Rahma Guenfoudi, who owns L’Atelier Du Bijou has become one of my favorite people here in Saint Tropez. She has become a friend. She is creative and generous and loves life. She’s a free spirit. Though her passport is from Belgium, she’s been living in Saint Tropez for many years. Rahma has always been passionate about creating beautiful art and bringing beauty into people’s lives. She’s always been interested in fashion and loves working with her hands and creating beautiful unique pieces of jewelry.
She’s always loved to visit brochants (antique markets) and years ago, began collecting old coins there. She learned how to drill holes in the coins and started creating her first pieces of jewelry. She also collected old semi precious stones and crystals and taught herself how to break them into smaller pieces to add to her jewelry collection. In the beginning, she made simple bracelets and necklaces. She’s also a passionate traveller and would bring back small treasures she found in exotic places to create jewelry pieces.
Rahma worked at Trinity, a well known jewelry shop here in Saint Tropez for four years and it was there, while repairing necklaces, bracelets and rings that she really learned how to make jewelry. She found that she liked selling jewelry much more than selling clothing to customers because no matter what your shape or your age – tall or short, small or large, young or old, beautiful jewelry always fits.
For Rahma, jewelry is way to adorn the body whether your fully dressed for winter or wearing nothing but a bikini. As she continued to hone her craft she started making more unique pieces of her own style and put together a small collection.
Rahma had to stop working at Trinity after the death of someone quite close to her and went through some hard times. She decided to take a job waitressing at night so that she could spend her days creating. She went back to some of the markets where she used to buy old coins and stones and started selling her collection at the markets. The more she sold, the more people would ask her to make them some special piece of jewelry. One time a client brought in some of her grandmother’s jewelry and asked Rahma to “re create” it.
Rahma had the idea to take old pieces of jewelry and add beautiful skulls and crosses to them to make them a bit “rock and roll”.
Seven years ago, she finally felt ready and opened her own shop, L’Atelier De Bijoux in Cogolin. Now she makes jewelry full time, when she’s not traveling to places like India, Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey to stock up on materials and hunt for unique beads and stones to add to her jewelry collection.
I’ve spent a lot of time with her in her shop, chatting over a cup of coffee while she strings beads or drinking a bottle of wine together when she’s working late to make a client a special piece. She always has a smile and a warm way to welcome you into her shop. More than once, I’ve asked her to “surprise me” and make me a necklace out of turquoise or one with a cross and skulls and I’ve never been disappointed. She has a great sense of style and knows what looks great on her clients.
She also sells beautiful bags and scarfs, wind catchers and sandals in the shop.
L’Atelier De Bijoux is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-7pm.
Address: Galerie Raimu, Avenue Georges Clemenceau, 83310 in Cogolin
Telephone: 06 10 95 31 45
Check out her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/latelierdubijoubyrahma/