Chrystèle, French designer

This Monday, Chrystèle, French designer of the lovely lifestyle brand La Girafe, is inviting us to her home to talk about her work, her projects and her family organization. This 43 years-old woman, mother of two teenage girls, lives with her husband in the Beaujolais, in the middle of the vines (near Lyon). A choice of life away from the city, but that remains hyper connected, with many trips to Paris.

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Can you describe your everyday work ?

I have several connected activities! I design jewelry, I develop a home textile line and I create small objects. I also bargain-hunt for brands and I imagine scenographies for pretty shops.

How did you get the idea to create your brand La Girafe?

When my daughters were born, I wanted to full-time take care of them. As I had twins, it had become very hard to take care of them : my husband shared his time between Lyon and Paris because of his job, and I also had a job with many trips ! I was then responsible for international exchanges between banks. It was inconceivable for me to raise my daughters in this way!

I enjoyed every second I spent with them, until they began school. In parallel, I was thinking about creating my own business…

Our move from Lyon to the countryside inspired me so much! During their first year at kindergarten, my daughters were only attending school in the morning, the afternoon was dedicated to walks and manuel activities together …Then, each morning, I had time to think about my projects, to find natural and vintage pearls… I’ve always liked creating jewels, and it seemed to me an evidence!

Crédit photo : La Girafe
Crédit photo : La Girafe

I launched my company in 2008, participated to Playtime show in 2009 with a collection of children’s jewelry. The adventure was launched. I was very lucky because nice shops trusted me very rapidly. I cherish old pearls, have a passion for natural pearls and each collection is designed and made in France, which is very important to me. Each collection tells a story.

A few years later, I wanted to develop a collection of women’s jewelry and then, in 2014, a home textile collection. I am currently participating to the Maison et Objet show where I show my spring-summer 2017 collections of women’s and children’s jewelry and our home textile travel line.

What do you like about your work today?

I like the freedom that my work gives me and the many encounters that I make thanks to it.

What would you like to see changed today?

Pursue the development of the brand in 2017, and expand my work team.

Crédit photo : La Girafe
Crédit photo : La Girafe

What do you think of the balance between your work and your personal life ?

I really enjoy working from home and being able to be at home when my daughters when they return from school : we talk together, while eating a cake, each one telling about her day. I also like my regular trips to Paris for my work, and then coming back to the countryside. This balance perfectly suits me.

How do you organize yourself to do everything?

In the morning, around 7.30 am, when everyone leaves the house, I do the housework (laundry, storage, shopping …). Then, I totally dedicate myself  to my work until around 5 pm when I have a break with my daughters. I answer the mails while the dinner cooks (I always try to make a nice table and a good meal). Then, once my girls are asleep, I often work again or spend the evening with my husband.

Before sleeping, I list everything that has to be done the next day. I have all the time with me a small notebook to write my ideas and my to-do list 😉 …

My whole family helps me a lot : my husband takes the girls to the school, my parents help me for some school trips or take the girls to their activities.

Is there anything you would like to see changed in your current organization?

I would love having more time for myself …

What advice would you give to a mum who would like to embark on a new activity?

  • Be organized
  • Explain to your loved ones that working at home does not mean doing nothing
  • Do not hesitate to ask for the help of your family
Crédit photo : La Girafe
Crédit photo : La Girafe

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So many thanks to Chrystèle for this interview! You can find her work on the site La Girafe, and follow her on Instagram.

See you next week for a special post about scrumptious ‘winter salads’!

Lots of love,

Emilie xx.

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