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!
bon matin et happy tuesday. how’s your week going? this is kind of a random post, but i took this photo yesterday and it greeted me when i popped the top on my computer just now. i wasn’t sure exactly why i wanted to photograph this covered dish before it shipped but as i sit and write this morning i realize it’s not just cause i liked it, especially after polishing it up (although my hands look like a mechanic’s), but for a couple other reasons too. first of all i imagine it’s going to someone who will use it on their beautiful table settings throughout the holidays. i can see them lifting the cover and their guests gasping in delight over whatever family favorite delectable is underneath. next it was a reason to get my camera out. i’ve heard photographers should shoot something every day. it’s a chance be creative but i never seem to get around to enjoying that aspect of my work. i was happy the background was blurred as that’s a technique i’ve always loved but never seem to capture. yet here it is in one shot! not to keep droning on but actually that was another yet minor-major revelation…i don’t need to take a thousand pictures. finally, there’s an end result and a bit of comfort in seeing something come full circle. i’m not saving the world but i am trying to build a business, curate products that will become heirlooms, keep up with the daily grind, take technical photos for the site etc. so seeing this simple picture this morning is a bit of a wakeup call. that it’s just as important to loop around and enjoy my business life. to take the pictures of the vignettes, even though my handwritng has become terrible, carefully handwrite thank you notes, wrap packages with bows and send each off with gratitude. take time to truly savor these items, their presence, history and new life. last but not least…i’m thinking of contacting the silver polish company to see how we can work together since i’ve been recommending them (just with gloves from now on :)!
ok by the by…what with the world events going on i never got the chance to announce the winner of the book giveaway, (the paris cocktail book). et alors…let’s take it to the random number generator, hold please….ok that was really random…it hit number one. so, ok! the winner is emma mitchell. congrats, it’s a wonderful book. (i’ll see if i can get the author, doni to send us another).
in the meantime, since we’re here…i did happen to get yet another book by jennifer scott, a darling little number called ‘Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic’. she has with this one, officially created a series. very inspiring. so, we’re giving it away and if you’d like to enter to win it, you know what to do~
last but not least as i was thinking of a title for this post, came across this quote from mother teresa and thought it was apropos. have a great day cheres amis!