Atelier TB, the savoir-faire of the french craftsmanship in textile
Atelier TB is the story of know-how, the story of craftsmanship of apron manufacturing in the Vosges region in France. Atelier TB, it is also the story of Thomas Bragard, its founder, and its willingness to relaunch the textile industry in France giving life back to the factory created by its predecessors which has been disused for twenty years because of the effects of globalization.
Sine 2017, the aprons made by Atelier TB 100 % made in France and made with natural fabrics dress-up numerous distinguished chefs, craftsmen, retailers and cooking anthusiasts.
Today, we offer you to discover the story of Atelier TB and Thomas, its founder:
Could you rapidly introduce yourself and how you got to this point?
Thomas: After studying engineering, a first life in strategy consulting and two years spent in New York, I decided to take up the family challenge. My family has been working in the textile industry for five generations, but our factory in the Vosges had been idle for twenty years. I rolled up my sleeves and jumped into the bath without any knowledge, but with a steel will to make the Vosges textile know-how shine again.
How did you come up with the idea to create AtelierTB?
Thomas: The evolution of consumer behaviour. Today we ask ourselves many more questions about the origin of the clothes we wear compared to the last decades. This evolution opens a new era for French manufacturing. I wanted to ride this wave and enhance the value of our know-how and our territories while stimulating the local economy!
What is the best memory in your entrepreneurial journey?
Thomas: Every time one of our customers sends us a message of satisfaction! That’s what gives meaning to our action and what drove us to undertake in the first place.
What was AtelierTB’s most important success?
Thomas: Giving work back to six seamstresses in the Vosges, who had had to reorientate themselves because there was no more work in the textile industry in this economic basin. We hope to recruit many more in the future!
…And the worst failure?
Thomas: We work mainly with the hotel and catering industry, so our sales are sensitive to the health of the tourism sector. As soon as tourism suffers, we suffer with it. For 18 months between the yellow jackets, the strikes and now the coronavirus, we are far from being spared by these conditions which impact us indirectly.
If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
Thomas: Nothing! I am not looking back, I am looking forward.
Which piece of advice would you share to someone looking to dive into an entrepreneurial journey?
Thomas: Be strong! The first years of an entrepreneurial adventure are a rollercoaster ride, emotionally speaking. Sometimes you’re super enthusiastic, and sometimes you lose a little hope, or you feel like you’ll never make it. It’s important to keep a bit of distance, not to let your emotions overwhelm you too much, to keep a cool head and always try to move forward.
What was the most important event for you this year?
Thomas: After starting with an apron collection in 2018, we came back in 2019 with a range of jackets co-designed with my parents. This is a project that is close to my heart and strengthens the family dimension that we are trying to establish within our team.
What’s the next step?
Thomas: To improve the productivity of our workshop, so that we can respond to more customer requests! We have the customers, but our manufacturing means using the Vosges craftsmanship limit the quantities we can produce!
What are the trends that inspire you, the innovations to watch closely?
Thomas: The automation of certain operations in the clothing industry should allow us in the future to have a greater production capacity and to be more competitive in terms of prices.
Since January 2020, Atelier TB is accelerated by Look Forward by Showroomprivé, a one year free accelearion program dedicated to entrepreneurs fron the Fashion, the Retail and the Beauty industries, willing to transform these industries including toward more sustainable practices.
To know more about Atelier TB‘s aprons :
Discover Look Forward by Showroomprivé: https://www.lookforwardproject.com/