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Diane Conquest

As owner and sole employee of children’s fashion brand Petibisou, Diane Conquest is no stranger to hard work. She tells us about starting the brand, moving to Malaysia from Los Angeles and her harshest critics—her own two children.

by / Published: 9 Dec 2013

Diane Conquest

Interview by Ian Johnston 

As owner and sole employee of children’s fashion brand Petibisou, Diane Conquest is no stranger to hard work. She tells us about starting the brand, moving to Malaysia from Los Angeles and her harshest critics—her own two children. 

 

Who are you?
 
Name: Diane Conquest
Nationality: Benin
Occupation: Owner of Petibisou
Time in Malaysia: 5 years
 
  
Diane on...
  
Starting Petibisou…
 
It started very small. After being here a few years, I was tired of just being a housewife, so I wanted to do something. I actually worked in Paris at Bonpoint, which is a very high-end clothing store for kids, and I have two kids myself. So I thought about doing kids’ clothing—something that allows me to stay at home, be the mum I want to be but still have that challenge; still have that something to do for myself.
 
 
The company’s growth…
 
I’ve worked very hard, and I’m still working hard now; it’s very challenging. I’m still trying to figure out everything. When I started it was just like a hobby but people kept asking about it. And then people are like “What about Petibisou? How is Petibisou doing? When is the next collection?” So all of this pressure kind of pushed me further.
 
 
Her role at Petibisou…
 
I literally do everything; I do the creation part—I love the creation, I get to be free—the marketing part and the selling part of it. My biggest hope is to be able to bring other people on board, because it’s
always better if you can share your ideas with a group of people. I can’t wait to be at that point. I’m ready for it. But I’m trying to find people that are passionate, who understand my vision.
 
 
Her children as critics…
 
My children wear my clothes; you can see them all over the world wearing my clothes. In Rome, in Paris, in Hong Kong and in Kuala Lumpur! Every time we pack their clothes, they pick some items some Petibisou. And honestly, I would not be doing this if my own children didn’t want to wear them. As a matter of fact, they are my first critics—they tell me how they feel inside.
 
 
The quality of Petibisou clothes…
 
I became a mum in the USA but I was first in touch with kids’ clothing in Europe, in Paris at Bonpoint. My hope for Petibisou is that people buy a piece of clothing knowing that this is not just some kind of
cheap clothing but something that can be treasured. I believe that childhood is one of the most important times of our lives, and people say “oh, the kids grow so fast, why would I buy these kinds of clothes?” Well for me, that’s the reason why you should give them the best, the very best. You have to make sure your kid has the best education, the best environment—and the best clothes if you can as well.
 
 
One day opening a physical Petibisou store…
 
That would be lovely. I’m a dreamer…why not? I’m a dreamer. The product is good, I think—that’s what people have told me—so why not? It’s a dream.
 
 
Life in Malaysia…
 
What I like about Malaysia is the diversity. For me, I truly believe that all the people on this planet can be happy together and can see the good in others regardless of the first appearance. So to come here and see that Malaysia offers that, it’s really something that we should celebrate.
 

 

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