Let’s face it… taking an umbrella to Normandy is a must!
Commonly called a “pépin”, colloquially a “pébroc”, formerly a “encas”, what is the accessory that we have all absolutely needed one day?
I’ve named the essential umbrella.
On the other hand, who hasn’t experienced the unpleasant situation of the umbrella that flips over at the first gust of wind? Let’s raise our hands!
Before we introduce you to H2o, a little history is in order…
Although theories differ, the origins of the umbrella date back to over 2000 BC.
Did you know that it was used to protect against the sun’s scorching rays and heat, which posed a greater threat than torrential downpours?
Before it became what it is today, the umbrella was commonplace among the aristocracy.
In the UK, the term “umbrella” has become part of everyday language.
In France, the parasol was a royal privilege.
Around 1710, the Frenchman Jean Marius obtained this famous 5-year royal privilege for his invention of the folding umbrella known as “parasol-parapluye brisé à porter dans sa poche”, which began its popularization.
Let’s get back to our umbrellas, H2o: “made in France” expertise, recognized for 30 years.
Created in 1994 and initially based in Creully, the factory moved to Crépon, between Courseulles-sur-Mer and Bayeux, in 2010.
In 2018, Yves-Charles Boccassini, an entrepreneur at heart, bought H2o Parapluies from the owners, Claude and Martine Collard, now retired.
The couple enjoyed success in Paris in the 1980s, building on their experience in the leather goods and umbrella repair sectors with leading houses.
They also had to face up to globalization in the 1990s, with the advent of imported umbrellas.
So they decided to return to Normandy, to Madame Collard’s roots.
Now the owner, Mr. Boccassini wanted to restructure the company and turn it into an iconic Calvados business.
In 2019, it will be awarded the Qualité Tourisme label by the CCI.
Its ambitions are many: to preserve know-how, maintain jobs in the region, fight against programmed obsolescence, source suppliers through short circuits and export these exceptional umbrellas.
In the workshop, you can watch the little hands of the employees working with meticulous precision on each part that makes up the umbrella.
Discovering the manufacturing process is well worth the trip.
Time for on-site discovery.
The production site is also the point of sale (not forgetting, of course, the online store – the link is a little further down in this article).
Every year, H2o Parapluies welcomes between 6 and 8,000 people to its Crépon site.
Up to 3 hours are needed to assemble all the parts of the object, both for sewing and assembly.
For embroidery, time can be more substantial depending on the order, ranging from simple initials in a few minutes to 30,000 stitches, requiring more extensive work.
The H2o umbrella has set itself apart from its competitors by offering customization options for many years.
We listen to our customers and meet their expectations.
Elegant, durable, aesthetic, trendy, refined – there’s no shortage of adjectives to describe this top-of-the-range umbrella, which also completes a look that’s part of the art of living, of French style.
A practical object, but above all a “trendy” accessory
The H2o Parapluies umbrella collection is as practical as it is attractive.
Their elegant, refined design suits any situation, and their high-quality construction ensures optimum protection against the elements.
The result is undoubtedly pride in the acquisition of a beautiful umbrella.
A wide range of umbrellas is available, from the classic retractable cane umbrella to the elegant 1900 umbrella for protection from the sun’s rays, or the prestige range with the Deauville golf model.
Not to mention a range of accessories, such as the umbrella sheath.
Women, men, children – there’s something for everyone.
A fascinating discovery and an instructive visit. We invite you to push open the doors and discover: unique know-how, a living heritage (EPV label – entreprise du patrimoine vivant), unrivalled craftsmanship and eco-responsible values.
During our visit (for once, on a sunny afternoon), we couldn’t resist posing with these exceptional models, and something tells me that each of us was able to find just the right one.
And since, in Normandy, it’s customary to acknowledge that a single day can see the 4 seasons appear, we’re now all well equipped.
So do as we do, and dare to push open the doors of this incredible workshop to discover its secrets.
How to contact H20 Parapluies?
7 Route de Creully, 14480 Crépon