Cabinet maker, restorer of antique furniture.
Restorer of antique furniture, Didier Jolibois practise an activity that he loves and and take part in the safeguard of the heritage.
Passionate by antique furniture restoration since his earliest childhood, Didier Jolibois started to learn this activity when he was 16. " I always wanted to work as a restorer of antique furniture. It's like art for me, and I also love to paint and draw. I really love this job. When a restoration is over, it has to be pleasant. Antique furniture restoration is a kind of safeguard of the heritage", he explains. After having obtained his diploma, he worked two years in a furniture-fabrication shop. " But it didn't match with what I wanted to do. To much machines and to much yielding. It was always the same thing ", he says. After that, he made a training course during 6 months with a restorer of antique furniture, then he worked for an antique-dealer.
"Word of mouth"
In 1984, Didier Jolibois decided to work on his own. " It was a crazy idea. But conditions were favourable, because my wife had a job, and her parents lent me a workshop. To be self-employed, you have to be really strong. It's hard to work as a craftsman because it takes a long time before you can say that you have real and regular customers. And during this period, you can have to repay big investments " He says.
Without any advertisement, but with an efficient word of mouth, Didier Jolibois built his own clientele. To make a good restoration, Didier Jolibois uses to gather a lot of informations and to make researches. He doesn't use machines so much and preferes to work with old tools.
" Old tools are often more effective. And it's also more pleasant to work with them. But it's not easy to find good ones. "
" Each furniture is unique "
If old tools are hard to find, the same problem exists for hardware products such as old keys or locks.
" The profession of restorer will always exists, but, at any moment, there will be a lack of supply. It will be harder and harder to find old harware products. Besides, this part of the job is exciting : recover old hardware products and be able to restore them.. This supply problem also appears for wood, because some kinds don't exist anymore. "
If the job he parctises still passionating for him, Didier Jolibois regrets that a few people want to restore their furniture themselves : " Often, I see funirtures horribly restored. It makes me sad because it's the national heritage that's vanishing".
Happy in his workshop, Didier Jolibois is always stressed when he have a new furniture to restore : " Each furniture is unique. So the client have to find it again in a very good state. That's why I want to be more and more effective in order to help in transmetting furnitures from a generation to another".
Le Journal De Beauvais.