Time and again, our itinerant lives require a molting process. When leaving home, changing jobs, and chasing our dreams, we are forced to shed our possessions in a series of yard sales and Craigslist ads. The objects we desperately cling to—the cooking pot, the paintings, and the dinnerware set with a chipped plate—are the ones that carry our ideas of home in them.
So when the French entrepreneur Isabelle Mathez’s 18-year-old daughter decided to move out, the soon-to-be empty nester discovered that she might end up with a bare kitchen as well. Her daughter wanted to take a treasured chopping board made by a friend of the family, a cast-iron casserole designed by Timo Sarpaneva in 1959, and a Corsican knife, among other things. “She wanted to carry with her the rituals that have been in her life since she was a child,” Mathez says.
That’s how Mathez ended up creating the Malle W. Trousseau, a set of 43 handpicked and custom-made tools to help modern nomads set up a world-class kitchen no matter where they go. Out of the objects she had collected over a lifetime for her two homes in Paris and the Alps, as well as the items she had noticed on her travels, Mathez and her business partner, Juliette Thevenin, packed a beautiful wood-and-cardboard trunk in three layers—containers, cooking utensils, and cutting tools.