Meems CEO and Founder Interview with Nicole Krantz
by Christine Janis
When Nicole saw older siblings relentlessly purchasing and turning over their kid’s wardrobes, her business sense perked up. She soon realized there wasn’t one easy place that valued parents’ time, covered all kids' clothing needs, and helped with very specific kids' clothing sensitivities, let alone be all wrapped up into a site with a customer friendly policies. She knew the world needed to do better for families, so she developed an e-commerce site just for that.
Tell us about Meems, the person!
Meems is my maternal grandmother. When I was little, I couldn’t say “grandmother” so I called her Meme, which later evolved into Meems. We have had a special bond since I was born; she is one of those grandparents that shows up for everything and has had a great impact on my life. Her famous saying is to never leave the house without looking beautiful! She has a firm belief that you can communicate something powerful about yourself through fashion and the way you put yourself together.
What about her inspired you to want to be a tastemaker?
My grandmother’s influence led me to enjoy fashion and its ability to inspire a strong sense of self and confidence. I appreciate the encouragement I was given from my grandmother and mother to embrace fashion and find my own sense of style. I want to give that to the next generation. I want to share that tool in building self-confidence.
What was the inspiration behind starting the company?
Meems is the intersection of my passion for fashion, business, and helping children. I knew I was onto something when I was able to bring those together into one space. I grew up supporting my aunt’s initiative, the Heather on Earth Music Foundation, which helped heal terminally ill children and their loved ones. My aunt always preached “passion with purpose,” which has resonated with me throughout my life. Now, it's my turn to give the next generation a foundation to grow up strong and supported.
My dad has also been a role model as a small business owner himself, and I worked for several other founders. I have always been enamored with the idea of creating something for people. During business school, I realized that there was no better time than the present to build a business I was passionate about. I have always been drawn to purpose-driven businesses and knew I wanted to create something that combined my interests, passions, and skills.
What are you most excited about when it comes to Meems?
I am thrilled by how many parents get excited about our mission. I’ve had so many conversations with parents who’ve expressed the need for a more supportive e-commerce site that addresses issues specific to building children’s wardrobes. They want an e-commerce site that understands the kid-specific challenges many families face. We see those families who are struggling with clothing sensitivities or different sizing needs, and we are here to support them and bring solutions to them.
During my time at S’well, I saw the importance of finding people who believe in your mission and surrounding yourself with that support. I also saw a blueprint for how to authentically create an aspirational brand that’s committed to sustainability. A focus on sustainability has been embedded into the DNA of Meems from day one. To start, we have packaging made from 100% recycled material that can be reused, repurposed, and re-recycled. And as we continue to grow, we look forward to doing more to help lead the fashion industry toward more eco-friendly practices.
How will Meems make life easier for parents and shopping for their children?
I want to make sure the details of every outfit are really easy to see. For example, does this go up with a snap, zipper, or drawstring? You can know instantly if an item meets your kid’s needs.
Meems aims to make purchasing seamless, leaving no question unanswered and for that reason, I created the 3 F’s: fabric, fit, and function. On the site the 3 F’s are prominently displayed on each description page and quickly provide a hit list of the item’s most important, need-to-know details, with a more detailed description further down the page. We believe it’s all about the little cues to drive efficiency across the customer’s journey through the site.
We also firmly believe that the post-checkout experience is a core part of making sure parents are supported. Online shopping can be deterring if it is not easy to rectify issues. We know things don’t always work out when you’re evaluating items through a screen. Customers should know that we’re going to make that part of the experience hassle-free as well. With a forgiving return policy and a free return label included in every package, we are committed to developing strong relationships with each of our customers.
Building this kind of loyalty and mutually beneficial relationship is important to me. The more you support Meems, the more we want to support you, so we’ve created various ways for families to earn points and receive discounts through the Meems Team loyalty program.
I’ve been inspired by companies like Shopbop and Revolve over the years, and their expert e-commerce optimization for adult fashion. As the millennial consumers responsible for the success of those companies become parents, I think it only makes sense to have the same ease of shopping for kids e-commerce as well.
What advice would you offer parents for dressing their children?
My advice is to make your life easier by shopping at Meems!!
Since it is a new business, their voices/feedback/comments can shape where the business goes and how it can continue to grow to meet their needs. Our pioneer customers will be part of building the solution to make the future of online shopping for kids easier.
What is your favorite look for your nieces and nephew?
For my personal aesthetic, I like neutrals and elevated styles, but the beauty of Meems is that there is something for everyone!
As a startup, what has been the biggest surprise as you prepare to launch Meems?
My biggest surprise has been how excited and eager brands have been to work with the Meems concept. I’ve learned from them how different and enjoyable Meems is from other e-commerce sites they have worked with. Parents are also genuinely enthusiastic and I have been pleasantly overwhelmed by the inbounds of support and interest!
What is your hope for Meems?
My hope is that:
Meems grows to build a strong community of families that believe in our ethos.
Meems makes the process of building children’s wardrobes- an outward expression of who they are in this world- much more enjoyable for parents.
Meems supports children and creates a safe space in their closets where they can explore who they want to be in the world.
Congratulations on your 1st Anniversary of Meems! I truly love shopping on your website. I enjoyed reading your interview with Christine Janis. It’s informative and inspirational.. You Go Girl!!
I read the whole website and I love what you created!!!