Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pep's Umbrella Repair Store


Why would anyone want to repair an umbrella when it's possible to purchase an inexpensive one for a couple of Euros?  Thierry Millet, the proprietor of Pep's, says that people bring their "sick" umbrellas to him for three main reasons: it's less expensive to repair an old umbrella than to buy a new one, they have a sentimental attachment to their broken umbrella, or they wish to protect the environment from the 15 million umbrellas that are thrown away in France every year.


Mr. Millet, the only umbrella repairman in France*, welcomes people from around the world into his shop in the charming, yet somewhat hidden, Passage de l'Ancre Royal.  They come bearing 8-10,000 broken umbrellas per year that are in need of his expert attention.  After analysing the problem, Mr. Millet gives his diagnosis and proposes a price to repair the umbrella.  If the umbrella is beyond repair, it can be disassembled and the parts recycled to extend the life of another umbrella. 

Classified as a "Living Heritage Company" by the French government, Pep's is a cultural curiosity that shouldn't be missed.  I'm pleased that "Meeting the French" organizes these visits with skilled artisans because the enthusiasm and pride that they bring to their craft is evident.  If they are not offering a tour to Pep's while you are in Paris, I strongly encourage you to stop by his store on the delightful Passage de l'Ancre Royal.  It's well worth the trip, especially if it's raining and you need to buy a new or used umbrella!  Pep's is open M-Th 1:30-7:00 p.m. and from September to May on Saturdays 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

*UPDATE:  After writing this post, several readers wrote comments telling me that there is another umbrella repairman in Paris.  Please see the related post, Fashionable and Functional: Parasolerie Heurtault.



12 comments:

  1. The above is not the only umbrella repair person in France.
    http://www.parasolerieheurtault.com. I've personally done business with them in Paris.

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  2. Anonymous, Thanks for the link. You're right, there are definitely two (at least) umbrella repair shops in Paris. This one looks great, especially the umbrella museum. It's also interesting to know that you can rent vintage umbrellas for photos. I'm going to a talk by the person who organizes the accessories (the accessorist?) for the productions at the Comedie Francaise and will ask if Parasolerie Heurtault is the source of the umbrellas for their plays.

    Thanks again! I'll visit Parasolerie Heurtault in the very near future.

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  3. The owner says is repairing 8000 to 10000 umbrellas each year sounds like a joke, i tried to go there many time and the shop was closed, do the math. it is an interesting concept and he seems to be good with regular made in china umbrellas but a friend of mine got his grand father umbrella repaired poorly and had to go the Parasolerie Heurtault near Gare de Lyon to get it restored properly.

    Brian

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  4. Brian, Thanks for your feedback on Pep's. As yours is the second comment about Parasolerie Heurtault, I'll have to go there in the near future and write a post about it. As a newbie to Paris, it's always helpful for me to receive comments from people who are more familiar with the city. Thanks again!

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  5. Dear Mary, thanks for your very nice blog, I suggest you go to the Viaduc des Arts
    http://www.leviaducdesarts.com/

    and visit the craftmen shop, some beautiful work, amongst them the amazing Parasolerie Heurtault where making an umbrella or a parasol is an art.
    Best
    Maggie

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  6. Maggie,

    I'm in Switzerland this week but hope to go to Parasolerie Heurtault when I'm back in Paris next week. Parasolerie Heurtault has certainly received some extremely positive comments on this blog and seems to be well worth a visit. Thanks for including the link for the Viaduc des Arts. It looks like a great place!

    I truly value suggestions about what I should do in Paris, so please let me know if you think of any other places that I should visit in the future.

    Thanks again!

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  7. Parasolerie Heurtault is in the process of making me a custom umbrella. I was in their shop last month and Michel's umbrellas and parasols are a work of art. I've seen a lot of parasols and umbrellas in Paris, as I've been going there, almost annually, for 35 years, but I've personally seen none even as close to the workmanship and beauty of Parasolerie Heurtault. And Michel is a master at repairing/restoring umbrellas, which is why I felt compelled to write the first comment above. I'm glad others have jumped in.

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  8. Thanks again for telling me about Parasolerie Heurtault. I hope that you have had a chance to read the post that I wrote about my visit with Michel on Wednesday.

    http://outandaboutinparis.blogspot.com/2011/05/fashionable-and-functional-parasolerie.html

    Please feel free to write a comment after the post so that other readers will know how satisfied you are with Michel's work.

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  9. OK. I'll write a comment over there.

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  10. Do you sell parts? I need to replace a spreader on a Victorian parasol.

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  11. If I owned that shop, I'd call it Paris-pluie. Just saying.

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