For twenty-five years French lifestyle brand, Caravane, has collaborated with artisans around the world to create a stylish selection of homewares. In 2011, Veronique Piedeleu bought the business along with her husband, before being joined more recently by their daughter Capucine. They now have 14 shops worldwide from Copenhagen to San Francisco including two in London in Marylebone and Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. We talked to Veronique and Capucine about working together, their favourite shops and markets and after their successful collaboration with Sezane, what lies in the future for Caravane.
Veronique, you took over Caravane in 2011. What attracted you to the business?
Since childhood, I’ve loved visiting auction rooms, flea markets and roadside potters. My grandparents were antique dealers and I’ve always been fascinated by antique furniture, fabrics, and collecting various objects from my travels. I was brought up to appreciate uniqueness, and this passion caught up with me after years spent in marketing.
My husband, Jack-Eric and I started a craft supply business, which we ran successfully for ten years. However, I needed a place to fully develop my passion. When I discovered Caravane I was transfixed by the brand, its values, and decorative aesthetic. When we had the opportunity to buy it ten years ago it was an obvious choice!
And now Capucine, you too have joined! Is it easy working as mother and daughter in a business? What are the pros and cons?
Capucine: It was a challenge at first to find a good balance between work and family! However, we managed to find it quite quickly and built a mutual appreciation of each other’s skill sets. We have learnt a great deal one another. It’s been quite a journey since we started working together, 6 years ago and we are very proud of the hard work we’ve done together.
I am very grateful for everything my mother has taught me and that we still have Sunday lunches and family holidays without (most of the time!) talking about work.
What do you think gives Caravane it’s particular aesthetic?
Veronique: Caravane creations are born naturally ~ It is often the talent of the craftsman that guides the aesthetic. Extreme care is taken to identify the most beautiful, simple, authentic and natural materials. The simplicity of our designs makes them timeless by nature. They never go out of fashion as they are inspired by and based on traditional craftsmanship: tapestry, weaving, ironwork.
You did a collaboration with Sezane previously. Have you got any more collaborations coming up?
Capucine: The Sezane collaboration was the first project I worked on at Caravane and was such a wonderful experience. In 2022 all have lots of exciting collaborations launching, however, our focus currently is the online capsule collection launching in September.
What are your favourite Instagram accounts to follow?
Capucine: My mother is not on Instagram so mine would be
@MimiThor Mimi Thorisson is absolutely stunning! I love her food, the aesthetic of her home and her pictures always look very rustic and French
@KellyWearstler Kelly’s work has such a strong personality ~ her choices of patterns and colour are always alluring and distinctive. I adore her style too – it has the same vibe as her interiors.
@PolkenStudio Simone is an incredible artist. I just love the simplicity of her work and her home (below).
@ParisiensinParis This one feels a little cliché, however I adore the spontaneous picture and the style of the chic Parisians.
How did the pandemic affect you? And Caravane? How did you pass the time during the lockdowns?
Capucine: I stayed in Paris for the duration of the lockdowns. As I manage the e-business of Caravane I had a lot of work. However, it was very important for us, as it was the only link left we had with our customers during this difficult time.
Veronique: From a personal point of view, this period has been amazing and very rewarding. At the beginning of March, we took a week’s holiday in Portugal to see the house we had built . We suspected that there was a risk without imagining the extent of the situation. A few days later, we were confined for two weeks, then two weeks again, and so on. We took advantage of the time.
Of course, there was stress, the shops were closed, all the teams were at home, we were unable to work, but I viewed the moment as an adventure.
What other interior shops do you like in London? And in Paris?
Capucine: In London we love The Conran Shop in Bibendum, South Kensington ~ it’s great for lunch too! Jonathan Adler is also wonderful for eccentric little finds and we adore all the flower markets and delightful little antique shops.
In Paris we love India Mahdavi, Antoinette Poisson (below) and of course, all the flea markets are amazing! However, since I’m more of an online shopper, I also like to browse Selency and Design Market.
Do you collect anything and if so, what?
Capucine: Mum is always collecting things! Often pieces I don’t understand at first, however I tend to grow to love them and often end up purchasing them too! She has an amazing collection of baskets, cooking books (from all over the world!) and many small animal creations, most of which are stocked at caravane.
There isn’t one particular thing I’m passionate about, however I have started collecting hats. I began making my own hat with unique patterns and Caravane fabrics. I’ve also recently become a little obsessed with backgammon, it’s a beautiful game and makes a lovely gift.
What do you have on your bedside tables?
Véronique: Lots of books and some adorable gifts my children made for me when they were little.
Capucine: I have headphones since I always listen to music or podcasts before going to bed, and of course my pillow lavender mist…
What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
Véronique: The end of the pandemic! We hope everyone can feel safe and start enjoying their lives again! We also have some beautiful collections and exciting projects launching towards the end of this year and throughout 2022. We can’t wait to share them with our lovely customers.