THE FOUNDERS OF
GET TO KNOW THE TEAM
“When Mathilde met Claire they instantly knew they would do great things together. As much as Mathilde is a down-to-earth and a goal oriented person, Claire is the wild creative spirit who adds the touch of magic. They present their company in a casual conversation, explaining the values they care about and the hopes they have for the future.
1. In a nutshell what is the most important thing for you about IMPRESSION ORIGINALE?
Claire: The fact that we are having artist worldwide working with us makes me feel like the Earth is my country. I feel very privileged to be able to launch the company in a time when true borders are only the ones you decide to create. The sustainable aspect is also very important for me, as an organic lover, working in an ethical way is essential.
Mathilde: I totally agree with Claire! The name IMPRESSION ORIGINALE represents what we do: we want to go back to the root of the creation by supporting artists from all over the world while minimising the carbon imprint.
6. What is unique about IMPRESSION ORIGINALE?
Mathilde: We propose something new with IMPRESSION ORIGINALE, for we put the artist at the heart of our business. We want to challenge the “business as usual”. Caring for the environment is not just a trendy thing to talk about, it is a lot of different decisions you make everyday, such as where we source our paper, and what kind of supplies we work with. We left nothing to chance. In parallel, we decided to give a crafty touch to our business, going back to a local approach in production while opening wide open our eyes for inspirations and artists. Check out “tutorial” section where we picked the best DIY tutorials and creative inspirations, relying on great talents from all around the world!
7. How do you differentiate yourself in the competitive market of wrapping paper?
Claire: The novelty is to propose ribbons matching perfectly the wrapping paper and the attention to details, for example, the fact that the pattern has to look interesting on a small and on a bigger parcel. Each of the wrapping paper is double-sided printed with a criss-cross pattern to make it easy to cut the paper. We try to have a balance between unexpected design for a wrapping paper and designs we love for their quirkiness or inner beauty.
Mathilde: Oh that… competition… Of course you have massive players in the wrapping paper industry, France being home of the largest seller in the world! But… (pause) you know, we are modest in our approach. We think that proposing a luxury product supported by good intentions will speak (by itself) to the people who can relate to our philosophy. We are ourselves part of a new trend that is growing all over the world, as new entrepreneurs, we want to contribute in a positive way. Anything we do, even locally has repercussions. It applies for the things we consume as well. We all have a role to play. I strongly believe that our competitive advantage is “to care”, for real. Care for what we do, care for the people and care for the environment.
3. How do you reconcile being a local company based in France and having designer from all around the world?
Mathilde: For us the “made in France” guarantees the quality of our product and a certain idea of craft and “know-how”. We work hand in hand with local suppliers, it is a choice as it is usually more expensive than outsourcing it (far) far away. We control how we do our business from the beginning until the end. It is our way of being a responsible company; we are accountable for each of our decisions. Having designers from all around the world is a direct consequence of how we select them: purely on the quality of the design, we find out later who they are. We are very proud that so many artists joined us at the launch.
4. What is your main source of inspiration?
Claire: Everything! (large smile) We would like our Collection to be broader and get the chance to print all the designs we have in mind. We want to push the boundaries of the wrapping “concept” once we are on a solid base.
5. It is exciting to start you own venture.... How did you know it was it time for you to start your business?
Mathilde: It is exciting indeed… and scary as well! The challenges come from all directions, so I am not going to list them for you…but they are positively stimulating. The key I guess is to be willing to learn and to improve every step of the way. As we are launching the First Collection we took a risk in creating our stock, obviously. Why now? I guess something happened to me when I turned 30 (giggles)… and I realise that there is never a “right” time for a venture like this. So I decided the right time is now. And why take such a risk? Well as Corneille, the French author from the 17s Century says so very well: « Triumph without peril brings no glory” …
Claire: It was challenging to find the right suppliers in France, for the printer and ribbons, also findings the right quality of recycled paper that has a luxurious touch. Personally, it is the perfect timing to start my business. I feel that I gained enough professional experience to be confident in my abilities to launch the company of our dreams. We follow our vision, step by step, and see where it goes!
A WORD WITH THE FOUNDERS OF IMPRESSION ORIGINALE
2. How did you come up with the idea of IMPRESSION ORIGINALE?
Mathilde: The genesis of the idea takes cue from a long journey by car across Europe (smile)… where the idea came to me as something obvious that needed to be done. I identified a need years ago when wrapping presents to collect money for a student charity at Christmas. I realised then that the wrapping offer was rather tedious. Years later, more confident and with a solid background, I felt ready to innovate by proposing a new concept of wrapping presents, anchored on very strong social and environmental commitments. I promised myself that if one day (!) I was to develop a business it would have to mean something bigger, for society, for the environment.
Claire: It has been a long time I wanted to explore patterns outside the luxury fashion world and when I met Mathilde, it just clicked. The right person met at the right moment (laughing together).
The idea of “gift giving” was always an interest for me, one of my favourite book being “L’Empire des Signes” from Roland Barthes. I love the chapter where he explains why the way the present is wrapped is more important than the present itself in the Japanese culture. How Japanese will choose a ceramic that is not born from an industrial process so that they can find a little “fault” in the object, that reminds them the personality of the person they choose the present for. I love that idea of choosing a present “faulty” instead of “perfect”. This book actually led me to write a memoire on the topic “How to give a soul to objects made in industrial process”. Craft is a constant source of inspiration in my everyday work.