We are taking a virtual day trip to France… Paris to be exact, to visit Colonel, a lovely design shop run by designers for design lovers. We first took note of Colonel back in 2010, when we featured their collection of vintage furniture that they restored and reinvented. As we followed along, we became more and more excited with what we were seeing from the brand and were thrilled to be able to peek inside their showroom. Founded by Isabelle Gilles and Yann Poncelet, Colonel seems to be building steam with each new year, so we talked to Yann about wearing both the designer and retailer hat.
Why did you pick this city/neighborhood/storefront?
We chose this area because it is very quiet and pleasant. Having the nearby canal gives a holiday atmosphere in this neighborhood. Also, there was no furniture shops around… And the local (a former dental prosthetics lab) had a lot of potential!
Where did you get the name for the store?
Colonel is the name of a famous cocktail made of vermouth and lime ice. When we met in 2010, and built the project, we used to drink this cocktail :)
Has it changed much since it opened? How?
Yes it has changed. We now have faithful customers … from the area or elsewhere. Also, the neighborhood changes a lot: it creates a good working dynamic atmosphere!
What’s one of the challenges you have with the business?
The biggest challenge for us is to create/chose new products and furniture able to last in time… We do not want our customers to get tired of the brand.
What other stores have you worked in before opening this one?
This is the first shop we work in! This is our own project. We are first designers…
What’s your favorite item in the store right now?
Our favorite item in the store right now is one of our creations: Kyoto sideboard.
What is this season’s theme/inspiration/story?
According to us, the season’s theme is based on very graphics forms and bright colors like yellow, black, indigo…
Are you carrying any new products and/or undiscovered gems you’re particularly excited about?
We are very happy to sell the line Wrong for Hay. We like it very much and also the Spanish range GAN rugs.
What’s been a consistent best seller?
Dowood lamp is a best seller.
Does the store have its own line?
Yes. Our store is called Colonel shop and our own brand is Colonel. We’ve already drawn three collections which works good so far.
Any special events/exhibits/pop ups/collaborations coming up?
Maison & Objet fair in January! We are working on it… to present our 4th collection.
Do you have anything from the store in your own home?
Yes! We have Colonel’s Faces floor lamp, Dowood lamp, Kyoto sideboard, mags sofa from Hay, Julien Renault lamps…
What’s next for you and your store?
We are drawing a new collection, this is the most important project right now.
Visit Colonel at 14 Avenue Richerand, 75010 Paris, France or online.