Does a 100% plant-based sign for your company sound futuristic? Preserved lichen, for example, requires little maintenance and allows Philippe Dupuy, founder of Exaprint and Lettershop, to recreate your signage in more ecological materials. His career path and his commitments are reflected in his way of seeing the business world. He reveals all about it in this interview.
SecondNatur: Hello Philippe, can you describe your professional background in a few words?
Philippe Dupuy: In 1998, I created Exaprint, an online printing shop for graphic arts professionals. It was a wonderful human adventure with the « start-up spirit of the 2000s ». The company grew rapidly. In less than ten years, Exaprint became the leader in France on its market. I sold the company in 2012. Since then I have been developing a new concept called Lettershop.
SN: Can you introduce the Lettershop concept?
PD : The idea is to provide every company with the possibility of easily equipping its interior or exterior signage in fun and original materials. To highlight your brand image, your logo in your facilities, to decorate your walls, meeting rooms, reception hall, stand at trade fairs…
SN : How would you outline the history of Lettershop in a few words?
PD : It all started with the creation of an original product: the “Vegetal Logo” with the participation of Mikael NICOLAS, the director and founder of the company MEAMEA. We then improved the offer by reinforcing the choice of materials offered and setting up an e-commerce site adapted to these products.
SN : How did you come up with the idea of using stabilized plants in your logos?
PD : At the time, Mikaël from MEAMEA introduced me to his preserved mosses and lichens. Having been in the print business for a number of years, I thought it would be interesting to find a product that combined the world of print with preserved plants. So the vegetal logo came to us 🙂
SN : How long have you known about stabilized plants?
PD : Since the creation of MEAMEA around 2004 I think…
SN : How important is the ecological aspect in your work?
PD : “The man should be the guardian of nature, not its owner”. So we try to do things right. We are not perfect, but we must limit our environmental impact. In fact, in the near future, we will be funding 1 tree planted for every order placed on the Lettershop website.
SN : What has been the biggest challenge for this company?
PD : Adapting the sale of this rather technical type of product to online sales. Simplify the offer and adapt our customer service for this unique purpose.
SN : What are the upcoming Lettershop developments?
PD : Further improvement of the range with environmental products… natural or solar-powered materials for our illuminated signs… And also the release of a new website in a few weeks.
SN : What makes you want to get up in the morning?
PD : Life. I love it, it’s enough for me!
SN : Who inspired you the most in the last 10 years?
PD : I find inspiration in every person. I think that we are built on encounters, interactions… Each individual on earth inspires and is inspired by another. If I had to name a “famous” one, I would say the DJ and music producer Laurent Garnier.
SN : Which movie inspired you the most?
PD : Brazil.
SN : Do you have an anecdote of a story that changed your professional life?
PD : When I started my first business. I was a solo entrepreneur. I was working on all decks. One day, a big client called the company phone and asked for the accounting department. I was alone in my office at the time, so I answered: “Hold on, I’m putting him through”… I put the receiver to my other ear and answered, changing my voice a little, “Hello, accounting department”… Ten years later, we already had over 100 employees. This is an anecdote that shows that you shouldn’t be afraid to take risks. Especially when you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
SN : What is your favourite saying?
PD : I have two:
« Every day counts! »
« Life goes by so fast that, sometimes, the soul has no time to grow old… »
Website // Lettershop
Instagram // @lettershop.fr
Facebook // Lettershop
Pinterest // Lettershop
Lettershop presentation video // Video