April Eleven

Portrait

Creator of the APRIL ELEVEN brand, passionate about wood, especially oak. Charline proposes objects and accessories of decoration for the rooms of babies and children. Unicorn wall lamp, Eskimo mirror, drop hook, caravan music box... A world full of humour and delicacy! Charline has accepted to answer LCDC's questions, the opportunity to discover her background, her values and her creations!

April Eleven

What is your background?

I trained as a stylist at ESMOD (The International fashion design and business school). I spent two years in Bordeaux and one year in Paris to specialize in children's clothing. Then I did an internship in the Landes. And there I had my first job at Kanabeach for 5 years as a stylist, I had to select clothing for women and children, but also accessories.

But then where does the idea of APRIL ELEVEN come from, the world of wood is far from that of fashion?

As a child, I often hung out in my father's workshop, who is a cabinetmaker. My brother and I used to go to his workshop and make bows, swords and huts. I was always in the dust of the workshop. I did not follow any specific training but my father taught me everything and he still advises me, even if I am now autonomous. Today we work in the same workshop, he thinks and manufactures made-to-measure furniture for the house and I specialized myself towards objects and accessories of decoration for the rooms of babies and children. Even if these objects can completely blend in with the adults' decor!

Was the change of profession complicated?

Yes and no, I had just experienced an economic layoff, it was really the right moment for me to start, to change my universe. I started by cutting shapes then I took part in a first creation show in Bordeaux, it really pleased me, so it really boosted me. It gave me wings, I regained a certain confidence. I continued to work, to learn. It has been working for 6-7 years now. I wanted that life, I wanted to succeed alone, to be carried by the people around me, by the customer feedback.

What inspires you?

I like what is clean, simple and when it comes to useful objects. I find myself quite a bit in Swedish design. I like to look at Pinterest, paintings of inspiration, it stays in a corner of my head. Before my daughter Romy was born, I didn't create for anyone in particular, now it has to be a bit different! My mommy look changes things a little bit.

How do you work?

I draw a lot of sketches. When I have an idea, I put it in my notebook and then I move on and then I come back to it. I work by collection. I work with the feeling and very often, if I spend too much time on an object, it is not good sign.

What are your favourite subjects?

Oak plywood since the beginning, from eco-managed forests in Germany. These are cut and replanted forests. I like its color which is soft, the grain marked but not too much, a wood that does not have too many knots. Finally, I like the matt wood so I don't use varnish.

Your creations are essentially decorative objects, how did you come up with the idea of the swing?

It's true that it's a little different from what I was doing, but it's still part of me. This idea of a swing came to me from my mother's antique shop, she had dragged me to a flea market where I had found a baby seat, an old youpala. He had this blue and red print that attracted me a lot. And then I love outdoor swinging games, but often they are plastic, like fluorescent green... So the idea of designing a swing designed for babies with pretty materials, beautiful colors, pleased me a lot. I first thought it for the outdoors, but some of my clients, who live in the city, use it mainly for the indoors. I loved the idea! I like this side, exchange with my customers, the products evolve.

What are the projects, the desires for APRIL ELEVEN?

I always have ideas for new creations in my head! I would also like to grow a little, I would like to develop collaborations with pretty brands, partner with someone for a product or two. I am sold in France, Europe, Japan and Australia, so why not in other countries!