Artists, Artisans & Entrepreneurs, Shopping
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Shop Tour: Capricieuse, where a love of uniqueness and harmony reigns

Capricieuse proprietor Isabelle Giovenni has found the perfect location to sell her own jewellery line (foreground) as well as lovingly chosen merchandise that harmoniously blends with a refurbished shop interior to create an airy, fresh, color-filled space.

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.

The glass-fronted corner shop with its high ceiling, restored window and door frames and refurbished wood floors combine with an array of vintage furniture and colorful, eclectic merchandise to entice passersby to come in and explore.

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.”

Isabelle has chosen merchandise from international sources. Items include upcycled; antique; and vintage-inspired pieces, handcrafted pottery and delicate jewellery by independent artisans. (Above) Brightly colored “footah” and pouches.

Made by a family-run firm in Brittany these sturdy, beautifully stitched bags, iPad covers and wallets are made from authentic upcycled sails. Each bag carries a label specifying the type of sail used (e.g. gib, gennaker, spinnaker), the make of boat (e,g, monocoque, catamaran) and where they were used (e.g. Atlantic Ocean, San Francisco Bay). Perfect for sailors/would-be sailors.

Sun streams through the shop’s front window and falls across straw hats made in Italy, a stylish bubble  lamp, and some bistro-style glass tumblers.

A longtime embrace of harmony

Mixing modern, functional shelving, 50s-60s era furniture, and a wood hutch creates the natural, homey atmosphere that Isabelle wanted as well as space for fluidly navigating the displays.

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.

 

Deliciously scented, hand-poured candles from Cerabella, a Barcelona firm dating from 1862, decorate a vintage dinner trolley alongside linen placemates and complementary colored coasters.

A harmony of blue: A lovely tin of crisp French shortbread sits atop a glazed pottery tray near eye-catching glass candle holders and a retro-style bread bin. 

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.

Dried flowers and herbs for food decoration are handpicked in the Valais by an artisan whose range of natural fruit-and-herb syrups Isabella also sells in her shop.

A corner of the shop is reserved for a small but sweet array of children’s stuffed toys, pencils, notebooks and tea sets.

“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.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capricieuse
Rue des Vollandes 11 (at the corner of rue des Eaux-Vives)
1207 Genève
Bus stop “Vollandes”
Monday: 14h30-19h00
Tuesday to Friday: 11h00-19h00
Saturday: 11h00-18h00
Tel: +41.(0)78.623.29.96
Email: info@capricieuse.ch

 

2 Comments

  1. Virginia says

    I love her taste and choices of items in her shop. So original and whimsical. Lovely!

    Like

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