As you know, the story of Le Vent à la Française began with the bracelet. In 2016, in the heart of our native region, Auvergne, we wanted to create an accessory 100% made in France , simple to wear and elegant and which respects all our social and environmental commitments.
In 4 years, four collections of bracelets made in France have seen the light of day and are now available on our site and at our retailers .
On each of our bracelets you will find the same symbol: a Rose of the Winds. It reflects travel, adventure, freedom and escape at the same time. Stamped on each of the medals of our bracelets, this strong symbol reflects the identity of our brand. Since the beginning of the adventure, we have trusted FIA Medals for the manufacture of our medals, a company steeped in history and endowed with unique know-how. Through this article we want you to discover in more detail theFrench FIA Medals workshops and the manufacturing secrets of our medals.
Factory of Artistic Badges, or FIA Medals
FIA Medals is our supplier of Argent Massif and Argent Vieilli medals. It is one of the last companies on the French market to create personalized medals. It has been directed by Sylvie Reig for twenty years. FIA Médailles is an entity registered with the Living Heritage (EPV) , a label awarded by the State with the aim of distinguishing French companies with unique know-how. Few French companies are labeled EPV, it is a highly sought after feature. For us, this is a real guarantee of quality and trust.
Since 1928, the company has been developing traditional know-how in the world of medals, trophies and badges. The techniques applied by the FIA Medals teams are similar to those used in jewelry, the products worked are simply larger in size. Know-how and craftsmanship are at the heart of the operation of these French workshops. Indeed, the employees are motivated by the transmission of their knowledge and are proud to be part of this great team.
The FIA Medal teams are a major asset for the development of the company. Their role within the company is essential, in addition to mastering all the techniques, they pass on their knowledge to the future craftsmen of FIA Médailles. The staff take pride in the products they make, all coins are given out under special circumstances, as a reward, or as a gift. The company produces especially for the Presidency of the Republic and other major institutions of our country. It is a real source of motivation and fulfillment.
Working and building new projects with FIA Medals is a real strength for our company. FIA Médailles was able to respond to our complex and particular request for 100% French medals, small in size and stamped with a Rose des Vents on one side and our logo on the other. The patterns are composed of a large number of details, their design required a meticulous technique as well as the precision of a goldsmith. Also, FIA Médailles has the skills to work with raw materials such as Brass, Bronze, or even Sterling Silver . They are sometimes difficult to shape, such as Sterling Silver, a soft and tender metal that requires a lot of technique.
As you know, the values of “made in France” drive us every day. It was therefore essential for us to forge links with a workshop that shares the same values.
A company attached to its territory
FIA Médailles has always had its place in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. After having been installed for nearly 50 years in the heart of Old Lyon, the premises are currently located in the Lyon suburb of Dardilly. All the manufacturing steps are concentrated in the same place.
As Sylvie Reig tells in the second episode of Podcasts du Vent, the company has been able to resist the globalization that has affected the majority of French companies in recent years. Indeed, the medals market in France is divided between very few players. In the 2000s, some of FIA Médailles' competitors moved to Eastern Europe or Asia to benefit from lower production costs compared to those practiced in France.
Sylvie Reig did not wish to relocate her premises abroad for several reasons: the attachment to her team and the know-how it possesses and the safeguarding of local jobs.
Foreign competition is one of the difficulties in the profession of FIA Médailles employees. Creating and making personalized medals requires a lot of work, techniques and skills. For each medal all these steps must be rethought. Industrial production is not as complex as artisanal manufacturing, so it is sometimes difficult for FIA to achieve satisfactory cost prices and to compete with foreign competitors.
Despite these difficulties, FIA Medals remains a reference in the market for the manufacture of personalized medals. Indeed, the company is recognized for the excellence of its know-how, its professionalism, the quality of its production and its exceptional attention to detail.
The manufacturing process
Human know-how is essential to the manufacture of our medals. Each step is done by hand.
Our medals are made from two raw materials: brass for theArgent Vieillicollection or Sterling Silver for the Argent 925° collection.
Also find the process of manufacturing our medals in video HERE .
Our bracelet collections
The medals of our bracelets from the Argent 925° and Argent Massif collections are manufactured by FIA Médailles. Those of the other collections are not made in the same workshops because they require different know-how. FIA Médailles being a specialist in metal materials, cannot produce the medals for our wooden bracelets.
This bracelet with its Sterling Silver medal mounted on a rope in trendy and discreet shades, will go perfectly with all your outfits. Ideal for Christmas gifts, the bracelets from the Argent 925° collection will make people happy.
Its soft blend of fall colors will enhance your style. The Erable is part of our collection of eco-responsible bracelets . The cords are made of recycled polyester and the wood for the pieces comes from eco-managed forests. You will receive it in a recycled cardboard box specially designed for this new collection. What is certain is that it will not go unnoticed at the foot of your tree!
Among the bracelets of the Noir Asphalte collection , here is the Cordier. Its white speckled khaki strap is both elegant and versatile. The black medal is made in an exceptional French workshop. Water resistant, your bracelet will follow you in all your adventures.
Le Vent à la Française and FIA Médailles share common values: the transmission of know-how, manufacturing in France, creativity and the desire to bring a touch of happiness to customers' daily lives. This collaboration is therefore obvious.