Entrepreneur Made in France: eyewear Maison Bourgeat is relaunching its production

Made in France: eyewear Maison Bourgeat is relaunching its production

After raising 1.5 million euros in the fall of 2020 from business angels, Harry Bessis is initiating industrial investments. This trained optician is now betting on relaunching the Maison Bourgeat workshop, in the eyewear valley of Morez (Jura).

In its heyday, this workshop, born in 1879, made metal frames for Balmain, Lanvin or Saint-Laurent. It was in liquidation in 2017, when Harry Bessis took it over. A year earlier, the Parisian optician had bought a bespoke eyewear workshop boutique on rue Saint-Honoré, in Paris, also in liquidation, and he saw in the Jura manufacture the opportunity to relaunch production in France.

The project took longer than expected. In Paris, where he managed several shops, Harry Bessis had to deal with successive reforms affecting the reimbursement of glasses, then the movement of “yellow vests”, then the Covid crisis. And in Morez, after the failure of a first recovery, it was necessary to convince the eyewear manufacturer who, the first, had bought the workshop from the Bourgeat family to leave with him to train the first employees.

Production Made in France

The project is finally taking shape. With the raising of funds and the support of local communities, Harry Bessis announces to inject 500,000 euros to rehabilitate the site, acquire three machines for manufacturing plastic frames and hire the first three to four employees.

Its economic model of the workshop will be based on the exclusive sale of frames made in Morez in the five Parisian stores opened under the Maison Bourgeat brand. Including the workshop boutique on rue Saint-Honoré where Oscar Esteves, best worker in France, still ensures the custom-made manufacture. “The only way to cover the costs of the factory is to produce 100% for this fleet of stores which will be its sole customer”, assures Harry Bessis.

The brand will offer three ranges: tailor-made, industrialized tailor-made, and even models at 95 euros for the offer without charge, usually made in China. “We will be able to produce quality 100% French glasses at all prices by eliminating all intermediaries. “ It aims to 4,000 to 4,500 frames manufactured in Morez by the end of 2021 and from 30,000 to 40,000 per year, ultimately, with a workforce of 10 to 15 employees.

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