For Annabelle Moehlmann, necessity was the mother of invention. Land of Belle, the beloved online home accessories store she founded in 2017, was born when she was planning her wedding registry and couldn’t find a source for all of the unique pieces in her wedding. household items she would discover on her travels. “It all started from this really personal experience,” she tells AD PRO. “I thought, why not create this destination for like-minded design enthusiasts who want special pieces made with a real eye for the craftsmanship of yesteryear?”
Fast forward to the arrival of her daughter, Clementine, last spring, and she was faced with another conundrum. “I was the person who, years before I was pregnant, walked around Bonpoint and looked around, so you can imagine how excited I was to buy clothes for a real baby,” says Moehlmann: “After having her, I discovered so many brands and shopping destinations, many of which are really small and unknown. I thought why not create something similar to Land of Belle but for babies – this curated shopping destination that has a clear aesthetic point of view where people can discover interesting brands, whether it’s clothing, homewares or art Et voilà: Land of Baby was born.
For the launch, Moehlmann enlisted various craftsmen to curate and design all sorts of valuable offerings. There are block-printed sheets in India, hand-woven nursery baskets in Colombia, an “Italian Alphabet” (the G shows a giraffe in a gondola eating ice cream) made in collaboration with illustrator Riley Sheehey, and three-dimensional dresses made from maps of Paris in collaboration with artist Dawn Michelle Wolfe. “A lot of things are rooted in the idea of wanderlust,” Moehlmann says, “and that we should surround ourselves with things that remind us of our favorite places or the places we want to visit.” There’s also a whole suite of customizable items – from embroidered baby pillows to placemats – and a holiday capsule of baby clothes and nursery accessories in collaboration with textile house D’Ascoli. Rattan lovers will find hangers and chairs for babies, the size of a child or a doll. (What doll doesn’t need a wicker peacock chair to lie on?) In the spirit of solidarity, Land of Baby will donate 10% of first month sales to Baby2Baby.
“With Land of Baby, I hope to create a destination for shoppers with a clear perspective that’s sophisticated and quaint, but still playful and not at all precious,” she says. That this business has been nurtured and realized in the short time since Moehlmann’s birth is an achievement. “It’s been a very, very busy quarantine,” she laughs. “I’ve definitely questioned my decision a few times along the way, but on the other hand, it’s been so much fun putting this together and it’s all really inspired by Clementine. I think when a lot of people buy things for babies, it’s an interruption of their aesthetic, and I think it should be an extension of that. That’s the basic premise of starting that in the first place.