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The PAUL MARIUS story is a singular one that deserves to be told.
To understand its origins, to tame its secrets and to inspire the bold, who, like Florent Poirier, dream of freedom.
Before becoming the story of our employees and customers, it is first and foremost the atypical story of a young self-taught man who was not predestined to live this crazy entrepreneurial adventure...
His inspiration comes from a childhood surrounded by old collectors' items carefully found by his father, a secondhand dealer who travels the roads of Normandy, a land of relics from the past embodied by its D-Day beaches, its ancestral cathedrals and its famous conquerors.
At a very young age, Florent willingly traded the rigor of his studies for the independence inspired by an innate sense of commerce.
He obtained his professional baccalaureate in pet shop sales, then began a self-taught career in the real estate and ready-to-wear sectors...
In 2010, instinct pushed him to satisfy this persistent need to express his creativity around a resolutely free and daring project.
The origin of this idea seems incredible, yet it could be part of everyone's daily life...
It is on the terrace of a café, "l'Interlude" located on Place Saint Vivien in Rouen, that the beginnings of the project emerge.
After months of unfinished reflections, Florent tirelessly observes what surrounds him: this woman with a disheveled shoulder bag, this man clutching his old leather doctor's bag...
His mind instantly returns to the world of his childhood flea market, the atmosphere of an undeniably nostalgic vintage era...this comforting and inspiring atmosphere, with the air of "the good old days".
The 23 year old saw the idea of creating a collection of leather bags and satchels inspired by vintage leather goods.
This is when everything started to happen... this abstract idea, full of madness, became a reality: the first pencil strokes, although technically approximate, came to life on paper.
A year passed and the brand became established.
The name PAUL MARIUS was affixed to the leather goods.
However, the mishaps follow one another, leaving room for questioning.
From one day to the next, Florent loses track of the man to whom he had entrusted all his savings for the manufacture of a new collection.
It is at this precise moment that the magic of the encounters operates.
His name is Karan. He is the same age as Florent. He too is self-taught, optimistic and dreams of freedom.
He is the head of a small workshop composed of ten leather craftsmen and has great ambitions...
This Franco-Indian partnership has been going on since 2011.
Months go by, the story is being writen.
After several months spent looking for a manufacturing workshop and refining LeCartable and LaSacoche's designs, Florent discovered India, a country where tradition meets innovation.
Although he does not know this culture and does not speak English, only India offers him this mastery of the raw material, this ancestral craft know-how and the opportunity to produce a limited quantity of only ten pieces.
This discovery marked the beginning of the adventure: with a few euros in his pocket, the production of these first designs was launched.
Thanks to the extraordinary opportunity offered by online sales, the impossible became possible: the first designs took off, and production began.
"My first encounter with India was an emotional shock, a change of scenery that we do not expect. India is a country full of bright colors, spicy smells, new sounds. A deeply inspiring universe in which you have to let yourself be carried along by your travels and encounters.
I met leather craftsmen with golden hands with whom we worked on the smallest detail to make each creation a success. I felt perfectly at home there."
PAUL MARIUS has great ideas, Florent will then surround himself with a team to make them come to life.
The first collaborators joined PAUL MARIUS which had just set up in a backyard in a 200m² building on rue Saint Eloi, in Rouen.
Florent continues to travel between France and India and develops collections according to the new materials he finds.
At the end of this encounter, everything accelerated.
The two men share the same ambition: the raw materials of one will come to life through the creative ideas of the other.
Back in France, ideas are teeming, the drawing book is full of sketches, the pencil line is refined, the mastery of English is perfected.
PAUL MARIUS needed to grow.
This first visit to India confirms to him that everything is possible.
"We had bits of string in our hands but we knew that something big was happening at PAUL MARIUS".
The showroom on rue Saint Eloi, a real meeting place for the people of Rouen, was no longer sufficient for the development of Paul Marius. The company's expansion continued in an 800m² artist's studio located in the heart of Rouen's left bank.
The old showroom was running out of space:
Very quickly, Florent feels this insatiable need to exchange with his customers to capture these emotions that have become a source of inspiration.
On December 6, 2014, PAUL MARIUS will experience a real turning point by opening the doors of its first store located at 31 Place des Carmes in Rouen.
This historic store will give a new lease of life to PAUL MARIUS by propelling, in barely eight years, no less than 37 stores in the four corners of France and then in Belgium.
In the image of the origin of this adventure, the stores are authentic by favoring the historical heart of city centers, and atypical thanks to an identity conceived by Florent.
Since then, PAUL MARIUS has continued to write its story with an incredible team of 200 French and Belgian employees and 1,200 craftsmen in our partner workshops, all contributing to one common goal: to make you travel!