My story started with an opportunity to take a break from my high pressure corporate career. I found myself living and working in New York City. It sounds glamourous and exciting but in reality it was just a dull grind with more than half the year buried in four feet of snow. I worked very long hours, which left me little to no time to travel to one of my favorite places in the world…France! I would sit in my very chic but very expensive apartment in NYC in the dead of winter and dream of the Florida sunshine and how beautiful and green everything is in South Florida. So when the opportunity presented itself to leave NYC… I took it. Back in sunny South Florida with tons of time on my hands I decided to combine my passion for travel, shopping and all things French. I booked a trip to France and explored the markets, brocantes and even the vide greniers. I found fabulous things but one can only buy so much for oneself. The idea of opening a little French shop started to blossom. I had found a stunning vintage christening gown in a market in the Luberon area in the South of France. That gown was literally the spark that developed into a wonderful little shop full of fabulous French finds. My business allows me to travel, shop and create a unique place to indulge in the French fantasy.
My business has two sides. I have a little shop that carries vintage clothing, linens and accessories. The shop also has furniture and home décor but what I’m known for is my vintage French children’s clothing and christening gowns. Items can also be found on my website. In addition to the shop I provide specialized shopping tours to France. Each tour is customized to my client’s needs and wishes. While the focus is shopping we also take time to learn and enjoy the rich culture and history of France. My hope is that my customers get a feel for France while visiting my shop and the experience they would have on my shopping trips.
The thing I’m most proud of with my business is that I have stuck to my vision. I had very clear ideas of how the shop would look and how I wanted the customers to feel while visiting my store and the experience they would have on my shopping tours. People tried to sway me in other directions. Some even attempted to change my whole concept. But I stayed true to my vision and I’m very happy with the ways things are progressing.
What sets me apart from others is that what I offer is genuine and authentic. I travel to France several times per year to source items for the shop or to plan my next shopping tour. I bring back a certain level of experience and knowledge about the items for the shop or the places we will visit on the tours. Customers have told me they like coming into the shop when I am there so they can hear about the history of the items they are interested in and where and how it was found. This aspect is one of the most enjoyable parts of my business. Seeing a customer’s eyes light up when I describe a quaint little French village or market…priceless!