearing our clothes.

Could you tell us more about the vision behind Wunway?

Melanie: Our vision is a better dressed world, and actually we just focus on one through eight right now because we believe that when kids get to a certain age, they’re going to wear what they want to wear. So, we’re focusing on the most formative years, where we can just teach them a little bit of style and how to dress.

Nicole: All our clothes are easy to mix and match and then very good for school. It’s not just like a dressy dress.

Melanie: It’s comfortable.

Nicole: Yeah, we’re focusing on the fabrics. So, it has to be soft, most of our clothes are 100% cotton, which is good for raising your child. Clothes that are good for school --

Melanie: . . . playtime, dress-up.

Do you have any plans to grow the size range along with your children?

Melanie: We’ve definitely seen a demand for larger sizes, so eventually, maybe early next year, we’re going to do larger sizes.

Will you ever launch a boys' line?

Melanie: Actually, among our ten children, five are boys!

Nicole: Right now we’re just focusing on girls because we want to be something great instead of just okay, and we can’t be everything to everyone. But eventually, yes, we we will do boys, probably early next year as well.

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