Live Your Love in Wendy's Pearls
September 29, 2014 by Audrey Johnson
After years of sailing to exotic ports of call throughout the Caribbean, Virgin Islands, Aruba, St, Bart’s, the Bahamas, Panama, and Central America, Wendy Mignot and her husband, Jean-Noel, eventually settled in Seaside and opened La Vie Est Belle to showcase her handmade leather and pearls jewelry.
When a flood damaged Wendy’s store last December, she embraced it as an opportunity for growth and brought e-commerce maven Claire Moss on board. Now the SoWal style icon has big plans for the future.
This fall, Wendy’s team will launch a new website and e-boutique featuring a fresh take on her designs aptly named The Mignot Collections, eight lifestyle sub-brands each created with a specific customer in mind. Each new piece comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, designer bio, and care instructions for Fine Pearls and Leather Jewelry.
“Wendy pairs her pearls with everything she wears - from a bikini at Grayton to a formal black tie event in NYC. Wendy loves all of her pearls and all of her collections. What she wears will vary by the day - from the Seaside Collection of freshwater pearls to the most precious South Sea pearls from the Society Collection,” Claire said.
Wendy (@wendypearls) has amassed over 33,000 followers on Instagram, comprised mostly of middle and high schoolers. In honor of her followers and her brother Tommy, who she lost far too soon to suicide, Wendy founded Life is Beautiful and So Are You.
“The Life is Beautiful and So Are You campaign is a charitable program that Wendy has established to support various causes that are near and dear to her heart. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her "Pearl Love' with others,” Claire said.
This year, Life is Beautiful and So Are You raised $10,000 to support anti-bullying and suicide prevention programs at Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast. In April, Wendy held an event at La Vie Est Belle to raise funds for the cause. She also collaborated with other artists in the community to raise awareness. Nicole Paloma designed a limited edition hand sewn tank top as the perfect accompaniment to Wendy’s Heart necklace ($100), both available for a limited time at La Vie Est Belle.
Seaside Neighborhood School art teacher Billie Gaffrey got her students involved by assigning a painting depicting ‘normal’ and ‘different’ kids coming together to celebrate one another’s differences. The artwork is on display at Boys and Girls Club in South Walton.
“This is our small community and we pull together. It’s an amazing thing,” Wendy said. For the 2015 year, the Life is Beautiful and So Are You charity will focus attention to supporting autism awareness in our community.
When she’s not running her business and doing charity work, Wendy is living a designer’s dream. This year, she will be a featured designer at South Walton Fashion Week, and her theme for the show, and for life in general, is Live Your Love.
Wendy will host a Live Your Love Celebration as a kick-off to South Walton Fashion Week at La Vie Est Belle. Her designs will also be available for purchase on-site during the event. “You can expect bold, and perhaps even audacious, looks to showcase some amazing designs that Wendy is presently working on in her studio,” Claire said.
She dances to the beat of her own drum while mesmerizing admirers with her mysterious free spirit. She is bold and adventurous in nature, with her travels taking her to exotic lands she had only dreamed about as a child. ~Wendy Mignot Gypsy Collection
La Vie Est Belle is located on Central Square in Seaside. For inquiries, call (850) 231-4692. Join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. A new website featuring The Mignot Collections is coming soon. Register for updates at www.wendymignot.com.