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Interview: La Crème de la Crème, the human side of design

By Julia Gifford on August 7th, 2014 - Reading time: 2 minutes

La Crème de la Crème is an online endeavour that showcases the human side of design. Started by two long-time friends, Pierre and Nicolas, who were brought together by this idea. These guys are doing something pretty cool. We thought it would be great to showcase how they’re combining e-commerce and pursuing a deeper meaning. Here’s their story!

Cremedelacremecollage

Tell us a little bit about how it started

Initially, La Crème de la Crème was an experiment. We wanted to know the stories behind the beautiful designs we were seeing online. We decided to send a few emails to some artists to find out. We didn’t really know what to expect, but when the answers came back, it blew our mind: people were sharing deeply inspiring stories. They were sharing their emotions, their fears, their mistakes, the things they were proud of.

It touched us, inspired us, and we ultimately decided that we wanted to share those stories with the world. And 6 months later, La Crème de la Crème was launched.

What’s the purpose of the project?

We feel like what connects us is our human experiences, and that those experiences are often hidden behind some kind of storytelling or self branding. We want to go behind this illusion and share authentic stories of real creative people.

winging it

6 months from the idea to the launch

It isn’t Pierre’s first time around the block, having worked on several online projects beforehand.  This was certainly a factor that played a role in the first decisions as to where to build the site, which platforms to use, etc. While most Printful users are focused on starting up their site quickly and easily, and therefore choose to use ready-made ecommerce platforms, Pierre tells us that they build their site from scratch, using Ruby on Rails (a programming language). Pierre tells us: “It took a lot more time to build, but it gives us more freedom to build the experience we had in mind.”

The site was launched July 17th, 2014, but development was started in January. Pierre tells us that it took the project 6 months to go from the idea to the launch.

Pierre tells us that the idea is more an online magazine featuring showcasing creative stories. How it began selling art is another story:

“The idea to sell designs was added at a late stage of the project, because the artists we interviewed asked for it. We thought the idea made a lot of sense, so we built it!”

Proceedings go to the artist, of course with a portion of the sales going to La Creme de la Creme to cover their site maintenance costs.

Pierre tells us that there’s an incredible amount of curating that goes into the project. They guys scour Twitter, Dribble, Behance and various interview sites to find fresh artists that they’re interested in featuring. They typically consider tens of artists before they go ahead and contact one. The main criteria? That both the artists’s art and their story is amazing and original. This task is difficult, as usually info about artists’ personal lives isn’t readily available.

Featured artists can choose to offer their art for sale

Featured artists can choose to offer their art for sale

We asked Pierre for his message to the world. This was his response:

Be true to yourself, be authentic, be simple, take risks. The most inspiring stories are the authentic ones.

Cheers to that! We wish Crème de la Crème all the best, and look forward to getting to hear more of their featured artists’ authentic stories!

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