The success story of… Maëlle Chassard
Maëlle Chassard – Co-founder of Lunii
A born entrepreneur
When Maëlle Chassard at the end of her studies at the Paris design school, Strate, wrote her dissertation on imagination, she observed that children are using their imagination less and less. To counter the trend, she dreamed up a fun, interactive object designed to draw children away from screens and to develop their imagination. The Lunii project was born! She then set out on an entrepreneurial adventure with 3 friends and future partners, and together they came up with the idea of the now famous storytellers. They presented the first prototypes at the Future en Seine festival and they won the prize for the public’s favorite invention. They went on to industrialize the product, organized a crowdfunding campaign with Ulule and exhibited the storytellers at numerous trade fairs before launching the product in August 2016. Now that Lunii is quite well-known, sales are taking off and it’s become a bestseller at shops like Natures et Découvertes, Oxybul and Amazon.
Setting out to conquer the US market
With successful growth in France, Maëlle Chassard’s ambitions grew: she wants to make Lunii an international household name. Settled down in New York for 5 months, Maëlle is exploring the American market, an essential step in developing her company.
She was present at several trade fairs and launched Lunii at the Moma Design Store. “Our goal isn’t to develop a quickly as possible, but to test the market and adapt to what families are looking for,” she specifies. Once this observation phase is well developed, she’ll define her action plan for 2019.
The WIF Foundation, a real springboard
At an event organized by French Founders, Maëlle Chassard met Anne-Cécile Worms (ArtJaws), a mentee and Foundation representative in New York, who strongly advised her to talk about her project to Martine Liautaud. “The opportunity to join the WIF network couldn’t have come at a better time as we’d just finished our first recruitments and we needed to build a solid network there.” Since then, Maëlle Chassard has become the mentee of Laetitia Gazel Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings. “Our discussions are fruitful and have already brought me a lot of useful contacts.”, Maëlle says. “With the help of the mentoring program and our selection on the Impact USA 2018 program, I’m sure that we can create more opportunities.”
To find out more about Maëlle Chassard, click here.