The adventure « Joëlette and Co »
The history of a human partnership with an industrial company which was founded in 1849.
Joël Claudel – Première Joëlette
The originator of the Joëlette is a man: Joël Claudel
In 1987, Joël Claudel, a mountain guide, had the idea of the first Joëlette because of his nephew who suffered from muscular dystrophy. It was a sort of litter or sedan chair with just one wheel. It took him only 2 days to produce the first prototype. A bucket seat, a central wheel and four bars for the two guides: still today these are the basic elements of the Joëlette. Thus, in spite of his disease, Stéphane, his nephew, could participate in great outdoor activities. At the age of 17, he discovered the beautiful nature of the Ile of Reunion, then he went to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Later on, Joël Claudel created an association « Handi Cap Evasion ». Soon the APF “Association for the Paralysed of France” joined the association.
What was unimaginable had been made possible. Since then, people with any kind of disability have been able to participate in hikes and runs, in France and worldwide, in the mountain or locally.
However, Joël Claudel, a very modest person, didnt want to stay in the spot light of the action and decided to transfer the “adventure” Joëlette to other committed and dedicated people, among them Ferriol-Matrat, who is nowadays the exclusive producer of the Joëlette.
An industrial development for more than 165 years: Ferriol-Matrat.
Ferriol-Matrat was created in 1849 in the Saint Etienne area, France. This region was known for its metallurgical industry. The first railroad line was constructed here. Today mechanical companies in Saint-Etienne are the best in France. The area is also known for companies excelling in design, medical textiles, and the tertiary sector…
Ferriol-Matrat was created by an iron craftsman, slowly developing his skills in tube work during the two industrial revolutions and the following decades.
Ferriol-Matrat has a special know how in design, methods, prototyping, tube work, wirework, sheet work, welding, assembly-packaging, logistics and surface treatment thanks to its research and development service. Its a medium-sized company working in adaptive sport and leisure equipment as well as a contract manufacturer for many different sectors such as the medical, automotive or furnishing industry.
Industrial know-how serving a new objective
In 2003, Ferriol-Matrat decided to give a new meaning to its industrial activity by promoting sports and leisure for disabled people. The whole team was convinced that only an industrial approach would allow to develop the products in France and worldwide, in order to give to people with reduced mobility a universal access to exceptional outdoor events.
First Ferriol-Matrat worked in collaboration with a company called CDRD, the historical distributor of the Joëlette and the BISKI FMS (a sitski chair), so as to mechanize the production process. The teams in charge of the development and prototyping improved the ergonomics, the weight, the comfort, the reliability, the material and the components of the two products.
A comprehensive range surrounding the Joëlette: Joëlette and Co
Today, Ferriol-Matrat is the exclusive manufacturer of the Joëlette in the world. The range has been completed by other equipment such as the Joëlette Twin, the e-Joëlette, the Sofao and the Bi-Ski. All these products are intended for sport and leisure for all.
The team Ferriol-Matrat, being passionate about the practice of adaptive sports and leisure activities, thought that a product to go in the water would complete the product range. After nine months of intense development and technical compromise regarding weight, the way of folding as well as comfort, Ferriol-Matrat put the bathing chair Sofao on the market in 2005.
In 2012, Ferriol-Matrat decided to organize its expansion on international markets and hired an international sales manager. Export markets now represent 20% of the activity.
Since 2015, Ferriol-Matrat created a new brand and new community website « Joëlette and Co”.
The adventure continues
For more than 10 years the Joëlette and the whole range of adaptive equipment has been the hands of Ferriol-Matrat, who is always striving to improve.
Only Ferriol-Matrat? Not at all! Even though Ferriol-Matrat is in charge of the production, it is also up to you to influence the future development of Joëlette and Co. You are the daily users, hiking around, organizing runs and trips to all over the world, skiing down the mountains or enjoying lakes, seas and oceans.
We have created this website Joëlette and Co to thank you for all your actions and to share our common values around nature and sport for all.
Joëlette and Co invites you to join them and continue the adventure together!