VOYAGES: An american designer in Paris

It’s no secret to my friends and family that I’m a francophile, and as much as I value and appreciate my American citizenship there has always been a part of me that wishes I could claim some French heritage.  However, my husband gets to claim that one from his side of the family…so I at least married into it, right? Even though I have no French blood on my side of the family, I believe my French affinity was passed down to me from my grandmother. She was a French teacher in a small town in North Carolina and definitely had a taste for adventure. She passed away when I was in college, but I still have several of her old French school books and souvenirs from her trips to Europe. I credit her for my French zeal!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my posts referring to our move to Paris. It’s been an eight year dream that is quickly turning into reality. A year after my husband and I were married, we decided to take a two month sabbatical to Europe. It was my first time abroad and my first time to France. We were bitten by the travel bug and began to dream about the possibility of moving abroad on our way home from that trip. Over the next several years, we continued to pursue our love of travel and France continued to be the one place we came back to over and over. We have made trips for both vacation and work-related purposes and have made friendships across the pond over the years. Naturally, we started to seriously consider taking the leap of moving to Paris so we can have a more « full-time » experience of being in country. Over the last year and half, we began to make a plan including selling our house, finding an apartment in Paris (I can’t wait to share about that one!), reorganizing our careers to work remotely, etc. Surprisingly, all these tasks haven’t felt too overwhelming…yet!

“The thought of going abroad makes my heart leap, »
 – Charles Sumner (quoted from the book The Greater Journey by David McCullough)

So many have asked me, « What are you going to do with your business!? » Well, I see moving to Paris as expanding my business! I will still be based in the DC metro area and plan to travel back and forth based on the requirements of each project. I’m bringing on a project manager to be my hands and feet on the ground who will oversee deliveries, orders and take good care of my clients when I’m out of the country. The world is so global now, that working from two different continents is not as complicated as it used to be. I’m excited to find new resources in Paris and elsewhere for clients and to learn about the new trends and products that originate from that half of the world. Travel has always been important to me both personally and professionally, so I’m excited to incorporate more of a global influence into my projects. I also plan to keep connected and create an ongoing dialogue using the « Behind the Scenes » section of my website where I will periodically post updates, photos, etc. about the myriad of products, places and people I am discovering.  I attended the Paris Deco Off last January which resulted in finding a few fantastic fabric lines that I used in projects this past year. I plan to attend again this year along with Maison & Objet, and I’ll be sure to give you all a front row seat!

In a nutshell, we have decided « saisir le jour! »