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Espia promotes Landes know-how in collaboration with Sunbrella


Espia promotes Landes know-how in collaboration with Sunbrella


Published on 2022-08-02 - Company

Espia, a Landes-based company that makes bespoke cushions, has committed to local know-how and made "consuming less but better" its hallmark. Eager to invest in order to promote local expertise, Espia is committed to the Hagetmau collective, which brings together 6 companies representing Landes know-how in the field of upholstery.

In order to preserve its know-how and to overcome the shortage of upholstery seamstresses, the collective took the initiative to create an "Upholstery Seamstress" training course, which trained six trainees in five and a half months.

To celebrate obtaining their Professional Qualification of Upholstery Seamstress, the 6 trainees made the big red scarf on the Chair on the roundabout in Hagetmau. This creation, made entirely of Sunbrella fabric, is the symbol of village festivals in the Les Landes region. The big red scarf is attached to the Giant Chair in the vicinity of the Hagetmau Festivals, which will take place from 29th July to 2nd August.

Sunbrella: Hello Nancy, you are the founder of Espia and also the president of the Hagetmau collective, Le Savoir-Faire Landais. We are very happy to collaborate with you on this beautiful project to promote your know-how! Can you explain to us why you chose to work with the Sunbrella brand, both with your company Espia and for this project in Hagetmau?


Nancy V: For the past 5 years we have chosen to work exclusively with Sunbrella for the manufacture of our outdoor cushions. We believe it is the highest quality fabric on the market, and we are mindful of the “Made in France” concept. We have a strong desire to work with French partners. For me, it was also an argument from authority to collaborate with Sunbrella, which is known internationally, in particular in the Netherlands where I come from. This allows us to reassure our customers. Sunbrella is more than a supplier, it is a partner. It therefore seemed logical to us to turn to you to carry out this beautiful project.


Sunbrella: Training six trainees in just 5 and a half months must be quite a challenge! How did you manage to achieve this goal?


Nancy V: With the Landes collective of Hagetmau and the Castelnau-Chalosse MFR (Maison Familiale Rurale - a sandwich course training establishment in the Landes), we approached the Nouvelle Aquitaine region which funded this training. Together we completed a module for the Professional Qualification of Upholstery Seamstress in 5 and a half months. The six trainees were welcomed for 3 weeks in a classroom in a first company before being trained by professional seamstresses in the six companies that make up our association: the strength of this training lies in the fact that our trainees were not hosted in one and the same company, but that our six companies welcomed and trained them so that they were quickly operational and competent to preserve our specific know-how.


Sunbrella: And in the long term, how many trainees do you want to train per year? How do you want to develop this training offer?


Nancy V: Currently, we are not able to train more than six trainees, especially when we want to rotate from one company to another: training a trainee requires time and a real investment from our companies. It was a very positive experience, for us and for them. We aspire to become Hagetmau's upholstery sewing centre: at present, there is only one recognised training course for "upholsterers", which does not meet the specific requirements of our trade. Our know-how is in jeopardy! But manual trades are becoming more and more attractive. We have received 44 applications for this first year alone: there is a real craze at national level! We would like to repeat the experience in early 2023 with another group of 6 trainees.


Sunbrella: Beyond the skills that these first trainees were able to acquire, what did you want to pass on to them?


Nancy V: Above all, we wanted to pass on to them our passion for artisanal work, our taste for quality and our pride in being part of Made in France. All of them were able to find their way: each company has its own way of working, either in an artisanal way or by producing large quantities. Our trainees were therefore able to test themselves and see which way they could develop the most. Today, 4 of them have already found a job as upholstery seamstresses, proof that there is a real need within our companies.



Find Espia on their website, but also on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube!


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