Opened last year in the hip northern Marais, Empreintes has become one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood ever since, as shopping here is 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 and the presentation is excellent, yet 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 profile of the artist and information on the product, presented both 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. 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.