Catherine Giraud Keeps Her Business Thriving Online
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Yes, times are changing, but one former Palisades store owner is doing everything she can to grow her business online—Catherine Giraud, wife of renowned chef Alain Giraud.
She used to own Lavender Blue on Swarthmore Avenue, right next door to her husband’s French restaurant and bakery Maison Giraud. Her store still exists, though from her home and online, and she shared she still emphasizes quality and service.
“I mainly specialize in table linen from different parts of the world, especially from Provence and other parts of France,” said Giraud, who lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood. “I also have a unique line of objects and gift items like bags, cushions, pillows, soaps, scarves, knives and throws. I even have jams, salts and condiments, also from France.”
Giraud used to do boutiques (her last was for the Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club in February 2020) but because of the pandemic she has had to adapt—like so many other family-owned businesses.
She created Lavender Blue in 1995 when she began importing home accents and accessories from Provence. Born and raised in France, she visits her homeland every year searching for high-quality fabrics with colors representative of the traditions of the province in southeastern France. She has built up a network of artisans, fabric designers and artists.
Maison Giraud and Lavender Blue opened jointly in November 2011. Both the store and restaurant were designed by Palisadian Cosimo Pizzulli of Pizzulli Associates. Before long, the two spots became popular places for Palisades patrons.
In the summer of 2013 Alain and Catherine received the Chamber of Commerce Beautification Award in recognition of their transformation of the former Dante Palisades space. The couple’s love for the community has never faded.
“I miss my customers the most and I miss the atmosphere there in the Village,” Giraud said. “I’m happy. To tell you the truth, in one way when COVID-19 hit, I was relieved not to have a store, but so many of my customers have followed me and keep coming back. There are two options … one is to buy online, the other is to call me on my cell and come shop directly at my home. I have a showroom in my garage and I open it up … it’s very safe, masks are required and we practice social distancing.”
Lavender Blue’s spring 2021 line includes a new inventory featuring tablecloths, runners, placemats, napkins, aprons, kitchen towels, sachets, scarves, tunics, candles, dishes, spoons, jewelry and even an Australian collection—all from brands like LeJacquard Francais, Garner-Thiebaut, Moutet, Lemon, Provence and Beauville.
The website is designed and maintained by Zeina Ladki, one of Giraud’s good friends in the Palisades, and includes a complete product and price list (with photos), detailed guidelines for linen care, shipping information, an online shopping cart, and gift certificates. Lavender Blue offers free shipping on all orders over $100 in California.
“Catherine’s collection is quite unique as she chooses high-quality tablecloths from different parts of the world, like Australia, Belgium, Portugal and others,” Ladki said. “Lavender Blue specializes in big-sized tablecloths and laminated tablecloth (coated cotton) that are very practical outdoors. We also carry a children’s line.”
Giraud works with suppliers in France that contribute directly to the restoration of historic monuments in France. For example, part of the profit for the company’s Notre Dame kitchen towel will go directly to the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral that sustained damage in a fire a few years ago.
This winter, some of the proceeds of the Élysée Collection will be donated to restore the world-famous Élysée Palace in Paris. Whenever possible, Giraud shared she chooses merchandise that is ethically sourced. For example, some of the knitted baby sweaters are knitted in France by women in rehabilitation.
To make a purchase online, visit lavenderblue-la.com or Giraud’s Instagram page: @lavenderblueshop. Call 323-497-9717 to schedule an in-person private appointment.
Any Palisadian-Post reader will receive a 15% discount with coupon code: PALIPOST at checkout, valid through March 8 and excluding items that are already on sale.
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