Each month, Gaston Mercier Sellier presents a portrait that is close to his heart, beautiful stories, atypical adventures, encounters … And this year we have chosen to present the people who work in the Saddlery, our little hands, without whom nothing would be possible!
This month, discover the portrait of Céline, seamstress and assembler, she is the main thread of the workshop.
[Portrait in the form of a question/answer between Lisa (L.) and Céline (C.)]
L. Celine, can you introduce us to your position?
C. I work right after the cutters. My job consists of four steps:
– Collecting the cut pieces (quarters, straps, trapezes, seats, panels, stirrup leathers)
– Assembling the pieces with a specific glue (neoprene 134)
– Sheathing them, i.e. applying tension to the panels and cleats in order to shape them on the foam.
– Finally, they have to be sewn together and passed on to the fitters who will assemble them on the tree.
L. Why did you choose this job?
C. It’s a bit of a coincidence, I was looking for a job and at the same time the saddlery was offering a position as a seamstress, with no experience required. I seized the opportunity by sending my application and I have been with the company for 17 years now. I didn’t think I would be working in a place like this, but I immediately fell in love with the practice and the leather work.
L. What was your training to do this job and what made you decide to go into this type of position?
C. I completed a CAP/BEP in agriculture and horseback riding, then a BEP/BP in accounting and office automation. As I said before, I landed here by chance, so I trained when I arrived in the company! All saddleries have different working methods, so I learned according to Gaston Mercier’s. I immediately liked working in a manual job like this one.
L. Can you tell us the advantages and disadvantages of this job?
C. As a rider, I like to see the saddles being made from scratch. Moreover, Manuel Mercier is very understanding about the practice of our sport, he allows us to take time off for our competitions. Working as a team is also a strong point because we all complement each other, it’s a way of working that I really appreciate. Finally, the fact that we can work with a noble material like leather is a very pleasant point.
Working with leather can have some physical disadvantages, the fact of standing and using your hands with force can be restrictive. The assembly of the pieces can also be complicated and unpleasant because some glues smell very strong, fortunately the machines we use help us to reduce the smell inhalations. However, with time we get used to it and it becomes less unpleasant.
L. Do you like horses and do you practice horseback riding?
C. Yes, I like horses very much. When I was 8 years old, I wanted to try horseback riding because a friend of mine was riding, and I got hooked right away! Since then I have never stopped, I have my own mare that I ride in show jumping. This practice helps me to have a good technical understanding of the products we make.
L. How would you describe yourself in everyday life?
C. I am a very demanding, meticulous and diligent person. I have a very developed sense of detail. When I feel that the work I have done is not perfect, I don’t hesitate to start over in order to provide a product that meets the Gaston Mercier quality.
L. If you had some advice to give to people who want to do the same job as you, what would it be?
C. I think that above all you have to love what you do in order to be rigorous, diligent and demanding. This is a very important point in our profession if we want to produce quality. It is also necessary to know how to question oneself and not to be afraid to start again.
Céline as seen by Alexis: “Being the latest addition to the GM team, knowing Céline has reassured me. With her experience, she knows how to advise us for any task. “