PART 10: My Journey

Now that you know everything about my espadrilles,
it is about time I introduce myself.

My name is Laurie and I am the founder of Atelier Aliénor. I was born in Béziers, a small town in the south of France.
I had the chance to grow up in a happy and loving family. It allowed me to be a cheerful little girl with a sensitive and creative mind.

That’s me, with my eyes wide open:


Later, I left the south of France for Paris and studied economics at La Sorbonne. I met a wonderful man named Adrien. We got married in 2014 and we have 2 children: Thibault who is 4, and our Texan girl Eloise, 11 months old.

Back in 2016, I was living in Paris and just got back from my maternity leave. I had been working for 6 years in finance and this break made me realize I was ready for a new chapter. A more creative one that would resonate with who I am and what’s important to me.
That same year, Adrien got a job offer in the US. Perfect timing!
We were about to go far away from France and I felt the need to bring a piece of home with me.

It was the beginning of one of the most exciting journeys of my life.



The origins of Atelier Aliénor bring me back to my own childhood. 

I was born in the south of France and grew up in Africa, in Gabon. It was very important to my parents that I had roots and knew where I came from. Thanks to them, I’ve always had a deep attachment to home. My parents also instilled the love of well-made and long lasting goods. My education was based on the “less but better” philosophy.

When we moved to the US, I was a little bit overwhelmed by how many consumer choices there were, some with poor quality at an expensive price.
That was also true for espadrilles.

Espadrilles are originally from the south of France and Spain. They are the epitome of our slow-living lifestyle. Traditional craft of espadrilles is a cultural heritage that has been critically endangered for decades. I started to wonder: what is wrong with this fashion industry when you have, on one hand, less and less artisans who inherited from past generations their expert know-how and on the other hand, consumers who are buying cheap espadrilles, without knowing how and who made them?
With time, we lost connection with the people who make our clothes and we forgot the true value (or cost) of them.

That is why I think it is so important to promote this work of art, to return fashion to what it once was: about people and beautifully-made products.


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