An image that is shaped

In 1984, when I started, I said to myself when I got home from a fair in Paris:"If I had a showcase in town it would be good, rather than people only come by word of mouth". I then allowed myself to think about it, I hesitated between Roanne and Montbrison.

First shop

In 1984, when I started, I said to myself when I got home from a fair in Paris: "If I had a showcase in town it would be good, rather than people only come by word of mouth -ear ". Roanne was too big in my eyes. In Montbrison, I already had a few customers, I had two children and I thought it was a city on a human scale. And there, I found a house on rue Tupinerie, it was a friend who told me that her cousin sold her.

I found it too beautiful for me at the beginning, I was sure that it would be too expensive for me and that I will not be able to buy it. I waited two months before contacting the owner. One Thursday afternoon, I call the lady: "Hello Madame Marcoux, I call from Jean-Luc, he told me that you sell ...". She cuts me off right away, surprise she said to me, "But how do you know?" - It was Jean-Luc who explained to me that your house was on sale- No, but how do you know that the sale broke? - I did not know - because yesterday we had to sign the sale and the person withdrew. " I signed the compromise of sale of the house in July 1984, very happy with my luck in this case: if I had called it a few days earlier, she would have hung up without even taking my number and she could never have reminded me .

This house was really perfect for me, home and workshop gathered, I settled after many works that I did for the most part. I opened on October 10, 1984 in the shopping street in Montbrison. The first day all my attention was focused on the windows.

There was very little because I had very few objects to show.
As I already had a local clientele, people passed and little by little they entered, they appreciated and made me work.

I had opened on my own but after a few months, Renée Ma cousin, came to help me, I also quickly hired a person for the administrative. Very quickly there were a lot of customers and I started to train my employees, some like Fredo at the workshop or Pierre-Yves had accompanied me almost from the start ...

There was, at the beginning of 1989, a journalist from the Figaro who called me: "I saw your jewelry and I would like to interview you". I didn’t realize the importance that this request had and reached two months before reminding it. She then said to me: "On the other hand, given your jewelry, I imagine that you surely do not have a tie or a bow tie. We have come in two weeks, try at least borrowing a bow tie for the photo of the article! ". I then told myself that I could well make this concession. And I had an article from an entire page with photo and everything and everything in the Figaro Rhône-Alpes. Overnight, I went from the marginal guy who does bizarre stuff, to a more official, more frequentable guy. Following the publication of the article, Guy Poieux, the mayor of Montbrison, came to see me saying to me: "But how did you do it? I've been trying to bring them for the city for years and I can't do it. " I just replied: "I didn't do it on purpose."

An image that is shaped

An important step was the passage in society in 1996. I was, until then all the time my nose in the handlebars to do my stuff without asking me questions of profitability. I had a way of working as if I produced unique pieces exclusively. Now, the tasks are well defined and everyone has their specialty, while before it was more a diagram where a person made the jewel from A to Z. At one point it was necessary to rationalize the functioning of the production because we do not were not profitable when we had work. I had hired, we were a dozen people, the operating costs had increased and if I had not rethought the organization, we would have flowed. I was helped by an accountant who has referred me and allowed me to rationalize production. It all started with a simple question he asked me: "How do you do? ». I explained my way of working on him and it was there that he introduced more method into our manufacture but without touching creativity.
This landing allowed me to have a more coherent operation and to consider the possibility of opening a second shop. We had a lot of customers who came from Lyon, in 1999 we launched and we opened rue Édouard Herriot next to Cartier, which I found quite pretentious elsewhere. A month later it was the birth of my daughter Joséphine ...

The opening of this second shop was not a longtime project, the idea spoke naturally. You also had to have confidence in your work to invest another city. What contributed to this insurance and that also taught me a lot was the salons. I started walking them to exhibit in 1989. This desire to show my work was born from a discussion that I had with Renée. We returned from the largest jewelry fair in the world in Basel and we said to ourselves: "There is nothing like what we are doing, we should exhibit". It’s being different that made us want to show our work. So we started making fairs in Germany and then in Paris, we also had the chance to represent France at the Munich Fair in 1990. What is interesting in the salons is that there is a Date, you have to be ready on D -Day and it is this challenge side that is very motivating. In addition, I did not want to arrive with conventional objects, which we see at each stand. It is in this climate, between pressure and excitement that you give the best of yourself. And then these exhibitions were an opportunity for me to carry out projects that I would never have finalized otherwise. I had a lot of ideas and I always said, "When I have time I will do that", except that we run after. But the salons forced me to raise the challenges of the projects I had.

At the commercial level and notoriety it was important for us to go to the salons, it allowed us to present our work to international visitors. We quickly stood out by the public, the majority of people came to see the prestigious brands, with very "classic" achievements and we had jewelry that were so different from these standards. Having creations a little on the fringes means that either people do not like or they adhere completely and they no longer return to traditional brands. There is no happy medium.
It was interesting to rub shoulders with competition too, when there are brands like Cartier, Chaumet or Bulgari, you have to be good and the people I moved with were always 100%motivated. It was an advantage of having colleagues who were involved as much, we are in a region where the feeling of belonging to a group, to a common cause is very important and that is what made our strength. Faced with competition that only sent representatives, it was really an asset.

At the end of the 90s, we regularly went to Paris to participate in exhibitions of jewelry designers. To put it simply, there was all the Place Vendôme ... and Tournaire, the only provincial creator.

This exhibition was called "jewelry", it took place once a year, you had to be selected to participate and it was closed enough to make a place. We got there, we did the 1998, 1999 and 2000 editions; And that created a reputation in Paris.
The salons were an opportunity to point out among the other jewelry houses, but not only thanks to the jewelry we presented.

There was in the store on rue Tupinerie in Montbrison, a real half jaguar cut in the length that I had set up as a window. She came with us to each show or exhibition, which was not an easy task to transport. But passion made us unusable and once the window was made on site had its effect on the public. Besides, at the first exhibition we made, we sold it. The people who bought it exported it to the United States and chance meant that I found it, a few years later, in New York, on Broadway. But you should know that this first window car was not a jaguar, it was one inhun that I had made unrecognizable, she had a slightly "destroy" style ... The concept of this cut car has always created the buzz , he even happened to illustrate the Auto option editorial and several articles were devoted to him.

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