Charlotte Huyghues Despointes, an innovator on so many fronts
If you don’t know her yet, you are really missing out. Hardworking, funny, committed, sparkling, passionate – Charlotte had the exceedingly brave and brilliant idea to create La Maison de la Maille with her business partner and cofounder François-Xavier Watine to produce 100% Made in France throws. Now La Maison de la Maille has established itself as a renowned high-end brand appreciated by luxury boutiques and major hotels. Always seeking to do more and better, Charlotte is 100% committed to a range of other missions including making French entrepreneurship sexy and promoting the Made in France label. We went to meet her.
CHARLOTTE, WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR FACE ON BILLBOARDS ALL OVER THE PARIS SUBWAY! TELL US ALL ABOUT IT.
I am proud to say that I have been selected as an ambassador of the department of Sarthe! It all started with a campaign called “Get Started in Sarthe” last year to shine a spotlight on the advantages of the region and to win over those who were previously rather reluctant to move to the country. The objective is to break down prejudices about entrepreneurship outside major cities and show how easy it is to imagine your business here. The message is very positive. As an entrepreneur and former Parisian who came to Sarthe to set up a business, I am perfectly placed to talk about the dynamic attitude to development here, the ease of recruiting, the pleasure of working with a local team and how it is so much easier to reconcile your family life with your career. For all these reasons, I was chosen as one of the six ambassadors for 2022. Six business leaders who came from all over to settle in the department and launch their ventures. So you’ll have the immense pleasure of seeing me on billboards on Paris subway lines 6 and 12 and at Gare Montparnasse.
IT SEEMS THAT YOU ALSO ASKED THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES A REALLY TRICKY QUESTION. WHAT’S THE STORY HERE?
I have volunteered as a member of the board of directors of OFG (Origine France Garantie – French Origin Guarantee) for several years now. This label has been around for 10 years and is still the only certification that guarantees that a product owes its essential characteristics to France and that 50-100% of its unit cost price is French. Launched by Yves Jégo, the label aims to enhance the value of products made in France and also to protect consumers from other products that engage in French Washing. These are unscrupulous brands that claim something is French when it is actually made in China. Every year, the organization holds a Made in France conference. This year, it has coincided with the French presidential elections and all the candidates were invited to participate in the Grand Oral de l’Elysée debate (March 11), moderated by Anthony Ventorini, the editor-in-chief of the label’s magazine, together with Natacha Polony. The candidates were questioned and challenged on their visions of Made in France and their projects to support French companies and the reindustrialization of France. I was invited to ask the candidates a question by video, and I addressed the cost of employment in France to find out the politicians’ plans to make things easier. So let’s wait and see.
Well, yes (laughs). I would like to add that to celebrate International Women’s Day we posted a short video on La Maison de la Maille’s Instagram account honoring all the women involved in the company’s development. The vast majority of our company’s staff are women. I think that the right of women to become entrepreneurs is one of the most important to defend.
Article written by Laura Isaaz
Discover more products:
This is also La Maison de la Maille’s strong point: joining forces with leading creative and entrepreneurial figures in made in France and ethical trade to create innovative, surprising and unique collaborative projects. Today, it is the turn of Séverine Tréfouel, founder of the Simon-Simone concept store with which La Maison de la Maille recently collaborated, to answer some questions. Here’s what she said.
Invent, reinvent, and never stop at what has already been done; that is the adage of La Maison de la Maille. After the recent launch of its “Plaid Merveilleux” (Marvelous Throw), the brand is back this fall with a completely new project, both different and extremely bold: reproducing the works of major contemporary artists on the house’s throws and shawls. How did this collaboration come about? Who are the artists involved in the project? Marie Ceysson, gallery owner, enlightens us.