What is the starting point of the Chantelle adventure?
In the middle of the 20th century, the sisters of Chantelle were confronted with a vital question for the community: how to live independently from the fruits of their labor?
At that time, we had to reflect, imagine together a future for all and work on internal skills. Not so obvious for a group of women who came to the convent with the aim of dedicating their life to God… Of course, before returning to the monastery, many of them had "another" life, in the civilian world. In its ranks, the Community then had a sister mathematician by training, another chemist, able to assemble molecules, as well as many relations outside the abbey but able to come to her aid quickly and in all kindness. Helped by three main players - Father Joseph, monk of Sept-Fons and friend of the community, a pharmacist from Moulins and a great nose in perfumery - The Bénédictines de Chantelle launched their first products in 1954. The famous Lait de Chantelle and natural, high-quality colognes gave birth to this great adventure which continues today.
Why make cosmetics in an abbey?
The answer is simple and if you have read the paragraph above you know part of it: to LIVE but also to respond to the Rule of Saint-Benedict (prayer and work) and maintain a heritage classified as Historical Monuments. Also because it was not necessarily easy for the nuns to find a profitable professional activity allowing them to combine working time associated with the many times of prayer that punctuate each day. Cosmetics quickly became obvious, although it was difficult to convey to those close to the abbey. When the good-thinkers castigated the idea of a religious community capable of producing "futile" or "superficial" products, some sisters allowed themselves to respond in all simplicity that "to be presentable in order to stand before your creator is not inevitably a negative thing ”and even that the fact of“ not taking care of oneself amounts to showing disrespect to others. "
Chantelle natural care vs natural cosmetics
Here we meet the values, the meaning that we, the sisters of Chantelle, wish to give to our action. We imagine our products not only as a means of subsistence but also as a means of presenting ourselves to the other, the one who does not know us, who does not know that we live cloistered (literally as well as figuratively) behind the walls of our beautiful abbey. That little extra that makes all the difference could be summed up in an extra soul. Our objective is not to drown ourselves in profit, our products must be the reflection of our life, both simple and good for each and everyone, they must also reflect by their price the work, the abnegation of a Religious community helped every day by the faithful work of lay employees who allow us to keep our feet on the ground. Finally, they must be in the image of their creators, simple and generous, like the sisters who founded this adventure and of which we are only the relay, the witness, the means of transmitting.