Opened last year in the hip northern Marais, Empreintes has become one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood, as shopping here feels almost like visiting an exhibition and I always leave the place inspired.
In fact Empreintes is the fruit of the organization of the artisan professional union in France. All member artisans have access to the exhibit; there is no front door selection. This does not mean that it is a bric-à-brac of products – on the contrary, products that go well together have carefully been put together, yet it looks less commercial than an average concept store.
What I particularly admire is the attention to each individual artisan: next to each product collection you can find a information on the product and the artist, presented in English and French. I love knowing where things come from, and it makes an object so much more interesting.
Having said that, craftsmanship has a price. This is not where you will do your binge gadget shopping. But as the products are very different, their prices are too. If I absolutely love a ceramic bowl at €45, it might just be worth it.
To learn more about the craftsmanship you can watch documentaries on the artists on the underground floor, or attend a workshop that usually takes place on Saturdays. Also there is a little coffee corner on the first floor with excellent snacks and cakes. But actually the building itself is worth a visit alone, giving great views on its pretty surroundings.