Meet The Jewelry Entrepreneur Bringing Back The Almost-forgotten Art Of French Wire Wrapping

by Freya Drohan

Nameplate jewelry has had a moment again in pop culture in recent years—think: music videos and Carrie Bradshaw’s famed necklace—but chic French entrepreneur Anne-Sophie Baillet wasn’t a fan of any offerings she could find when she set out to personalize a piece of jewelry for her then-baby daughter in 2014. Her pursuit to find the right design ultimately led her to launch Atelier Paulin; a company that nods to traditional artisanal gold wire wrapping with its selection of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more. A reimagined iconic style was born, and the likes of Vogue Paris and The New York Times instantly approved. As the brand continues to gain traction in the US, Baillet tells The Daily about how important it is to her to carry on this ancestral technique. 

What was your profession before you got into the jewelry business?  
I’ve had many professions in my life! After my studies, I worked as a press agent for Kenzo for a few
years and then I worked in the events industry for 10 years before beginning the most beautiful job in
the world; becoming a mom!

Anne-Sophie Baillet (courtesy)

Can you describe Atelier Paulin in three words? 
Know-how, emotion, personalization.

Tell us about your daughter Colette, who inspired you to begin Atelier Paulin.
Colette has just turned six-years-old, the same as Atelier Paulin! She is very proud of her mom and proudly wears the cord bracelets with her first name, a heart, and the word ‘love’ on her wrist and ankle. She is looking forward to our new children’s products and I always have her name on my wrist so she never leaves me!

How do you know your business partner Matthias?
Matthias and I have known each other for 20 years. We are very good friends and have shared every moment of our life together. When I created Atelier Paulin, I knew he had to be part of the adventure. That it was him and not someone else. It was obvious to me. Matthias oversees Atelier Paulin’s general management. He structured the company and gave it its current face. He is more thoughtful than I am. I am more fanciful, more impulsive. He likes details, perfection whereas I like fluidity and simplicity. We are very different and very complementary. That’s our strength! It’s not easy every day but I think we have found a modus operandi that suits us. We love challenges and we are not
afraid of anything! We are quick in our decision making and get to the point. This is what has allowed us
to develop Atelier Paulin quickly. We knew nothing about jewelry before Atelier Paulin. We learned
everything on the job. Not knowing the world of jewelry allowed us to have our own approach, our own
codes.

How old is this technique of jewelry making? 
The Etruscans were the first to shape the metal wire to make brooches to hold the fabric of their
gowns.

How did you discover it? 
I contacted a craftsman I knew and asked him to make a bracelet by hand with gold wire and my
daughter’s first name. Precious metal wire has always been used in jewelry for its fineness, robustness
and resistance to time.

How have you reinterpreted the traditional technique with Atelier Paulin’s offerings? 
Our jewels are born from an ancestral know-how that was on the verge of being lost: the art of
fashioning a jewel by hand with a precious metal wire. We have reinterpreted this know-how, enriched
it with our skills, our experiences, our desires, our emotions. This unique technique is today ours and
that of each of our craftsmen who we train and who thus perpetuate this magnificent art!

Since you brought the brand to the US, what have been the most popular pieces/best sellers? 
The personalized bracelet remains the best-selling model in the USA and Europe. Americans are drawn
to the big pieces, the most spectacular ones.

You have collaborated with lots of fashion brands on different projects, what has been a highlight for you? 
Each of our collaborations has a history linked to a meeting and a common desire to share our know-how. They have all challenged us and helped us move forward! The strongest remains the one with the presidency of the republic. It was an honor to have created jewels around the values of the republic, to have been chosen for our craftsmanship and our know-how, to have spent an incredible weekend at the Elysée Palace and to have met the President.

What was the inspiration to branch into astrology, are you a fan of reading your horoscope?
I have always believed in my lucky stars. I know that someone or something is protecting me and I have always been told that I was lucky. I don’t believe in luck, but in the signs sent by the universe. If you know how to recognize them and listen to them then you attract beautiful things to yourself. Life challenges you all the time and the universe dislikes emptiness. Therefore, you have to listen to all the signs and use them to move forward in life. My friend Julie Patriat, who is an astrologist, introduced me to this divinatory art.  Everyone has a destiny on which they have an influence. It’s a fascinating subject! We worked together on the collection around numerology and life path numbers. The astrological collection soon followed. I am a Gemini with a ram’s ascendant and was born on June 1st, right in the middle of the year. Julie writes all the texts that refer to the signs and numbers. We also do a lot of lives on social media with her and events in stores where our clients can meet her.

What’s next for Atelier Paulin? 
We are working on a collection inspired by the work of a famous French poet. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but this collaboration is a dream come true!

Atelier Paulin’s new Astro collection (courtesy)

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