L'Atelier by Grid
L'Atalier by Grid is a beautiful boutique in the heart of the San Blas neighborhood of Cusco, Peru. While fawning over her handmade jewelry collection (of the same name), I was able to chat with Parisian designer and store owner Ingrid Thieblemont about how it all came to be.
Location: Cusco, Peru
Interview date: February 14, 2014
It was only a few hours into my Peru sojourn before a magnetic, all-powerful instinct—the sort that any vintage aficionado can relate to—lead me to L’Atelier by Grid. This gem of a boutique, tucked away in the cobblestone labyrinth of Cusco’s bohemian San Blas quarter, promises an eclectic but perfectly curated assortment of handmade jewelry, clothing and accessories along with a treasure trove of unique vintage goodies.
Parisian designer and Cusco-transplant Ingrid Thieblemont opened the doors two years ago as a place to design and sell her jewelry collection. Since then she has evolved the space into a wonderland of aesthetic inspiration and quirky ethnic dreams, perfectly outfitted with vintage bags and books, handmade paper goods, and clothing and accessories by other local designers.
Within this little sea of treasures, though, it is Ingrid’s own jewelry collection that shines the brightest. The line includes handmade necklaces, bracelets and rings mixing gold and silver with leather, beads, and woven Peruvian textiles. Her pieces are at once modern and bohemian, honoring timeless '60s and '70s design while reimagining it with current style in mind, and always with a personal and artisanal touch.
Below are some excerpts from my interview with Ingrid about the past, present and future of L’Atelier by Grid.
VV: How did you end up in Cusco?
IT: I did a trek here with a group seven years ago. At the time I was living in Paris and working as a designer for a big company. It was just a little trip to take a break from Paris life. We only spent two days in Cusco, but when I was here I felt a very special connection to the place right away. I promised myself I would come back. When I went back to Paris, and to my job, I just kept thinking about Cusco. So finally I decided to quit my job and come back here to see why I was so captivated by the city. After doing some volunteer work and studying Spanish, I made the decision to stay indefinitely. And now my life is here!
VV: How did you come to have this store?
IT: A couple years ago I visited France to see some friends, and when I came back I was inspired. I realized that I wanted to get back into making jewelry, because I used to do that in my free time back in Paris and I really missed it. I thought it would be nice to have a shop where I could make things and sell other designers’ work. So I started looking for a place and I found this place after only one week! It really felt like it was meant to be.
VV: How would you describe your aesthetic and the energy of your store?
IT: I love to mix old things and new things. I also love to include messages and ideas in my jewelry, because I think jewelry is in itself for expression. I love ethnic things, because they have so much heritage and character. And of course I love Peru inspiration in particular—the colors, the metals, the prints. So I often mix Peruvian inspiration with my own aesthetic and use a variety of media. I also sell goods by other local South American designers in the store. It’s important to me to support these artists and make sure that everything is local and made with love.
VV: Where do you source the vintage pieces you have here?
IT: The vintage collection is sourced from my travels around Latin America, my visits back home to France (and other parts of Europe), and sometimes pieces that I find here. I don’t force it, but I do love vintage and when I see the right pieces I buy them.
VV: What is your vision for the future of L'Atelier by Grid?
IT: I would like to maybe expand and move to a bigger shop. I am selling my jewelry collection in two independent design shops Paris, a couple stores in London, and a store in Iceland as well. And I’d love to develop this aspect of my business as well. I am also thinking about designing a line of bags that mixes local textiles and metals with my own aesthetic.
Outside the boutique in Cusco, the L’Atelier by Grid collection can be found at select stores throughout Paris, London and Iceland (see below). Check out the online store here.
Carmen Alto 227A
San Blas, Cusco
Matières à Reflexion
19, Rue de Poitou
8, Rue des Abbesses
46, Rue des Abbesses
200 Oxford Street
W1D 1NU, UK
Hotel Le Toiny
Anse le Toiny