Exquisite materials for everyone
Proposing luxury accessories at reasonable prices is the challenge which Atelier particulier has set itself. The online brand, created just six years ago, builds on a rather particular principle: “We work hand-in-hand with subcontractors of leading firms, but our outlays are much lower than theirs”, explains Fulbert Lecoq, one of the three partners at the helm of Atelier particulier, along with Marie-Astrid Guillon and Benjamin Legourd. “Where leading brands tend to sell articles ten times more expensive than they buy them, to pay in particular for their marketing, their communication, and of course their physical boutique-related costs, we sell them at just twice the cost. We can afford to do this as we only work by word-of-mouth and we sell online exclusively, so we don’t have any of these overheads”, he states.
Result: the traditional handmade woollen ties are, for example, sold at 50 euros. The lambskin leather gloves, with cashmere lining, 65 euros. The same price-tag is displayed for leather belts, made in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, in a workshop close to Limoges, labelled “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (French State awarded label, honouring the excellence of traditional and industrial know-how).
A wealth of expertise
“We didn’t specifically target this business with the intention of proposing “made in France” products at all costs”, explains Fulbert Lecoq. “But, we simply look towards places where we know we’re going to find the best skills. And, for leatherwork, in Limoges there is actually still a wealth of expertise”, he emphasizes. The Limoges-based workshop manufactures belts as well as leather card-holders and briefcases.
The ad-free Atelier particulier has already successfully established a substantial customer base, a faithful clientele which keeps a close eye on the brand. “We have some 60 to 70,000, of which 10,000 are real customers, so it’s a pretty extensive community”, says Fulbert Lecoq proudly. “Half of our customers are in Paris and the other half in province. We serve students who have rather limited budgets as well as connoisseurs who appreciate the quality of elegant objects”.