Tell us a little about your background – what did you study/where did you work before launching Supreme Bon Ton?
I studied textile design and then travelled throughout India and Latin America. My foreign working experiences not only personally enriched me, but have also helped me found my first creative studio SBT (Supreme Bon Ton).
What was the motivation behind starting your own business?
As a kid, after school, I used to cross the street and hang out at my parents neighbours house. She was a former needlewoman at the opera in Paris. She had kept fabrics and button boards in her attic. She taught me how to sew and create dresses for my dolls and made loads of scarves for me! It was a very enchanting experience.
After various experiments conducted in marvellous fashion houses, I decided to create my own design studio. It's a lot more work, but it really gives me an undeniable freedom!
Your beautiful scarves are made in France. Is it important to you to produce locally? Does working this way influence your creative process and business?
The aim of this studio is to offer a range of high quality silk scarves, printed and made in France. In order to assure the quality of my products I collaborate with textile printers in Lyon and benefit from their hundred years experience in scarf production. When I travel I glean a lot of samples, take various pictures and always report all of my ideas and thoughts in my precious notebook. Back at my home sweet home, I take a look at these inspiring materials, stick them up on my desk wall. Then I start to draw and make compositions sometimes using graphic design software even if my brainstorming is mostly handmade.
My product design is mainly linked to a global artistic approach and search. My collections evolve and run parallel to photo shoots. All of the drawings are worked out after a large iconographic research. I continually check out the internet bank image, books, museums...and I refer to my photos taken during trips around the world.
What does a typical day at work look like?
My favourite working day is when I manage to get up early, in order to work and schedule my appointments in the morning. There is such a beautiful light in the workshop, which is conducive to constructive discussions. Then, I draw, do my small collages, try new ideas.
Some days are so stressful, for instance the launch day of textile production, that I love these pleasant and peaceful days!
Do you have any tips for aspiring designers or small business owners? Anything you wish you had known at the start?
The only advice I can give is to fulfill your aspirations and get your ideas off the ground and not to pay attention to others judgement... Sometimes it's hard to create your own business, but you feel so proud afterwards! Keep in mind that you always learn from your mistakes!
Who/what are you inspired by at the moment?
Right now, the marine world obsesses me. I am passionate about corals, shellfish and the ebb and flow of the tide. I think it's extraordinary and mind blowing!
What are you most proud of in your career to date?
I am proud to offer high quality products, made in France.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I really hope Supreme Bon Ton will have collaborated with dozens of lovely people. We offer a new concept at the studio: between each textile collection, we want to establish a partnership with craftsmen and develop a limited edition collection. For example, I'm currently working on a new project, experimenting with ceramics.
How do you like to spend your days off?
I love going to the market, melt into the crowd and see all the beautiful vegetables or fruits colors and textures. Then, I grab a cup of coffee at my favourite café and often go to the museums, especially in the week, when only a few people are present!
What did you eat for breakfast?
I consider breakfast as the best time of day, I really take my time. It is a real ritual, I eat a big breakfast for example, I'll have: muesli with fruit, yogurt and honey. I end it by having a big cup of coffee, a slice of bread, butter and add a dollop of home-made jam!
Photos courtesy of Supreme Bon Ton, Izberg Photography and Violaine Olga Madeleine.