Bullet Blues would like to thank Ivan Drapeau

by Bullet Blues

Ivan Drapeau

Ivan Drapeau

Last month, the French newspaper Charente Libre featured Bullet Blues owner Isabelle Benoit. The man behind the story is Ivan Drapeau, and Bullet Blues would like to thank him for his hard work on the article. He’s a talented journalist and writer, and we’d like to express our gratitude for the story. To have Bullet Blues mentioned in the European press is great for the company! Check out their Facebook page here to see the events and news that they cover.

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Writer Ivan Drapeau has been a journalist for 37 years, and has been a senior editor for 23 years. A graduate of the journalism school of Tours, he covers politics, economics and other topics for the newspaper. You can watch him reporting on political events and moderating an important political debate in France here and at this link. He is also quite the Renaissance man: along with his writing talents, he has participated in 32 marathons–in NYC, Berlin and Paris, among others. Another passion of his is wine, in moderation of course.  As he so poetically says, “because the vineyard world  is full of knowledge and mystery…” He feels a connection to the simpler way of life in the rural areas of the wine country in France.

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Ivan Drapeau, seen at one of his many marathons

Unlike British citizens who have no problem leaving their roots behind to move to a foreign country, most people born in these French villages live their whole lives close to their roots. He wanted to show the opposite by portraying those who have left France and gone on to do great things. Isabelle’s story is part of a series that is running in Charente Libre featuring people who achieved success after leaving small-town life in this region of France. The series appears in the paper every Saturday.

Here is an excerpt from Ivan Drapeau’s article, translated from French, which eloquently describes Isabelle’s journey:

“At 18, she left Bignac with her suitcase and her dreams, destination America. Today she lives in Florida. She launched a brand of high-end jeans made in the USA.”

“My name is Isabelle Benoit and I am a native of Charente in Bignac.” Thus began the email as a thrown bottle into the sea from Coral Springs, a small town in Florida, USA, into the mailbox of Charente Libre on a Sunday in June. Then came an immediate response, e-mails, sending photos, a quick phone call. Florida, six-hour time difference, eight hours by plane, is the gateway to the Charente, and Isabelle Benoit, was very moved to be able to tell her story in ‘her’ newspaper.

She made it across the Atlantic. She spent two years in Maryland on the east coast, south of New York, before settling in Florida. She worked in retail. In one of the states in America that’s most affected by unemployment, Isabelle had a flash: making jeans. “It was like a dream, jeans, this is America, simplicity, modesty but also sex appeal. They are 100% made in USA. Because we have the same concern in France–that most apparel comes from China, even the most famous American jeans.” She created her brand, Bullet Blues. She explains, “Bullet was part of the name because it hit me like a bullet, and it also honors the memory of American soldiers killed during the landing. I had visited the cemeteries of Normandy last summer, and I saw the link between our two countries.”

The jeans have been on the market since 2010. They are produced in California, because as Isabelle remarks, “There are no factories for denim in Florida.” Bullet Blues is committed to using US materials and production–it’s part of the company’s patriotic philosophy.

Bullet Blues is indebted to Ivan Drapeau for writing such a wonderful story about Isabelle! Thank you and merci!

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