Necessity, the Mother of a Boutique
We’ve all had a great idea for a handy gadget that would solve one of life’s annoying little problems, but few of us would have the foggiest idea as to how to go about actually having it produced and distributed.
Isabelle Risacher was watching TV one day and saw an inventor talking about his need for a backer to produce just such a device: a handle that would keep plastic bags full of groceries from cutting off the circulation in your hand when you carry them.
While toting a heavy load a few days later, Risacher realized how practical the idea was, but a search for a store selling such inventions proved fruitless, so she decided to open her own. La Boutique des Inventions opened its doors in the Marais’s Village Saint Paul in August 2003.
In addition to selling gadgets and home décor, Risacher helps inventors get started by offering a market-study service and providing a retail outlet for their products. The idea is that once the shop has agreed to sell a patented invention, the inventor is more likely to find a backer to produce it.
Among the objects on sale are an umbrella that won’t turn inside-out in the wind; colorful jewelry made from real butterfly wings (no butterflies were killed to make the pieces; the wings are collected from entomologists who would have thrown them away); and the Kangaroo Cup, which has a pocket on the side to hold that pesky wet teabag you never know what to do with when you use a mug.
La Boutique des Inventions: Village Saint Paul: 13 rue Saint Paul, 75004 Paris. Tel.: 01 42 71 44 19. Open Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.