Three lockdowns, three closures. Like many other merchants, Sylvie was hit hard by the health crisis. The artist-designer runs Merveilles
, a nice little boutique with a warm and intimate decor on Rue du Puits du Temple in Montpellier. She sells brooches, earrings, and necklaces featuring collages, pictures, and paintings that she creates following her inspiration. Her unique approach has garnered loyalty among customers seeking jewelry that is not just like everything else, something more “poetic”, as she says, more representative of the popular “slow fashion”
But the month of May proved to be quite challenging. “The first lockdown was a total panic.”
Sylvie reacted fast. She decided to digitalize her company to highlight the originality of her creations on her website, and she chose to expand her presence on social networks
. That’s how she got started with a digital training course offered at the Hérault Chamber of Trades, while simultaneously exploring different options available to her to help preserve her business.
She now knows that the support she received was essential. She obtained a Government-guaranteed loan (PGE) and took advantage of programs immediately made available by Montpellier and Montpellier Métropole
. She has no regrets.
“Rental aid saved my shop, and the page I created on the site published by the city of Montpellier and Montpellier Métropole brought me new customers,” she recognizes.
Now, without hesitating, Sylvie is preparing for the end of the health crisis, getting deeply involved with her neighborhood’s Au Cœur de Saint-Roch
merchant association, of which she is a member. An online showcase has already been published to strengthen ties with customers. Other actions are being prepared. “We want to work with the local authorities to promote our neighborhood as much as possible,
” she says.
Ideas to overcome the crisis are flourishing among Saint-Roch merchants. “I hope consumers will be aware how important it is to preserve small businesses, artisanship, and hand-made products." In any case, Sylvie is not sparing any energy to help promote the message.