Whether you’re after embroidered bags, tapenade, scented candles or almond-based body care products, Good Morning South delivers Provence to your door. The French website was launched on June 5, 2017, and aims to introduce the American public to the Provence region and the expertise of its artisans. We met with Marseille-born Lucille Pinero, 31, who co-founded the website.
France-Amérique: How was this project born?
Lucille Pinero: My sister Elsa and I spent our childhood in our grandfather’s store on the Rue du Petit Saint-Jean in Marseille, where he sold accessories, leather goods and decorative objects. The success of the family business — my mother, my uncle and my aunt also worked there — inspired our decision to found our own company. In January 2016, I had stopped feeling fulfilled in my career as a journalist, and Elsa’s contract for a Parisian concept store had not been renewed. It was the moment to make a go of it.
Can you explain the Good Morning South concept in a few words?
Good Morning South is an online store showcasing designers from the south-east of France. Internet users can purchase products guaranteed “made in Provence,” including ready-to-wear accessories, household linens, decorative objects and food products. Our objective is to provide local artisans with visibility. We also have a “Designers” tab on our website, offering a description of each of our partners. The line of handbags from Folklo by Ka was the result of an encounter between two fashion-mad friends in Marseille. The soap brand La Corvette was founded in 1894, and continues to uphold the traditions of savon de Marseille. Graphic designer and illustrator Lolita Picco creates bags, mugs and fashion accessories inspired by her childhood in the town of Martigues in the Bouches-du-Rhône département.
How do you select your designers?
Word-of- mouth and the social networks have enabled us to promote local artisans, while trade fairs such as Vivre Côté Sud in Aix-en-Provence have led us to meet artisans and discover new products. We work with 16 creators established in the south-east of France, whose products are local and environmentally friendly. More than 200 products are currently available on our website.
What is your strategy for appealing to American customers with a penchant for all things French?
We transmit our gastronomic culture and the expertise of French artisnary. Americans associate Provence with paintings by Cézanne and Monet, the great outdoors and the fresh produce used in Mediterranean cuisine. They are also increasingly attracted to ethical, handmade products. We want to raise awareness about products made in France that combine ethics, integrity and a reconsideration of the role of people in the creative process. We also plan to offer an English version of our site by 2018, and to take part in a New York artisan trade fair.
What are your favorite products?
We are very fond of the story behind the Gang de Grands-Mères brand, whose bowties, ties and knit caps are handmade by Provençal grandmothers. A percentage of profits is donated to a charity that fights against isolation and loneliness among seniors. We also love the minimalist creations from Poulette Bijoux, and the delicious spreadables by Les Niçois such as tapenade, anchovy paste, basil pesto and eggplant caviar!
Good Morning South