SOME shopowners sell to make a living. Others care about their merchandise but keep the relationship strictly professional. Then there are those who embrace the individuality and provenance of each article as if it were a child, valuing its uniqueness while creating a harmony in the family of merchandise as a whole.
“There isn’t one thing here I don’t love. I can only sell what I love.”
It’s obvious that Isabelle Giovenni is just such a proprietor as she introduces me to each of the product lines at her boutique Capricieuse, which opened its doors on 11 April in a luminous corner property at the intersection of rue des Eaux-Vives and rue des Vollandes in the Eaux-Vives neighborhood of Geneva.
Articles that provoke a “coup de coeur”
“There has to be a compatability, a harmony, between the choice of items as well as in their placement,” Isabelle tells me. “The products also have to correspond to what customers might like and provoke a coup de coeur [love crush].”
Doubtless Isabelle was guided by her own heart as well as her head when choosing her seductive and eclectic array of merchandise. “I can only sell what I love,” she says.
From sporty Italian-made straw hats and crisp French shortbread biscuits to luminous Danish pottery; from deliciously scented candles hand-poured in Barcelona to retro-style breadboxes in soft pastel shades and antique flea market finds, a refreshing playfulness infuses the shop.
“I don’t want a classic reaction when people stop in,” Isabelle explains. “I want a reaction of: but what is this shop? A moment of surprise and then amusement. The common denominator would be a disorganized harmony that’s colorful as well as joyous.”
A longtime embrace of harmony
A “disorganized harmony” has been an ongoing theme of Isabelle’s work and is seen in the bracelets and necklaces she has fashioned from semi-precious stones, gold and silver for over ten years under the same name, Capricieuse, that her boutique now sports.
On her website she says: “Creation begins in the choice of stones, in the harmony of colors and often unanticipated combinations. Each piece of jewellery is the result of a precious balance between regularity and a rupture of rhythm.” She could be describing her shop as well.
The right place at the right time
It’s a shop that came about through good fortune, she says, and at just the right time and in just the right place. After ten years of holding a twice-yearly pop-up boutique at Globus Geneva, Isabelle says she was ready to fulfill a long-held dream to open her own store.
“I follow my instincts and cannot do otherwise.”
She searched all over Geneva for the right spot. As luck would have it, the owner of the property in Eaux-Vives was also looking for a new tenant that would do his space justice and he was prepared to renovate it to the highest standards for just the right person.
“I love Eaux-Vives. Locals eat, sleep and work here and are loyal to it. We’re in the city and by the lake.”
A natural wood floor was discovered beneath vinyl tiles and refurbished to a gleaming brown and the iron window and door surrounds work like new, while this corner lot with its three large picture windows and high ceiling make for a space that floods with light.
At Capricieuse you feel at home. Isabelle says: “People can spend a happy moment and find things in a timeless location that’s away from everyday life.” ♥
Rue des Vollandes 11 (at the corner of rue des Eaux-Vives)
Bus stop “Vollandes”
Tuesday to Friday: 11h00-19h00
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