allo monday…evening that is. it’s a day coming to a close and i decided to stop the presses and get here for a minute. between having my guy in town, starting a new project, working on TPA dailys and hosting neo’s birthday, every moment’s been filled to the brim. not that i minded…but suddenly it all stopped. now the place is quiet and well, i’m alone for the first time in a long while. it was a day of hard knocks, mostly business stuff which makes me realize i need to keep working on this paradigm shift. you know the saying about doing what you love and then it’s not work? that’s how i’ve always felt but somewhere along the way i thought i had to be something else with regard to my business. but i can’t follow a trend, not for one more minute and finally have the kick in the culottes i needed to be sure not to repeat the same mistakes anymore. sometimes you don’t have to make the change yourself, being in the zone does it for you. like yesterday, when i fed into my lust for beautiful french furniture at the flea market in miami beach and got this little chair. today it’s reminding me that i love to blend home and at work by living around beautiful things i enjoy. i also love buying and selling, sometimes donating, sometimes a trade. why i stopped is something to ponder, but for now this petite siège is helping me to get back to my roots and remember that it’s quality over quantity and tomorrow my mantra for the webmakeover will be edit edit edit! et alors, the sun is setting and it’s time for dinner, good nuit~
allo all, how have you been? here’s hoping your spring is in full bloom! for me it’s slowly changing from the winter of my discontent to a new era of optimism. it’s been a long time since i’ve been able to blog, in fact over a month. if not for my mom i may not even have come today. but when your mom wants you to blog, you blog. guess we end up doing what our moms tell us after all. maybe they do know best and i’d do anything for mine. so here i am, and truth is i missed you and all the ways you inspire me.
first let’s go back to the past blog and announce the winners of the giveaway. i decided to give all 5 fashion plates away and if you’re on this list please send me your address at email@example.com so i can get them out to you: susanne, terri, fredreika, melissa and beth. i wish i had more but i do have other wonderful things that i’ll share. in fact i’ll see what i can come up with at the end of this post and we’ll do it again! oh why wait? i have these four pretty little boxes i got last time i was in paris. the idea was to have them on my desk but they never made it and deserve to go with those who’ll use them. so each can go individually and if you’re interested, well, you know the drill…
so what’s been going on? well as you may recall i was working on a self improvement challenge for my business to turn it around over the next year. i tried blogging more frequently, making daily videos on youtube and working more diligently on office and organizational aspects. where has that gotten me? hmmmm…well, i’m still here so that’s one good thing. i’m working on a new angle for the my website so that’s been productive. and i’m collaborating with colleagues on their business and hoping to learn a few things from that which i can apply to the paris apartment. i’m traveling to their store in ashville, nc this week and will blog from there about the goings on.
so it’s been slow and steady but the reality is that there comes a point when you just can’t do everything alone. i’ve had interns and employees over the years but it always comes back to me in the end. the problems i face are self created and i have to take full responsibility. but if i’m going to keep the paris apartment going, i want to be the joyful, playful company it’s always been, full of infinite possibilities instead of one filled with dread and drudgery which is what is was becoming. but why was that?
well, i think part of it was when i started working with vendors and lost control of my brand and vision. so what’s the vision? well, it was originally a brick and mortar store. a place that was sort of a salon, where yes, it was a shop, but also a place where friends gathered in an atmosphere of casual opulence and would converse, share stories, music, their art and just inspire each other. where had my inspiration gone?
when it became a website it was hard to translate and has ended up being a sort of patchwork of ideas and pieced together over the years by various designers and webmasters. i haven’t had control over the site except the boutique and therefore it hasn’t changed much. it’s at the point where it’s out of control. but little by little, i’ve been editing, paring it down, taking off things that aren’t consistent with the brand or are from vendors who are impossible to work with. getting back to basics, basically, to get to a point where i can enjoy my work.
