I went to Saint-Tropez mid November and most stores were closed, except a few permanent stores that remain open most of the year. Amongst them Lunael, a jewel studio-shop.
I was attracted by the originality of the jewels- I found the design artistic, delicate and colourful. For example, a turquoise cob-shaped chain finished with hanging red chilli peppers. Or red enamelled coral set with freshwater white pearls. Have a look on the Lunael eshop to see what I mean.
I bought a bracelet “Bolita” made with a delicate blue ball chain and a ruby root stone (one with limited transparency and brilliance so it’s affordable, still quite beautiful). I particularly appreciated the quality of the attachments: gold gilt crimps, clasps and chain, meaning it’s not going to turn green after wearing it three times.
I like objects with a story, when you can see they were created by local artists who are passionate about what they do and actually contributing to the local economy.
At the store, I met with the designer: Patricia Maertchik. And I asked her a few questions. I’m always amazed by these artists’ journeys. I’m a bit curious too. And envious in some ways. I know it’s not an easy way of life, at least to get to the point where you make a living from your art. However, they take a leap of faith and follow their passion.
Patricia used to design jewels for fashion designers in Paris. She’s worked for brands like Banana Moon, Ventilo and Indies. In the 2000s, she’s also had her collections showcased in renowned Parisian department stores such as Le Printemps and le Bon Marché, and featured in women magazines such as Grazia.
However, she wasn’t fully satisfied as this collaboration with brands somewhat restrained her creativity. In 2005, she started selling her own brand (Lunaël) directly to customers in her workshop, on local markets and hand-craft fairs in Provence (southern France).
Later in 2009, Patricia opened a studio-shop in a very central location, at the heart of Saint-Tropez, 50 metres away from Places des Lices. That’s where I discovered her last November.
To find the cob-shaped chain, which is quite popular at the moment and being used by many craftsmen in France, have a look on the following website: