Habermas Cœur has been created for over 80 years a stone’s throw from La Guillotière, in the 7th arrondissement of Lyon. An ideal location to witness the revival of haute couture after covid as well as the development of the region. Meets.
“We are some funny ladies!”
Thus, referring to the famous detective series involving three close detectives, Marie sums up the atmosphere at Haberdashery Cœur, located a stone’s throw from La Guillotière in the 7th arrondissement of Lyon. This hidden storefront that we call “antique” today celebrated its 80th anniversary before the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Inside is a trio of colour: Marie-Ange, the owner and her staff, Marie and Sylvie. Undoubtedly, the jokes, bursts of laughter, and the lack of attention to these three “charming ladies” in their sixties attract customers as much as the quality of the fabrics, buttons and wool balls displayed in the convenience store. It must be said that these three had stitches in their blood.
Les Cœurs, a famous family of junkyards in Lyon
Cœur haberdashery is above all the story of a family of famous habermen in Lyon. For a long time they owned several emblematic businesses in the area: haberdashery Cœur du 7e The circuit, of course, opened in 1939, but also those in 5e, from the ninth century, one in Croix-Rousse as well as the hardware store at L’Économe, a stone’s throw from the Basilica of Saint-Nizier. Today, only haberdashery Cœur on rue Jean-Jaurès, at 7e The Leon Circle, has stood the test of time.
In the 1960s, the Cœur couple died suddenly and it was their daughter, then 20, who took over the reins. In 2004, the current owner of the haberdashery at 7eMarie Ange, set in the boutique. She herself comes from a family of junkyards from Annecy and decided to settle in Lyon. In 2011, Mrs. Kaur gave herself a well-deserved retirement, and it was Mary Ang who took over the management of the store. Now 60, the old lady remembers well.
“Her real name is Mrs. Spinato, after her husband’s name, but everyone knows her as ‘Mrs. Hart’, her maiden name. I worked for 50 years in haberdashery. I had many connections with her and even today we call each other regularly.”
A new team with a profession they learned ‘on the job’
Despite her training in accounting and tailoring, Marie Ang became the new head of a haberdashery at Cur. She was soon supported by Marie, and then Sylvie, who learned the profession “on the job”.
Marie has done many odd jobs ranging from childcare to factory. Recently, she ran a tobacco shop near the haberdashery. One day, when the tobacco seller was robbed and was in financial difficulties, she came to buy the cloth in the haberdashery of Marie-Ange. Never leave again.
Sylvie will have spent a large part of her career hand in hand with Hearts. At the age of 14, she began working in haberdashery Cœur de Vaise for ten years, before embarking on ready-to-wear with her husband. Four years ago, she came to do a small replacement at Cœur du 7 . haberdasheryean alternative that lasted.
‘We’ve never sold as much as we sell during Covid’
This old haberdashery is clearly suffering from competition from large chains that specialize in wool, such as Phildar, which is created in Lyon. But the Covid-19 pandemic has breathed new life into haute couture as well as boosting the store’s popularity.
Marie-Ang explains: “We only stayed closed for three weeks. We were able to reopen because people needed fabrics and rubber bands to make the masks. The nearby Biocoop store even asked us to sell some.”
Word of mouth does the rest and requests for masks placed in Cur junkyards go up.
“We make up to 60 masks a day!” Mary recalled.
In addition to having to sew your own mask due to the impossibility of finding it in supermarkets or in pharmacies, many of them discovered a real passion for manual work while on the reservation.
“Doing yourself counts again, before it becomes cheesy.”
“We’ve never sold as much as we do during Covid, as Marie-Ange attests. A little earlier, there was already the environmental awareness that led to a DIY (do it yourself) modernization. Doing it yourself is valuable again. Before, it was tacky.”
And wool, fabric, and tailoring brands have doubled-down on ranges and colors aimed at a younger audience, eager to get out of the way. fast fashion. And so, on Cœur haberdashery displays, you can find something to do yourself: reusable sponges, recycled cotton balls, embroidery kits to customize your clothes, Advent self-sew and reusable calendars …
“Even macrame macrame is back in fashion! Marie enjoys brightly colored ball bearings. In the ’80s and ’90s, it was patchwork and cross stitch that revived haberdashery; in the 2000s, it’s all but lost until the arrival of wool. Since Covid, embroidery has made a comeback. And, above all, crochet. »
The many books that have appeared explaining how to sew a shopping bag, a crocheted T-shirt or socks, or even an entire jacket for the more daring attest to this enthusiasm. The latest fashion ? Amigurumi, these patiently crocheted little animals come straight from Japan.
New products are coming to meet a strong demand from crochet enthusiasts who are not necessarily who we think. Gone are the picture of Grandma knitting another blanket by the fireplace.
“We have a lot of young people between the ages of 18 and 20, notes Marie-Ange. And even teens, especially a 13-year-old who does a lot of knitting, or this 17-year-old who is starting to embroider and is going to try out design school High fashion. »
His colleague continues:
“There are also a lot of young mothers. They want handmade things. We have a majority of women but also a lot of men who knit, especially young men,” adds Marie when he was a young man in his twenties, a soccer jersey on his back pushing the door to buy fabrics.
“La Guillotière has become a bohemian chic district”
Cœur Haberdashery customers seem to reflect the transformation of this region of 7e Lyon region. The latter is literally torn between the organic and electric bike shops that appear like mushrooms on one side, and the instability and jitters of Place Gabriel-Péri on the other.
Before joining the haberdashery nearly ten years ago, Mary ran the adjacent tobacco shop. Over time, it experienced a real social change in the population.
She explains, “La Guillotière has always been a neighborhood with traffic since the Middle Ages. Now, it’s a chic neighborhood with lots of people in well-established situations and in eco-movement. In any case, you have to earn a minimum of your living to be able to buy from here.” »
And in order to confirm with a gesture of impotence:
“We already have clients who have been attacked or robbed, but it could have happened anywhere.”
“For our part, the situation is still stable, but these problems are taking up more and more space in Place Gabriel Perry. It has always been active but I find that violence has increased due to overcrowding.”
“The media shows a bad image of the neighborhood”
None of these three women felt unsafe in the neighbourhood. According to them, media coverage of the various events taking place in Guillotière is harmful to companies.
“The media shows a bad image of the neighborhood and we liken us to Guillotière when we don’t have a problem, and that’s what Marie-Ange regrets. We have a few young guys dealing up front, but we’re on good terms. It’s not them that bother me but drug smuggling in general.”
For her, the answer should not only be the police:
“The solution is not to put the CRS who are organizing in the square. We should attract families to the neighborhood, put in more green space to prevent people from hanging out, games for the kids, nice clothing stores, nice bars…”
Sylvie grew up in La Duchère, at 9e Lyon region. His daily life is punctuated by violent and even fatal episodes. For her, the problem is deeper.
“It’s not just Guillotière. There’s the same problem of traffic in La Duchère and the falling bars, which doesn’t solve anything, it just changes the problem. When you see what you can earn a day selling drugs, how do you want to attract young people with the minimum wage?”
“There’s even a shrinkage in the neighborhood that sends us its patients”
Whatever the development of the area, Marie-Ange has no intention of giving up haberdashery anytime soon.
“I will reach retirement age soon, but I haven’t set a retirement date! She laughs.
Sylvie and Mary are set to retire in a few months.
“Full circle,” smiles Sylvie, who started and ended her haberdashery Cœur career. It was a beautiful course. »
From their years at Marie Ange’s side, they will cherish fond memories, and are certain that they provided more than just sewing advice to their clients.
“We are in a society where we forget ourselves, we run all the time, Sylvie sighs. In our shop, we take the time to stop. We are so interested in people, they need to talk.”
“There is even a shrinkage in the neighborhood who sends us his patients! Mary laughs. They tell us that sewing makes them feel better.”
As if to make their point, she casually walks through the junk door, her face sullen. Immediately, the “charming ladies” rush to wish him his birthday and ask him about his latest creation.