The Difficulties of Creating Innovative Cutlery with Mercia Cailloux, Founder of M. Cailloux Cutlery
What was a major challenge you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
I wanted the cutlery to be made in stainless steel and accessible for everybody. That turned out to be a significant challenge: because the handles of my cutlery aren’t straight and have depressions and curves to fit a person’s hand, manufacturers couldn’t figure out how to insert the tangle that holds the blade into the handle. It’s not an issue that manufacturers ever have to face when creating ordinary cutlery, so it was an interesting hurdle to overcome!
Who has been a role model for you?
My mother was a widow. She had to balance raising three young children while being the headmistress at a local school, all on her own. But she always treated others with respect and grace, even when she was stressed. That gained her a lot of admiration among others, including me.
When we were confronted with problems, my mother would always quote the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes in Don Quixote: “There is a remedy for all things but death”. Being confronted with death so early in life makes one aware of how precious life is and creates an open mind for finding solutions when faced with obstacles. I have carried that mentality with me in my own ventures, and am very grateful to my mother for instilling that in me.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I love seeing how my work impacts children. When a child learns etiquette and social skills, they instantly become so much more confident and at ease with others. It’s such a joy to be part of that transformation.