If I had a mission in life, aethetically speaking, it would be to bring back the allure of fine craftsmanship and to banish all things cheap and mass-produced. The beauty, personality and intimacy that comes with a small, dedicated business is simply unparalleled in the word of franchises, mass production and shameless merchandising. This is why, when I do buy things, I love small, home-based businesses, Etsy shops and the like. Of course, there is good and bad in small business as well...which is why the internet with all its shared information is such a good resource.

I have said it before (and I'll probably say it again) but I just can't appreciate enough the service, quality and beauty in every detail of the unique and hand-finished pieces that come from L'atelier de Marie et Rose-Alice. The packaging itself is an individual work or art, right down to the personalized details and the beautifully hand-written note-tags with little flowers sketched on them. Does that not just lift the heart?
The pieces are always beautifully-crafted from the finest of fabrics, and just as beautifully-presented. And did I mention how much I love the little photos she attaches to her customer service emails? The last one I got was of a sunset at a particular spot on the French Riviera which just happens to bring back all sorts of teenage memories for me. Happy sigh!

And then there's the bespoke element...I have an unusual figure, thanks to my particularly long limbs and back, and I've requested adjustments in the dimensions (and even, thanks to her kindness and flexibility, fabrics) of two different pieces with beautiful results. Even at a distance, Valérie always listens carefully and adjusts all the dimensions so expertly that the piece always comes out well-balanced and perfectly fitted. Can you do that at the mall? Yah, I didn't think so.
Then there's mimimouse, whose packaging is just as sweet and whimsical, right down to the complimentary postcards...
...and the paper stars hand-sprinkled above the airmail stamp! Plus, how sweet are her storybook-inspired silhouette T-shirts?
Here's the Q in her red riding hood tank and the star scarf that she loves to trail around after her.

It just so happened that the tank went perfectly with her new blue mra sarouel jeans!
At the lake with mommy (who has reposessed the scarf, temporarily).
And running with daddy in her sarouels.

I know that, considering my readership, I'm probably preaching to the choir as they say...but I've gotta get on my soapbox now and then, anyhow!

PS - the white dress that everyone has been admiring is, of course, Le Vestiaire de Jeanne. But you probably already knew that.


Yoli said...

It was through you that I discovered both of those designers and I was just as hooked.

jen laceda said...

I so totally agree with you re: malls and franchises. As I age, I start supporting small businesses. i love the personal attention and the overall quality is just superb with a small business. Also, here's a secret: my parents used to own a franchised coffee house here in Toronto. That corporation made their lives (including mine) so miserable. They bullied my parents into investing more money here and there and threatened to NOT renew the contract if they didn't comply. At the end, they didn't renew the contract anyway, and the corporation told my parents they were 'buying back' the store for $3,000. Yes, you heard right--for a measely $3,000! They basically stole the store from my parents and sold it to another buyer for $350,000, with all profits going to the corporation and $0 to my parents!!!

Tina Tarnoff said...

I agree with you completely. I think it was Etsy that hooked me initially on shopping with small businesses. It's always such pleasure and joy to open up packages that were put together with such care and thought. Love the scarf! xoxo