Melville Design: a wave of scandinavian modernity blows into Provence

success story
Melville Design: a wave of scandinavian modernity blows into Provence
19 January 2017 / Créez votre entreprise , Générale
Around 30 brands and 250 products are represented

Franck Mouly, a finance executive, left the gray Paris skies in 2016 to start a new chapter of his life in southern France. After flirting with the idea of taking over a business, this forty-something with a passion for art and design ultimately chose to create a company that offers a select assortment of Scandinavian lighting and small furniture items. Last September, he unveiled Melville Design in downtown Aix-en-Provence. Now he preparing to launch his online store. Provence Promotion is keeping an eye on the trajectory of this designer.

After a successful, 25-year career in the banking industry, Franck Mouly said goodbye to the Seine and set sail for a new home port in the south. "I wanted to take over a business with an artistic dimension," recalls the devoted design collector.
Provence Promotion put him in touch with regional entrepreneurs looking to sell their companies as part of the "Go Between in Provence" program. He had meetings and negotiated, but defying expectations, he abandoned his plan and changed course, opening his own shop in September 2016.

"A light bulb went off. I wanted to work in a field related to my artistic tastes. I went to meet with Scandinavian designers and publishing houses with the idea of creating a new concept store in the south of France. I initially wanted to settle in Marseille. That cosmopolitan city is full of energy and bursting with potential. But I had to choose between Aix and Marseille," Franck Mouly explains.

An entrepreneur with strong support

The two cities inspired him for different reasons, but in the end, a location in the heart of Aix-en-Provence checked off everything on his wish list. Plus, "lots of foreigners who love interior decor and design live in or travel to the Aix back country," notes Franck Mouly. 

Working with architect Vasken Yéghiayan, together they transformed the 65 m2 commercial space into a showroom where minimalism and elegance rule. His store, Melville Design, is a treasure trove of lamps, ceiling lights and small furniture items. Around 30 brands and 250 products are represented both in the shop and on the e-commerce site that will come online in the spring of 2017. Brands include Alki, Anglepoise, By Lassen, Carl Hansen, Drugeot Labo, Frandsen, Ply Collection, Naver, Sibast, Le Klint and Valerie Objects. He is targeting private consumers and professionals and looking to participate in residential and commercial decorating projects throughout the region.
His involvement with the network of business creators is helping him establish a reputation with influential architects and decorators. In 2017, beyond opening his online shop, he will introduce an outdoor line. He also hopes that he will soon be ready to launch his own capsule collection.

This one-time banker shares his experience when he applied for a loan. "I was shocked by how many supporting documents were required and by the decision making time frames. I was able to get a SIAGI-secured loan for some of my project's funding. I also got honor loans from Pays d'Aix Initiative and Creasol," recounts the executive, who is getting support from Provence Promotion, the Marseille-Provence CCI and the IRCE ("Regional Institute for Business Creation and Development"). Who said a business head has to go it alone?