Maris Collective

LOS ANGELES Maris Collective founder LeeAnn Sauter posed the question to herself long ago of what’s more important to customers: a brand or an experience.

The next step in the life of the luxury retailer she started a decade ago holds the answer as Maris Collective turns its focus to helping global hospitality brands across a guest’s entire hotel experience, from checking in to design and on-site shopping.

The first of those projects will be revealed in January 2020 in the Caribbean, a project Maris Collective has been tapped to oversee the branding of a property being repositioned. Sauter declined to disclose the specific hotel other than to describe it as “the largest and most prominent in St. Thomas.”

The project means handling everything from branding and programming to design, retail and product throughout the property.

“I see it as an opportunity of consistency and that just goes back to having an exceptional experience and having a level of impact, really over-exceeding client expectations,” Sauter said. “If you don’t have that and you don’t understand how they’re living their life, things are fragments. Hotels in particular have all this information on their consumers and they should be able to over deliver.”

There’s a real opportunity for Maris Collective with so many boutique hotels popping up, Sauter said.

The beginning of this elevated experience for Maris Collective was the December opening of its floating retail outpost at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.

“For us, it’s the beginning of the next chapter,” Sauter said of Bora Bora.

The company was also hired by the owners of Fred Segal to develop the Los Angeles retailer’s recently opened Malibu store. Next year will see a ramp up in these large-scale projects with two in the Caribbean and one in Mexico. Moving forward, the company will take on three to five projects annually, she said.

Elsewhere, the business plans to launch a new product line that will include men’s, women’s and kids apparel. Each collection, all produced domestically, will be based on inspiration taken from an influencer client or family. That offering will eventually grow to also include home products and furniture, Sauter said.

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