Ablaze with color and zest, the tantalizing window display of Zor Creations challenges anyone to walk past this Parisian jewelry shop without stopping in. I was rushing to a massage appointment in the 2nd Arrondissement when I first spotted the Zor storefront. Immediately after my session, I dashed out onto the street and found my way back to this dazzling shop to see what it was all about.
Crossing the threshold was like jumping into a kaleidoscope. Every angle of the store is coated with funky jewelry composed of metals, semiprecious stones and enamels, as well as creative accessories like handbags and silk flowers, decorative household items, and cheerful clothing like sundresses and fanciful scarves. The right side of the store is dominated by objects with ethnic themes, both traditional and modern, while the left has a more romantic style. In the back corner, a second brand, Sébicotane, offers enamel jewelry with feminine shapes and soft colors.
Amid the whirlwind of pigment, I was struck by the immediate notion that a truly talented master was behind it all. Greeting me from her workshop in the back of the store, Stéphanie Lagier revealed that every piece within the store was her own creation.
The arrangement of jewelry in wooden wardrobes and articles strewn over bedside tables gave the store a homey feeling, complemented by the artist’s personable nature and charisma. When Stéphanie shared that customers often liken the shop to their grandmother’s attic, she so accurately captured my impression upon first entering the shop. Behind the displays, a workshop runs along the back wall of the store.
Zor Creations is an artisan boutique, and the sole artist creates all the designs and single-handedly makes nearly every piece from start to finish. She brings together a variety of textures and materials, including enamel, ceramic, glass, sterling silver, vermeil, bronze, resins, feathers, wax (for lost-wax casting) and semiprecious stones, such as amethyst, carnelian, peridot and moonstone.
A graduate of architecture and design, Stéphanie is self-taught in the art of creating jewelry, clothing and accessories. She also learned welding by hunting down willing instructors with enough time and space to impart their knowledge to her, which, she recounts, was not an easy feat in Paris.
After carefully selecting the raw materials, such as semiprecious stones from India and Thailand and crystals from Swarovski, the artisan keeps the rest of the process within Paris. Her best friend assists with sales and filling orders, and her mother does the administrative tasks. Any aspect of the production that Stéphanie deems too grand for own two hands and work space (a rare occurrence) is made in a partner workshop nearby, using the artisan’s original model. That is, the only tasks performed outside Zor Creations are for gold plating, silver plating and antique bronzing, as well as enormous orders from customers like Estée Lauder, Amnesty International and natural history museums in France.
The artist’s different collections, from Gourmande and Tunis to Sauvage and Crazy Maggy, can be viewed in the store and on the website. As an artisan boutique, Zor Creations sells at retail and wholesale prices, so discounts of 20 to 50 percent can be found year-round. With these straight-from-the-workshop prices, jewelry starts at 10 euros, and smaller accessories, such as hairpins and silk flowers, at just 1 or 2 euros. As for ultraclassy pieces for dressy evenings, prices span from 1 euro all the way to 950 euros. If you are looking for an item apart from this selection, Zor Creations also makes custom orders for businesses and individual customers. And given Lagier’s talents, you will be tempted to place an order.
35, rue d’Aboukir, in the 2nd Arrondissement. 01 40 41 12 70.
Open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; and in December, Saturdays, noon–6 p.m.
Editor’s note: Walk and Shop the Marais is one of our favorite walking trips. Download it today!