As we’ve spent increasing amounts of time in Lourmarin we’ve come to know more of the people in the village, all of whom have been warm and welcoming. Like us, many of them are not originally from the area but similarly captivated by its’ enchantment they have chosen to make it their home. Teresa Gaik, the owner of the beautiful linen, clothing, and interior store KOT, is one such person.
Born near Krakow, Poland, we first met four years ago in the Lourmarin market. Teresa collects antique linens, and as an extremely talented seamstress and crochetiere she transforms these vintage pieces into stunning throws, curtains, cushions and bags restoring and dying table cloths and napkins for a new generation to enjoy.
Teresa came to the south of France as a fairly young girl. She met her French husband just after High School whilst holidaying in Greece, he was from Marseille and enticed her to Provence. With an eye for interior decoration and floral artistry, once their three children were old enough Teresa began working for a floral and interior design shop in Aix-en-Provence. Accomplished and passionate about her work Teresa became responsible for three shops traveling and buying from all over Europe.
Seeking a change of direction, seven years ago Teresa decided to begin a new venture on her own. Working from home she started restoring old wood furniture and from her collection of antique linens she began sewing. Dying the linens with natural colours she bought vintage lace and using her considerable talents at crochet work transformed them into cushions, bags and curtains. She started selling her linens in the markets at Gordes, Lourmarin and Uzès taking on decorating projects for Weddings and other special events.
Like me, Teresa also fell in love with Uzès and seriously considered moving there. However, with her children living closer to the Luberon she opened her first shop, KOT, in Bonnieux, hoping at some point for an opportunity to move it to Lourmarin.
Within a year her patience was rewarded and in the early summer of 2018 Teresa re-opened KOT in Lourmarin. Within a few months she made a further move to a slightly larger premise, one that she’d actually fallen in love with five years earlier when she’d been asked to collaborate with an existing business. The actual shop had felt perfect but not wishing to partner with someone else, with some misgivings, she’d turned the opportunity down. Destiny had now intervened and for Teresa is felt like a dream come true, she moved her business to somewhere that truly felt perfect.
Situated on rue de la Juiverie this small area of Lourmarin was originally part of a small but vibrant Jewish community and the shop was once a tiny synagogue. Local Jewish women had come to the shop to collect water for purification from the tiny stream which ran beneath it. As a woman of faith this religious connection means a great deal to Teresa
Teresa is thrilled to now have her delightful daughter Olga involved in running the shop which frees up some of her time to devote to interior design commissions.
Set within a centuries old curved limestone cave type setting Teresa has already begun renovating the rear of this charming space. Oozing with ambience she will soon be offering design classes beginning with the creation of unique and beautiful Japanese lampshades taught by another equally talented French lady Teresa has come to know. I am looking forward to seeing their combined mastery at work knowing whatever Teresa turns her hand to will be not only beautiful but created with a thoughtful, loving hand.
Whether you want something stylish to wear or to decorate your home or a small gift of jewelry, you could do no better than to stop by Teresa’s delightful shop. And even if you walk away not having made a purchase you’ll return for you’ll have met someone very special.
KOT ~ Teresa Gaik
Boutique rue de la Juiverie 84160 Lourmarin
+33 78192068 firstname.lastname@example.org