Located 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. 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.
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.