I’m a bona fide business

I’ve been running my handmade business for thirteen years, since April 2010 and although it grew from what started out as hobbies, it’s now, and has always been, a genuine business.

My business complies with the legal requirements here in France. I’m registered as an EI (enterprise individual) with the Chambre de Metiers (with a business registration number (Sirene) that can be verified by anyone who wishes to) to produce and sell the products presented on this website and fully insured for my customer’s protection.

I am also registered to sell certain products fabricated by my husband, for which he is also fully registered and insured to produce.

There is also a legal requirement to pay social security contributions and declare income to the necessary official organisations, which I abide by, as someone with the legal right to live and work here.

In order for me to attend markets and sell my products there it is also a legal requirement to hold a Carte Ambulant, without which it is illegal for sellers to trade (unless the market is within the seller’s home commune, where the business is registered)

I am also very proud to be the holder of official accreditation from the Chambre de Metiers of QUALITE D’ARTISAN D’ART – BIJOUTIER FANTAISIE. I was first awarded the title in 2019 and my title continues to this date.

Why am I telling you this?

In a post-pandemic world where thousands of people have started to sell handmade products both online and in person, I feel a responsibility to you, my customers to reassure you that this is not a hustle or a hobby. I take this enterprise seriously and you should beware of those who do not offer the same reassurance.

From time to time I come across individuals who do not trade legally and while in the majority of cases no actual physical harm is caused to the customer, I do not want to be tarred with the same brush as those who do not take customers safety and loyalty seriously.

I also believe in fair competition. This is a highly competitive marketplace and we hand crafters strive to create a high-quality end product at competitive prices for our customers, while financially supporting our families and meeting our legal requirements.

Non-registered, side hustles can have a negative impact on our reputation as a whole and also take a slice of the financial pie without giving anything back to the system.

While I appreciate the majority of side hustles have only positive intentions towards customers, aim to improve their circumstances, and intend to fulfill the legal requirements when they are sure they have a viable business, I am disheartened by those that flaunt the rules, hence my need to blow off some steam in this post and warn clients of potential hazards.

Some Hazards to look out for

Adhesion to industry standards

Industry standards are there to protect you, the customer. If someone is trading without even registering their business then it’s likely they do not know about regulations that may apply to their business, which can put customers at risk.

In my case, there are strict regulations about the raw materials used to create jewellery, such as the amount of lead, cadmium, and nickel allowed within specific jewellery types, for example, earrings.

I only source materials that adhere to the guidelines for the wellness of my clients.

Un-insured businesses

Should you encounter damage to yourself or your property caused by an un-insured business then you will face problems if you want to make a claim for damages.

Penalities for unregistered trading

If someone is caught trading illegally or working “on the black” they can face fines, having tools confiscated, prison, and even deportation.

In summary.

There will always be illegal traders, wherever you are in the world and it’s a good idea to check out your suppliers to see if they are indeed registered and don’t be afraid to ask to see proof of insurance or business registration documents. I am frequently required to provide this kind of information when I book space at events, and have no qualms about sharing this information with my clients.

I always carry my documents with me at events as I can be asked to produce them by event organisers or even the local gendarme if they are browsing at a local market.

If you are in doubt about a trader or a product then you can do your research and once satisfied make your purchase, and if you’re not satisfied then find an alternative, better to be safe than sorry.

I hope you found this topic interesting and feel reassured that I strive to be transparent in my business operations so you don’t have to worry.

à bientôt,