Ever since she was a little girl, Charlotte Barbotin has been fascinated by gems and jewellery. It is a passion that led her to combine her eye for detail with her innate creativity, and ultimately establish her very own brand: Charlotte.B.
Originally from Bordeaux, 38-year-old Charlotte Barbotin moved to Monaco in 2013 with her husband, and it was here in the Principality that she would make another big transition.
Charlotte was working as a sales assistant manager at Prada when she plucked up the courage to embrace a passion she had held since childhood; she became a jeweller. Now her creations are sold at the Ferret store on 27 Avenue de la Costa, through her own website and also at the Hôtel de Paris, thanks to a collaboration with Ferret.
“I started with some small sapphires,” she tells Monaco Life. “I told my sister, I need to make a jewellery [piece] for you from these sapphires. It was the first design that I made.”
Even today, all of the Charlotte.B designs come from a personal place, each inspired by her friends, family and the world going on around her.
“First, design for yourself, then think about how you can improve the piece,” she says of her approach.
She also finds inspiration in simply observing, whether that be other women, architecture and or fashion.
“Watching women definitely is where I get my inspiration from, seeing the smallest details about them,” she reveals.
For Charlotte, it is about capturing the essence of a moment, its authenticity, and translating that into something real and tangible.
Her design style is fluid, adapting to her mood, whether seeking romance or a hint of allure. Notably, she emphasises simplicity in adornment, advising against over-layering and advocating for a single statement piece to maintain balance.
Gold is her material of choice. Valued for its versatility and ease of transformation, particularly in reworking vintage pieces, it also melds well with her philosophy of quality over mass production. Other signature elements and materials in her designs offer the same appeal, such as the seductive and distinctive red spinel.
Made in Monaco
Charlotte says the key to success in the famously luxurious Principality – as a business, as an entrepreneur and as a jeweller in competition with countless other high-end brands – is understanding Monaco’s unique culture while staying true to oneself.
“If you understand Monaco in the right way and you don’t forget who you are, you will be successful,” she says. “I put everything I had in me to set up everything as I had envisioned.”
Looking ahead, Charlotte anticipates further collaborations, including one with Ferret. She also plans on focusing on gaining recognition as a designer and gemmologist. Her approach is gradual, prioritising learning and client relationships over rapid expansion.
She is following a self-set mantra of artistic integrity and personal fulfilment, and Monaco makes perfect sense as the place to achieve those goals.
Click here to view the Charlotte.B collections.
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All photos supplied by Charlotte.B