Wendy Mignot’s fine pearl and leather jewelry has graced the cover of Vanity Fair and been worn by Hollywood’s A-list celebrities. Her collection is a world-renowned brand defining the Gypset Style. You might think the creator of one of the hottest jewelry lines would hail from Los Angeles or New York, but jewelry designer Wendy Mignot, originator of Tahitian and Fresh Water Pearl and Leather Jewelry collection, ushers in her unique collection from Seaside.
Owner of La Vie Est Belle (meaning “life is beautiful”) in Seaside, Mignot’s trademark Fine Pearls and Leather Jewelry collection includes the finest Tahitian, South Sea and freshwater cultured pearls, as well as sea glass, shells, stones and an exclusive presentation of ancient and shipwreck coins on hand-rolled leather, tied with precision and care.
An artist all her life, her latest jewelry designs began to take shape while sailing in the Caribbean, Virgin Islands, Aruba, St. Bart’s, the Bahamas, Panama and Central America with husband Jean-Noel Mignot. From there her designs have grown into an international brand.
After losing a sail boat in an accident, they bought a Volkswagen van, heading from Canada to Central America, stopping in Seaside to visit Jean’s parents, who were having a trunk show for their jewelry. “We stopped to see them and never left,” Mignot says.
They fell in love instantly with Seaside. And in 2004, opened a coffee and wine bar and art gallery, where Wendy introduced her pearl jewelry, in Ruskin Place. After great success in Ruskin Place, they later opened Café Rendezvous in Central Square, selling wine and pearls, as well as coffee. Finally, her current location became available, and she narrowed her merchandise to focus on her expanding pearl jewelry collection.
Mignot says Seaside founders Robert and Daryl Davis were instrumental in her success in Seaside. “Daryl has always been very encouraging to me, she’s a great inspiration,” she says. “As a mentor and businesswoman, she has always been there for me every step along the way and I have great respect for her. One thing that sticks out in my mind from my conversations with Robert is when he said, ‘We do a lot of things here. Some things work. If they do, we keep them going. And if they don’t, we try something else.’ It’s a simple philosophy but I think it’s a great way to look at it.”
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