Vintage furnishings, woven baskets, female entrepreneurs, and hacksaws- it's the stuff Kinfolk issues are made of. But L'Établisienne members- and founder Laurence Sourisseau- convey more of a "future CAC 40" than "Chattanooga hipster sous vides an egg" vibe. In a culture in which everything from home pickling to knitting is increasingly ethicized, L'Établisienne gives space-deprived, time-crunched Parisians the tools to build, create, and restore without professional training. Housed in the former Trébulle couverture-plomberie, L'Établisienne is Paris' first self-service workshop. Under the shadow of Petite Ceinture, in the historically industrial 12ème, you can still see old cobblestones between rails and ghost cars which circulated barrels from warehouses to docks.
Part atelier, part library, dépôt-vente, and café, L'Établisienne retains hints of its Belle Époque origins- gilded signage, original lockers in the workspace. Select from an array of consigned furnishings. Enjoy tea, coffee, and free wi-fi while reading design publications in the sitting room. A Sculpteo-optimized Replicator 2, bearing a friendly "I heart 3-D printing" sticker, rests beside a rack of vintage denim; below, two large workrooms, fitted with power tools, flank pallets destined for upcycling. L'Établisienne aims to marry "innovation and tradition." A dynamic studio environment, offering workshops in laser-cutting, painting, metals, cardboard, woodworking, rattan, among others, does exactly that.
Space is at a premium in Paris, and tiny apartments aren't conducive to honing technical skills. Some people have specific projects in mind, but lack access to the right equipment. Not surprisingly, many of L'Établisienne's members are professionals. They are MBAs, corporate neo-homesteaders tired of mass-produced Ikea merchandise, busy Parisians looking to restore treasured family heirlooms. L'Établisienne gives everyone a place to interact or work privately. Beginners and experts alike exchange ideas and receive personalized assistance. Want to restore that antimacassar-covered plush to full Whartonesque glory? Bring it here- the kids (between 6-10 years old) can come too, for ateliers des petites mains.
Everyone is really welcoming and helpful here. I saw a nice mix of people, including Sourisseau, who resembles a modern day Venetian noblewoman; Joanna, who looks like she just stepped out of an Isabel Marant ad; and the gender-flattening group of mothers / entrepreneurs / students / artisans working individually and collectively sous-sol. L'Établisienne is open seven days a week from 10-7, and the atelier is accessible to cardholders, by reservation, from 9-9. Choose from an annual membership, self-service pricing, 10-30 hour, half day, and day passes, or expert appointments. For a full list of courses and workshops, click here. Click here to follow L'Établisienne on Facebook.
I've never been swept up in the American extolment of self-reliance fueling Pinterest and Etsy, despite belonging to a category of people who write about slow food, blog about simplification and hashtag photos #cocooning or #nesting. Still, there's a certain moral vigor to making. Instead of shopping, you can create, engaging hands and brain in practical activity. The resurgence of a domestic ethos provokes eye rolling, but sustainability and simplicity have always been a fail-safe rationale for following trends. I want to build my own cat tree, and if I was intimidated at first, L'Établisienne gave me the perfect way to indulge my newfound yearning for rewardingly material work. Thank you Stephanie for telling me about this wonderful place, and Joanna for giving me the grand tour!