La Maison Violette
Antique French textiles and a little joi de vivre!

About La Maison Violette

La Maison Violette was started in 2006 while Karen was living in southwest France with her husband (a landscape painter) and daughter, 10, who attended the local village school. Working all week long on a computer (on a dissertation), one of the highlights of her week was going to the Saturday flea markets -- a chance to get out of the house, practice speaking French and hunt for textile treasures!

Learning to sew at age 8, Karen loved textiles from an early age and began collecting vintage and antique clothing and textiles as a teenager. In France, she began hunting for hand-embroidered sheets to decorate the bedrooms, then linens for the table, and vintage curtains to make pillows with. She quickly fell in love with the amazing quality and beauty of 19th-century fabrics, quilts, hand-embroidered table and bed linens, and rustic, homespun fabrics that had been hand-sewn into sheets and simple garments. What had begun as a hobby soon turned into a passion, and one she wanted to share with others -- and La Maison Violette was born! "The Violet House" was named after the violet -- the flower of Toulouse (the closest city).

A historian and researcher by trade, Karen continued learning as much as she could about the textiles and started selling them on eBay to buyers in the U.K., Europe, Australia, Asia and North America. After she moved back to California with her family, La Maison Violette started selling at Alameda’s Antiques by the Bay, where she or her assistants sell most months (first Sunday of the month, booth D-15), unless lucky enough to be in France! La Maison Violette recently opened an online store in order to offer better access and more personalized service to its beloved clients.

Most of the fabrics and clothing purchased and sold by La Maison Violette come from ancient houses that are common in the French countryside: hundreds of years old and built from stone, with large attics, often filled with every bit of furniture, fabric or household item ever used, until the house is sold or passed onto a new generation.

Of course with time all things change -- it is difficult to find bargains: prices rise every year, exchange rates fluctuate, and there are the added costs of travel and shipping. We return as often as we can and buy what we love and think can be sold at a reasonable price.
We maintain relationships with French vendors and seek out the best they have to offer. Our priority is to find pieces of exceptional beauty, high quality and good value.

In the works: a blog, custom sewn gifts and projects, tutorials, kits and more! To keep updated about new projects, sales or products, please sign up for our email newsletter at the link at left.

If you are at Alameda's Antiques by the Bay, please come by and say "bonjour" to us in booth D-15, and let us know you have visited or purchased from our online shop. We treasure our customers and love to meet you in person or online -- and we especially love to receive photos of how our customers have used the textiles (let us know if we can share them -- we will be starting an online gallery)!

Please feel free to contact La Maison Violette with any questions or comments, by email at:
ksilen@mac.com
or by calling (510) 610-1919.

Merci beaucoup! -- Many thanks!

La Maison Violette