Have you ever bought something for yourself or your home with the best of intentions, but it has ended up in a closet somewhere, completely untouched, because you didn’t want to risk messing it up? No? Just me? Well then, I admit it. I’ll buy nice things that I actually need and then save them for a special occasion. Then instead of actually wearing or using these said nice things, they’ll end up collecting dust. It’s not because I don’t like whatever I buy. It’s just the opposite. When I buy a few things on the nicer side, I like them too much and I’m scared to damage whatever it is just by using it. Anyway, while in Brittany for Tom’s birthday earlier this month, I came across a French textile brand called Pixtil that makes beautiful table linens, scarves, and more, and I couldn’t resist. Let’s hope I actually use the dishtowels and napkins…. although maybe I should save them for a special occasion. I wouldn’t want to get tomato sauce on them if I used them at a casual dinner one night. 😉
Pixtil: A French textile brand
Over the past couple of years, I’ve become more intentional about what I buy and from where. I try to buy locally and sustainably when I can and focus on quality items I need and thoughtful gifts over mindless consumption. Although I have a tendency to be cluttered and am nowhere near a minimalist, the days of buying random junk because it’s on sale are long over. That mindset carries over to souvenirs when traveling as well. I’d rather buy a useful, well-made gift for myself or a loved one instead of spending a few bucks on a plastic piece of junk.
So to that end, let’s talk about those meaningful, well-made things. First up is a French brand and the other two mentions are places I visited while traveling over the summer.
Pixtil is a French textile brand set in Normandy that I discovered while in Dinard, France. It was started by 2 French designers, Delphine Saltet and Olivier Paradeise. I learned of the brand when I popped into the eco-responsible boutique Esperluette in the neighboring region of Brittany and ended up with some stainless steel straws, but while there, some fancy napkins caught my eye.
I noted the brand name because I didn’t want my family waiting for me while I looked at every little thing in the store and googled them upon returning home. To my surprise, Pixtil offered free shipping in France for purchases over 30 euros, so boom. I was sold. I have a selection of bland dishtowels but could use some nicer ones for company… meaning my in-laws. And these looked nice.
I also loved the pastel colors in the knit weave of these napkins. Since I don’t even have any sets of cloth napkins for guests (not sure if the lack of fancy napkins or lack of guests is the bigger issue), I figured it’s time to step up my game. I’ve been an adult and homeowner for a while now, but I don’t have all the adult homeowner things. So yeah, I’m the proud new owner of the dreamy ones below. Want to come over for dinner?
Pixtil also makes other items in this same Galaxie fabric in case napkins aren’t your thing.
Here’s one of the dishtowels, called torchons in French, on display in my kitchen. Right next to it out of frame is the regular everyday dishtowel to actually, you know, use to dry stuff.
I think I’ll ease my new table linens into regular use because if you can’t enjoy the nice things you buy, what’s the point of spending the money in the first place? As much as I know that, I’ve had trouble implementing my own advice. These beauties elevate any regular meal and jazz up kitchen cabinets. So yes, I’m going to use them starting this weekend.
As I mentioned, I like supporting local small businesses making beautiful, ethical products, so yeah, not a shocker that I picked up a few things. Especially to fuel my “nice things that I’m too afraid to use” habit. I’m going to change…
Anyway, I asked Pixtil if they ship worldwide and they do, so why not have a look. I’ve found everything to be great quality and perfect to give as a gift. You can read about their quality and environmental standards on their site.
Has anything caught your eye?
2 Other brands worth a look
While traveling for work this summer, I found myself in two really cool women-owned stores. One was in Haiti and the other in Rwanda and they may be some of my favorite souvenirs to date.
Pascale Théard Créations
In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, I picked up a pair of gorgeous handmade sandals. Guess where they are at the moment? Yup, you guessed it. Still in the box because I didn’t want to mess them up… by, well, wearing them out and about as you do with shoes. But there’s dog poop. And mud. OK, OK, this spring, I am going to wear them. Promise.
Pascale Théard Créations was founded by Pascale herself, a Haitian woman who employs local ladies who work right there on site in the workshop. Seriously beautiful things. I got a change purse as well with hand-beaded decor.
The Rwanda Clothing Store
The Rwanda Clothing Store is a modern boutique in Kigali that has African printed fabric that can be turned into custom clothing and other accessories. Think big, bold, and colorful but can still be understated and subtle depending on the design. You can pick from the styles in the store, buy ready-made garments, browse their binders full of custom tailored designs, or come up with something yourself.
Everything is made right on site. I got two skirts and a pair of pants and get compliments every time I wear one of their pieces. They also have home accessories like place mats and potholders, which I bought for family.
This is a photo of their tailor shop and the ready-made blazer above is for sale in the boutique. They have an online shop in the works as well. The creative director and fashion designer behind the brand is Joselyne Umutoniwase.
Have you picked up any meaningful souvenirs lately? Tell me about them!
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post and I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned here. I happily bought their wares with my own funds. 😉