Sajou - Two Histories
Maison Sajou Mark 1
Maison Sajou was founded in 1828 in the Ile de la Cite in Paris by Jacques-Simon Sajou, an entrepreneur from a family of wigmakers and perfumers, as a business selling products for embroidery, tapestry and lacemaking. He commissioned images of prints and drawings and patented these designs as embroidery patterns, quickly building a devoted following with the newly returned aristocracy in the city (including Marie Amelie Therese, the Queen of France for 20 minutes, I’m not even joking). In 1838 on the wave of this success, and with philanthropic zeal, he set up a workshop for orphaned girls, teaching maths, literacy and embroidery, with the aim of creating a generation of good housewives and mothers (Lord knows these are the key womanly skills).
In 1848 M. Sajou was awarded the Legion d’Honneur. Established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte this is the highest French order of merit, both military and civil. His business had made a significant contribution to life in Paris. In the last 30 years of the 19th century control of Maison Sajou passed to Jacques-Simon’s brother in law, and subsequently in turn to his son and his son-in law until the company was taken out of family ownership by Emmanuel Anglard in 1902. The original Sajou business finally closed its doors in 1954.