Smitten with flower press.

I found a charming little flower press on sale at Barnes and Noble and decided it was absolutely necessary for our learning this summer. It’s unusual for me to be enchanted or inspired by a brand, but if it happens, it tends to be French brand. In this case, Moulin Roty.

Even the cardboard box is too lovely to toss….

The history of Moulin Roty began in 1972 when a group of 20 odd friends were searching for a common project that would provide both income and way of life. In the small French village of Moulin Roty, the friends decided to purchase an old mill that has fallen into ruins. They renovated the mill bit by bit so that their families could move in and live there together as a commune. The adventure began with screen printing and craft items (lamps, jewellery, decorative items . . . ) and ended with a worldwide commune brand.

In 1980, Moulin Roty opened its doors as an official Cooperative (SCOP) in order to “ensure the development and the durability of the company”. This status helps board members conserve the founding values of the brand : solidarity, sharing and respect. The French cooperative movement offers much to emulate and inspire its American counterpart.

Then, in 1988, a fire destroyed the entire workshop at the old mill. The designs, stock, files and machines were completely lost. Moulin Roty moved to Nort sur Erdre, 15 kilometres away and decided to begin from scratch. This new start also gave added importance to the design and sales aspects of the company. The latter kept its status as a cooperative but became a public limited company (SA) in 1991.

In 1996, a Hungarian-Romanian gentleman by the name of Arpad Kovacs got involved in the creative aspect of Moulin Roty. He designs the large majority of their wooden games and toys thanks to the company he founded in his native village in Romania. The company offers work to 150 families and possesses unique know-how that has long been forgotten in France, especially with regards to wood and wicker.

In 2000, the first subsidiary in Great Britain is created and a strong web presence for Moulin Roty emerges.

And just to think that the Moulin Roty Botanist Set is 72 dollars worth of beautiful… We’ll just have to use that cardboard box to make our own… In the meantime, even the coloring pages delight us.

Right-click to open full-size printable.

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