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Artisans and craftsmen in the Vendée - outstanding talent!

Posted the 20 March 2023
Culture & heritage

The Vendée abounds with talented artisans and craftsmen who design and create unique products! Everything from knife makers, clog- makers, stained-glass artists and more… original and traditional skills stamped with the “made in Vendée” label. During your stay, enjoy a visit to one of the many arts and craft workshops. An opportunity to discover the unique expertise sometimes passed down from generation to generation.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the outstanding talents of the region’s artisans and craftsmen! 

Les Sables d ‘Olonne - Youyou Clogs at the forefront of fashion

In the coastal resort of Les Sables d’Olonne you will discover an essential fashion accessory in the Clog sablaise. Enter the colourful world of the YouYou Clogs and a family business full of history, anecdotes, and love. It all began in 1803, when Mr and Mrs You decided to create their own clogs: authentic, traditional, and unique.

Since 2018, Charlotte Durand, a fashion enthusiast, continues the tradition and transforms classic clogs into trendy fashion shoes. You’ll just love them - clogs with heels, or the sandals, in leather or with animal prints ….your bound to find the perfect pair of shoes  - comfortable and feminine! The design is now updated to reflect the latest trends, using natural and eco-friendly materials. Each pair of clogs is unique. So, you know what you need to do…find the perfect clog that fits you!

Where to find YouYou clogs? Online at

Les Sables d’Olonne - Daddy Seal surfboards for custom-made surfing 

If you’re looking for the perfect board to ride the surf at the BudBud surfing spot, you’re in luck! Drop into “Daddy Seal Surfboards” in Les Sables d’Olonne to find THE perfect board and become the ultimate surfing king.  Since 2010, Mathieu Portero, has been a surfboard shaper and offers “100% made in France” custom made boards. Short board, evolutionary, longboard, stand up, surf foils…a varied choice of boards to meet everyone’s needs. He creates his boards by making a 3D drawing, then measures them to produce a polyurethane foam board.

Mathieu Portero uses two techniques to create his boards: traditional construction or “Black lines” epoxy technique.  Each year, about 250 boards are produced in his workshop. His expertise is recognised by the greatest international champions such as Alice Lemoigne, French long board champion, and Kévin Bourez, a very talented young Tahitian surfer.

Treat yourself to a custom-made board by Mathieu Portero!

Where can you find Daddy Seal Surfboards? The shop Rue Marcel Dassault, Les Sables d’Olonne. 06 76 67 21 03

Saint Gilles Croix de Vie - Faience Nistar earthenware workshop brings back childhood memories 

The French “name bowl”: are a must! These classic personalised first name bowls made in earthenware can be found in almost every French kitchen. A strong childhood memory for many people, the smell of delicious hot chocolate, just perfect for getting the day off to a great start. But do you know where the name bowl is made?

These famous bowls owe everything to the “savoir-faire” of the Vendean company, the Faîencerie Nistar located in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie. This family business was created in 1936, when the Boutain brothers joined forces to open a workshop on the Vendean coast. The first “bowl with ears” named “Nénette”, made of red clay, was the result of the union. The handmade ears are glued to the bowl.

About 10 years ago, the company was taken over, but the skills remain the same. A modern touch has been added to the design of the bowls. Nistar offers a wide range of product: house plaques, baby dishes and bowls, all of which can be personalised and are 100% made in France!

Now you know everything, so what are you waiting for? Spoil yourself with a name bowl!

Where can you find Faïence Nistar’s name bowls? 2 rue de l’étoile de Mer, Saint Gilles Croix de Vie.

Zoom sur ces artisans créateurs vendéens, Verre Curieux

In Apremont the “Verre Curieux” workshop is playing with light 

Stained glass windows hold no secrets for Selma Lecurieux, master glass maker at the Chateau d’Apremont. Her passion for glass work has led her to pass on her skills to Bruno, her son. Although the art of stained glass has long had religious connotations, the Verre Curieux workshop revisits this ancestral art. It offers all kinds of stained-glass options: on doors, windows and furniture transforming them into trendy objects. For 10 years now, Selma Lecurieux has become a creative artisan, playing with light and colours to capture the sun’s rays. She gives a warm atmosphere to a room!  

Where can you find the stained-glass windows of the Verre Curieux? 27 rue du Docteur Dorian, place du château, Apremont


Zoom sur ces artisans créateurs vendéens, chapellerie dandurand

Fontenay le Comte Southern Vendée -­ Hats off to Dandurand millinery

The Chapellerie Dandurand, is above all the history of an exceptional family whose invaluable expertise has been handed down from generation to generation. Founded in 1887, it is today, listed as a “living heritage» company. Five generations of hat makers have succeeded one another to create a wide range of hats, caps, and accessories of an exceptional quality. Dandurand has catered perfectly for all ages and eras, creating an amazing success story! The Chapellerie Dandurand became international, working with some of the leading fashion houses such as Hermés and Louis Vuitton.

To make their hats, the hat maker uses high-quality materials such as silk, lace, and fur. Their skills are centuries old and have been brought up to date with the arrival of 3D modelling and digital technology. A precise and meticulous work….Hats off to them!

Where can you find the Dandurand hat shop? 71 Boulevard des Champs Marots, Fontenay le Comte.

Zoom sur ces artisans créateurs vendéens, Chantiers Ileaux

Noirmoutier en île discover the Chantier des Ileaux- permission to come aboard 

So, you’ve always dreamed of having a wooden boat? Well then, contact the Chantier des Ileaux, immediately! Established since 2002, the Chantier des Ileaux is located on the southern side of the Noirmoutier en île’s harbour. It is endeavouring to revive the maritime heritage of the Vendée by repairing and building tailor-made wooden boats. A team with a passion for sailing and carpentry combines traditional know-how and modern techniques to bring old wooden boats back to life. The boats are built in wood composite to preserve their original character while adding a modern touch. Several techniques are used for the construction: strip planking, epoxy plywood and moulded wood.

An idea, a project, or a dream? Contact the Chantier des Ileaux to find the boat of your dreams.

Where can you find the Chantier des Ileaux? Rue de l’Ecluse, Noirmoutier en île

le ceinturier saint gilles croix de vie ceintures artisanales

Saint Gilles Croix de Vie « Le Ceinturier » - Made to measure belts

Inspired by an ecological way of life, Olympe & Lucas have created the Gillocrucian brand “Le Ceinturier”. This is a leather workshop and 100% custom-made belt bar located in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie. Quality belts made in their own workshop using genuine natural materials. You can choose the width of the leather and its colour (from vegetable tanning), the shape of the buckle… You can personalise your belt on the spot and leave with it in less than 5 minutes.

Where can you find Le Ceinturier? 16 rue de General de Gaulle, 85800 Saint Gilles Croix de Vie or on the Facebook page Le Ceinturier


Sallertaine a village of artisans - L’île aux Artisans 

Sallertaine is a charming little village in the heart of the Breton Vendée marshes. What makes it so special? Well, in the narrow streets of this quaint village, craftsmen and women have settled here over the centuries and have built up a strong reputation for themselves. The village has now been rewarded the “Ville & Métiers d’Art” distinction. L’île aux Artisans is an invitation to stroll through the village and meet some of the forty artists and craftsmen living here. Pottery, embroidery, sculpture, jewellery, decorative ornaments… all sorts of talents.   

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