Vachement Suisse – literally translated as “Really Swiss” with a play on words with the beloved Swiss cow ! (Great name :-))
Mummy in the Mountains had the pleasure of meeting the lovely owner of Vachement Suisse, Sarah, this summer on a Swiss road trip for MIM – Play & Explore, after discovering her beautiful shop through Instagram. Sooo cool when virtual contacts become real life contacts 🙂
We then set about working together to create a product specifically for her adopted home of Champex, nestled in the heart of the Alps in Switzerland between France and Italy, on the route of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Needless to say we we got on instantly, sharing the same values and passion for creativity, family, eco-responsibly resourced products and promoting our adopted home destinations – in the mountains. I took the opportunity to interview Sarah and share her beautiful shop. Read on :
- =What is Vachement Suisse?
Vachement Suisse is a Swiss boutique and online store promoting Swiss artists, artisans and designers as well as our own unique designs. We feature jewelry, home decor, footwear, clothing, bags, kids activities, bath and body products, and more.
- How do you choose your products/suppliers?
I always have an eye out for great design and new discoveries. For example, I found one of our most popular designers on my girlfriend’s wrist. I also now enjoy attending trade shows and even make weekends out of it with my girlfriends. It’s led me to discover other great Swiss cities and more of the country I love.
I like to work with other small businesses and start-ups. My suppliers include young female designers, married couples, mother/daughter teams as well as ethically and environmentally responsible companies.
- How was Vachement Suisse born?
When we travel elsewhere, I look forward to discovering small unique shops with a local flair. I realized that this was missing from our Alpine resort of Champex that has always catered more to the sporting life. I wanted to represent some of the exceptional Swiss artists and designers as well as diversify the apres-ski/hike diversions.
In addition, Champex is a stop on one of the most popular long distance treks in Europe – the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Tens of thousands of people from all over the world pass through our village on this route each summer. I wanted to provide new TMB designs and other products that they couldn’t find elsewhere. I also welcomed to opportunity to connect with so many different nationalities every single day and share the richness of Swiss culture with them.
- How did you end up in Switzerland?
I attended Emory University and studied in France for a year, falling in love with Europe and its culture. I returned home to Kansas City after graduation but luckily fate intervened when I met my Valaisan husband in a local bar. We dated for a couple of years, but after September 11th, our lives and priorities changed. We decided to embark on a new life together and returned to Switzerland. I was young and in love and willing to see where life might take me…and here I am 18 years later!
- Who is behind Vachement Suisse?
I was born and raised in America but – true story – I had dreamed of living in the Swiss Alps since I was a little girl, envisioning myself in a glass house surrounded by the snow. My favourite animal was the cow and I collected all things “bovine”. As fate would have it, I’ve had the chance to live out my “dream life” in my Swiss husband’s picturesque hometown of Champex to raise our family of 4 children. My husband is carrying on the family tradition of running a local hotel and restaurant, which he recently relaunched as the lovely Hotel Mont Lac and Mimi’s Lounge wine bar.
We have a lovely small town life but also an active social life with an international group of friends that our resort town attracts. A typical day involves skiing with my kids or picnics by the lake before heading to the shop to work on new designs and business strategies. It is a fulfilling life!
- What next…
I’m always trying to reach more people through my website and other online channels. Just today, a new American client walked in the door whom had discovered me on Instagram. I’d like to continue to create more products targeted towards the Tour du Mont Blanc and become the “go to” brand for this famous trek. I’m also really excited about a new design collaboration that will benefit cancer research with my good friend, the inspiring woman behind the brand Simply Zoe, so stayed tuned for more!
The good news is that you can order online and receive a little slice of Switzerland in your home 🙂 We have a selection the cute wooden animals.