From advertising to pottery
In Digoin, on the edge of the canal that runs along the Loire River, the Manufacture de Digoin is one of the last witnesses to the industrial heritage of Burgundy. For more than two centuries, this "ceramics valley" lived at the rhythm and heartbeat of all sandstone and pottery workshops before they hit bottom and closed one by one... until the arrival of Corinne Jourdain Gros...
Founded in 1875, the Manufacture de Digoin was one of the most impressive and stately of the country. Its 1,800 square meters of buildings which accommodated nearly 600 workers. By the early 2000s, there were only 20 workers, inevitably awaiting the inevitable.
In 2014, Corinne Jourdain Gros, former commercial director at Publicis, one famous advertising agency, visits the workshops and falls in love. "When I arrived here, I crossed the gate, it was love at first sight. Really. A very powerful crush", tells this native of Lyon who was searching for a new breath to her career after two decades in the marketing industry.
She always had a passion for art and ceramics and recently she resumed her studies in fashion. Determined to buy back “La Manufacture” and inspire it with new energy she brought together a dozen new shareholders. "I didn’t want it to die forever and ever. That is why I fought to take over this business, to reopen it, to re-hire people and to revive this beautiful heritage. "
With the capital raised, 18 people relaunch the factory. Corinne brings out the old pottery molds and works on new modern colors of enamels. "The idea was to really work on the textures, to really put forward our pottery, which are sublime, and to work on the finishes and colors, with mat and brilliance," she summarizes.
The factories have gradually closed their doors, but the Manufacture de Digoin resists and writes a new story with the blessing of Corinne and her employees.