La Vie Est Belle!

South Walton is known for many wonderful things. It's white sandy beaches and the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico are incomparable. We have of the best fishing that you find in the world. South Walton is a warm and inviting place to be with it's small town atmosphere and charming sophistication, it is here that you will find the Fine Pearls and Leather Jewelry by Wendy Mignot that have become a trademark of our community.

Wendy Mignot has been making jewelry her entire life. In her early twenties she made and sold her jewelry while sailing through the Caribbean. While she was living on the island of St. Thomas she met Jean-Noel. Wendy soon learned that Jean-Noel was an artist too and is from a family that has been designing jewelry for decades. (His parents are still based in St. Barth's and his siblings can be found in exo5tic ports off of Mexico, St. Tropez, and Bora Bora.) Together Wendy and Jean-Noel continued to sail the Caribbean while successfully making and selling their jewelry at wherever port they landed.


The Mignots married 14 years ago in Mexico and soon had their two children, Violeta and Zak. Still living aboard their beloved sailboat, "Zoya", the two children were born in the country of Panama. A few years later, while on an excursion to New England, "Zoya" was totalled off the North Carolina coast. As coincidence would have it, Jean-Noels parents were visiting Seaside at this time. It was a perfect opportunity for the family to reunite. After landing on our shore, it wasn't long before Wendy and Jean-Noel decided to make Seaside (South Walton) their home and the place where they would like to raise their children.

The first business that they opened was "Le Petite Cafe" located in Ruskin Place in Seaside. There, they sold gourmet coffees, lovely wines and, naturally, Wendy's jewelry. Business was good so they decided to open up what was to become the wildly popular and iconic wine and tapas bar named "Cafe Rendez-Vous". The joint was jumping and was a ton of fun, but the main attraction was still Wendy's pearls! Here jewelry was already known world-wide through her travels, but it was time to open her flagship store and gallery, La Vie Est Belle and focus on what she does best!

Now that you are familiar with the artist's background, here is an insight to her amazing work. Since Wendy introduced her jewelry to Seaside some ten years ago, her designs are still fresh and ever-evolving. Her passion for the sea and all things beautiful and organic are her constant inspiration. Her jewelry is made with the finest quality Tahitian Pearls, South Seas Pearls, and Fresh Water Pearls. All of her designs are made with the most luxurious leather which Jean-Noel handcrafts for her designs. He is also responsible for drilling each and every pearl incorporated into her designs. These are a few of the things that set Wendy's jewelry apart and adds to it's the uniqueness. Wendy's love for of the organic and natural extend far beyond her adoration of pearls. She also incorporates shells, sea glass, stones, turquoise and rare gems. She refers to these items as "Her Treasures"! Wherever Wendy's past and current travels take her she is always collecting her treasure along the way. Several years ago, Wendy collaborated with her old and dear friend, Danny Edwards. Danny is a shipwreck salvager and treasure hunter as well as an expert in rare and ancient coins. Through their partnership, Wendy began incorporating the special coins into her body of work. It only seemed natural to have an amazing Tahitian Pearl from the bottom of the sea to be paired with and ancient shipwreck coin! Other coins used in her designs are fabulous Greek and Roman coins dating as far back a 4th Century B.C. All coins are graded very fine and are accompanied by certification of authenticity. Also included are Venetian, Byzantine, and Holy Land Coins, it is like wearing a piece of history.

La Vie Est Belle translates to "Life is Beautiful" which is Wendy's philosophy. It is her innovation and commitment to quality that sets her apart and keeps her customers coming back for more. Wendy Mignot plays an integral role in our community for her continued philanthropy. She consistently supports all youth charities, is a member of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce, the Cultural Art Association and Coastal Conservation Association. For all who make the beautiful beaches of South Walton their home we are grateful that Wendy Mignot and her gallery La Vie Est Belle also make South Walton their home.

La Vie Est Belle is located at 25 Central Square Suite C-1 Seaside, FL 32459. You can find them on their website and please visit them on Facebook. If you are out of town and would like to place an order just give them a call at 850-231-4692 and ask for Aimee.

Photos by Dawn C. Whitty