Hidden Gems: White bird Jewellery Boutique, Paris

Last week we asked our lovely friend Marissa from the Paris-based blog Rue Rodier to visit this hidden gem of a boutique in Paris – a wonderland of delicate, dainty jewellery. She took some beautiful photos and also interviewed the owner, Stephanie, below:

White Bird Jewellery Boutique, Paris

 

WHITE bIRD is tucked just behind Rue de Rivoli, only a few minutes from the Jardin de Tuileries in the 1st arrondissement, in an ideal location for locals, as well as tourists wandering just off the tourist track. I headed over there on a particularly warm September day to photograph and chat to the owner, Stéphanie - purveyor of fine, pretty jewels…


Stéphanie opened WHITE bIRD a few years ago after the plug was pulled on an exciting project to launch a fine jewellery collection at Chloe because of the economic crisis. After putting a year of hard work into the project, only to see it cancelled, Stéphanie decided the timing was right to go solo – and it was the push she needed to set up on her own. She always wanted to work with luxury products and has spent most of her working life in jewellery or watches, starting at Cartier: “I had no special jewellery training. I just did some business studies, but I knew one thing when I was young – I lived with my parents in Bordeaux and I knew that I wanted to live in Paris. I also knew that I wanted to work with fashion or in the luxury industry.” She later worked for Chaumet, and it was during her time there, whilst travelling to the US that she started exploring other jewellery designers. “I went to Barney’s when they’d just opened their little department of fine jewellery. It was just a tiny room in the beginning and they only had one or two brands. But every year it’s grown and grown, and it’s now a huge floor where they have a fantastic range of designers. One of the designers was Cathy Waterman and I loved her designs. So I started to think about what I wanted to do for myself. I didn’t want to work for brands anymore, so I decided that in France, there was a real need for a space to showcase new designers.”

So she opened WHITE bIRD, which is very different to most high end jewellery shops – she wanted to create a space that was cool and cosy, a place where kids could come, and where husbands could happily sit on a couch answering emails while their wives perused the designs. She’s done just that – it’s warm, welcoming, cosy and beautifully designed to show off the pretty jewels, without being too stiff or strict; it doesn’t have the stuffy air of a place like Cartier, where you feel afraid to go in.

Scroll down to read the rest of the interview…

Lito Jewellery at White Bird

Earliest fashion or jewellery moment? 

The first collection I directed at Dinh Van with a freelance designer. Jewellery is a small piece of art that involves a lot of emotion from the designer to the wearer. It’s on your skin. It’s like perfume, it’s very sensual and personal.

Describe a typical working day…

When I’m in Paris, I take my youngest daughter to school, sometimes have a coffee with other parents, walk to the office which is half in the shop, half in a small office nearby and work non stop until 7pm, usually without lunch. I often meet and chat with some customers of the shop, which are delicious breaks 

What do you do to relax? 

Read and garden at our seaside house.

What piece of advice would you give someone who wants to launch their own jewellery brand or boutique?

Have faith in what your doing, don’t let people discourage you and when there are tough days always think: “tomorrow will be a better day”.

Who are your clients? 

People that come here are looking for something more personal – they are investing more of themselves into the piece, rather than buying it because it’s a particular brand.

What was the inspiration behind the boutique’s interior style? 

I wanted natural and rough materials to contrast with the jewellery, which is precious and delicate. I wanted people to feel relaxed, finding a cool sofa was key and authentic 50’s furniture to make it a bit like a home.

Where did you source the furniture? 

Vintage markets and online

Interior styles that have inspired you?  

English homes, the Isabel Marant shop in Le Marais, Astier de Villatte, APC in Soho New York, the decorator Ilse Crawford.

How would you describe your personal style? 

Unsophisticated..

Last good book you read? 

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – it’s quite dark, but I love historical books – this one takes place in Iceland in the 19th century.

What’s in your magazine pile at home? 

ELLE and the rest is online.

Evening drink of choice?  

Champagne and Chablis white wine.

 

Bedside table essentials?  

My Aesop hand cream and my book

Favourite Paris places for coffee, clothes shopping, dinner? 

Le Telegraphe coffee shop, Toraya for lunch, Septime restaurant, Acne, Pierre Hardy, Journal Standard (Palais Royal) and Stouls for leather clothes.

Words and photography by Marissa Cox. Thank you Marissa!

White Bird stocks some of The Cut’s favourite jewellery designers: Polly Wales, Brooke Gregson, Noor Fares, Nito, Natasha Collis, Jacqueline Rabun, Sophie Bille Brahe and Sia Taylor.

White Bird is located at 38, rue du Mont-Thabor, in the centrally situated 1st arrondissement of Paris.

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Fashion Designer Fred Butler helps young creatives

Fashion designer, creative consultant colourbomb Fred Butler has taken part in a new initiative to help young creatives find free space to work in, by offering her services as a mentor this summer.

someonwhereto_ is a free nationwide service offering help for 16-25 year olds looking for free space in their local area to work in, helping them to kick start ideas, showcase creative concepts and realise their potential.

Mentoring is a process I’m a big fan of, as one to one support can be so helpful when you’re in the early stages of your career and need someone to help you find your way. Having the opportunity to visit a working studio, and witness the day to day running of a creative business tells you more about the reality of an industry than anything else, and it’s great to see such an inspirational, established designer opening her doors to let young talent in and share her knowledge and skills.

Watch the film to see how two young designers got the opportunity to work with Fred in the rainbow world that is her London studio…

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New jewellery designer: Gee Woods

With the mantra ‘simple is better’, jewellery designer Gee Woods is a girl after my own heart. Using a simple, classic palette of gemstones, and subtle design twists – like the simple rotating centre of this ruby ring – her small ready-to-wear collection is full of pieces you could wear every day.

Her belief in British design and manufacturing means that everything is made in the UK by a team of skilled craftsmen, and a strong emphasis on quality rather than quantity keeps her collection feeling neatly edited and satisfyingly complete. 

Tactile with a nice use of negative space, this lightweight, graphic collection appeals to the designer in me as well as the jewellery lover: a particular favourite is this rose gold ring…

An exciting new jewellery designer to watch indeed. For more information visit www.geewoods.com.

 

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