Aplat and the French Connection

Aplat and the French Connection

In my previous notebook I shared how I transitioned from a 20 year industrial design career to mompreneur pursuing my bag dream full-time. It took almost a year to ideate concepts, sketch designs, research and develop my first prototypes. And it wasn’t until the summer of 2014 in France, where I tested these pieces, that my vision for Aplat came to life.


Outdoor living in the South France.


Living in France I admired the time-honored customs of taking time to get together and share good food and wine. The French call it art de vivre or the art of living. You’ll always find bread bags and pouches hanging in every kitchen, and crates and baskets for carrying wine to the neighbors for dinner. Meals were enjoyed outside with long conversations into the night. There was always an open invitation and those who came brought a bottle or a dish. I cherished these simple gatherings around food and I wanted to celebrate the beauty and essence of these moments in my collection.


The French art de vivre means taking time to enjoy good food and good company.


So I tested my first collection at the home of my husband’s French family and at the farmers market in the old town of Nice. A reusable denim grand market tote for hauling fresh produce in place of single use plastic bags. A denim sac to bundle florals and herbs in place of cellophane. Carriers made of washable organic cotton for one or two bottles of wine in place of wasteful paper bags . And the Plat for transporting homemade dishes with ease and style. The purpose of each was to bring something special to share with friends and loved ones around the table. I like to say that Aplat originated in France because my vision for Aplat is inspired by the joy and pleasure felt when connecting with people over a good meal.


Testing an early Plat prototype at the farmers market in Nice, France.


So where did the name Aplat” come from? We had several names on a post-it wall for months as we researched trademarks and domain names. My husband Blaise came up with “à plat” one day as a word play, and in French it means “flat”, “a dish” or “a solid color.”  We added it to the wall as an option. One day I picked up the tote and asked my 3 year-old old son at the time, “What is this?” And Saan very intuitively responded “àplat”. At that moment I knew it was the name we were going with. I figured if my 3 year-old can remember it, then so can others.


Aplat logo design by Jeff Nebolini.


My son is 8 years old now and Aplat is celebrating 4 years of creating, making and sharing culinary designs that are kind to our planet and good for the soul. We hope to continue sharing our message of togetherness, eating well and doing good. Thank you to all our friends, family and fans for supporting us throughout the years and cheers to the coming years!