so maybe this is a sort of ‘seinfeld’ post, one not about anything in particular, but one just to touch base and get back in the groove. so thanks, mom, for providing the kick i needed. you always inspire me and i just came across these liles of the valley which i know you love. have a super sunday, everyone~
all images can be found at pinterest.com/parisapartment
bonjour toute le monde, ça va? we’re officially in the throes of the holiday season which means we should basically be enjoying ourselves during this time of cozy appreciation. i don’t know about you but for me it also comes with the pressure of feeling there’s so much to do before the end of the year (but then again most of the excitement usually happens in the last quarter of any good game). have you ever had the feeling that no matter how much you work that it’s never enough? me too. in fact i’ve been living in that headspace for quite a while. i’ve been working on my website as well as other platforms, and no matter how much i add, it’s just never enough to impress me. well as of today, i’m turning that thought around to instead understand it’s more important to keep going and allow ‘what is’ to be good enough. not much in life is ever truly finished anyway, most of it’s a work in progress. oh sure you can finish a book or a movie but we as people are never quite done and neither if you’re in business, is the business of business. with that said, instead of waiting to unveil some great new website or send out a vip holiday sale email blast, i figured why not just post what we’ve been up to over at TPA for the past few weeks and survey the situation.
truth is i enjoy buying and selling and love the pieces that are curated on my site. i got these little boxes last time i was in paris. they’re just small hinged cardboard but the details are truly exquisite with papered edges, embossed labels and gold edges. they were packaging for metal tips for ink pens. such a simple thing that someone preserved and something we’d no doubt toss without a second thought today when we buy a packaged pen. funny how for 100 years, these passed through hands that knew they were more than just packaging to be discarded and were in fact, kind something to cherish.
this little jewel box is one i picked up in paris and carried it carefully from that moment on. i love old mirrored frames, trays, boxes and dresser accessories. this one is lined with pink silk and is from the 1940s. it’s absolutely perfect (i don’t think it was ever used) and i would love to keep it for myself. but then again, i only buy the things i love and would want to own. for the time that they’re mine i am super respectful of them which is why it’s so heartbreaking if something old breaks in my care.
and that’s one of the reasons i always look for artists’ sketchbooks and albums. the one above belonged to mademoiselle jenny martin. they’re not breakable although i must say they’re incredbily delicate. jenny’s book has the most beautiful sketches and paintings of what must have been daily life for her. the drawing of the saucer in the first photo is also hers. i think she may have been a designer as well as a dreamer…
this little beauty is actually in english although i found it in italy. the author writes witty phrases and dates the book around 1831. he also sketches and cuts out colored images like this one of the milkmaid pining for her far away lover. some things never change…
i vowed to update my site in a way that’s managable instead of trying to cram it all in a once and getting burned out. but even inanimate objects take a lot of zhushing as you know to be picture perfect. these are linens are freshly washed and pressed, straight from paris. they’re really a peek into history and have been waiting to get to their rightful new owner for way too long. each is monogrammed with initials fom BF (best friend)? to slightly iinterpretive and each has a unique weight and feel from silky to rough. they were probably made for someone’s hopeful trousseau although, they seem to almost have never been used. another case of preserving the finer things for the next generation?
as i mentioned all inanimate objects need love which means polishing silver, brass, chrome when pulling out the holiday table top decor that’s been waiting in the wings. but we have lots of bling to make a subtle statement. i decided not to be so hard on myself since cleaning and restoring each item can be a big job. this champagne bucket is silver on copper which took a lot of patience and elbow grease to restore.
these chaises are part of a project i’m collaborating on with companies like koket and boco de lobo. i wanted to introduce them but hey, guess i just did, n’es pas? more on that soon…
so as you can see, not everything is centered around the holidays and gifting, we’re always adding to the line and taking on new designers to grow the brand. this is acrylic and brass pull is super chic on a new or vintage piece for a quick update.
but of course i’ll continue to add so that we have the perfect hostess gift and will keep up the pace over the next few weeks. but i actually just breathed a sigh of relief. maybe it was all in my head, the self imposed deadlines and countdowns. maybe there really is no finish line, no big cyber monday or small business saturday. for me it’s all day every day, and that means doing the things i enjoy, taking something old and refubishing it, or stewarding old items and preserving heirlooms. the good news is that i just finished my goal for the day which means i can head out to a holiday soirée without guilt. et alors, off i go to get ready. happy saturday to you!