The clue is in the name…! After time studying fashion and time spent as in PR and as a stylist, working in London and Jersey, Paris set up her own boutique to offer the Jersey market something more exclusive. We talk to her about London Fashion Week, getting mistaken for a sex shop and Will Ferrell.
So, tell us what inspired you to get this off the ground?
I studied Fashion with Photography at Southampton University where I covered a number of things, but Fashion Styling was something I really took to. That led me to specialising in Styling and Make-Up at the Up To Date Fashion Academy in Milan. This included a Make-up course – not to be a make-up artist, but as a Stylist. It is very important to have an understanding of the art; to know what you want to portray when preparing a photo shoot, fashion show or such like. Having my own boutique is a great way to express my creative background whilst helping others look good and feel good.
What did you do prior to starting this business?
I began my venture interning in PR in London, which was great for building contacts. There I worked closely alongside an experienced account manager, pulling items from the showroom for stylists to use for shoots and music videos. One highlight of my time in London was being part of London Fashion Week. My role was, amongst other general fashion related matters, finding sponsors for the event and inviting celebrities to our shows. During that week, I had to make sure V.I.P.s were sat in the front row at the designers shows and everything ran smoothly from behind the scenes. I also freelanced in London as a stylist’s assistant working on tv and for fashion magazines, doing my best to build up my C.V. I then wound down my work to focus more on styling, becoming part of a well known brand agency. Following that, I joined River Island’s studio team as a Stylist’s Assistant, creating fashion images for their website, which after a few months lead me to become Head of the Studio Team. This exposed me to some of the lesser known sides of fashion such as E-commerce. After completing the most recent River Island internet project, I decided to return to Jersey where I obtained further experience in the retail industry and knowledge on the market there before setting up From Paris With Love x.
Did that teach you any lessons that helped you succeed?
Having the opportunity to live and be educated in two major fashion cities has developed my knowledge and understanding of how the fashion industry works. It’s really important to know how diverse fashion can be and Milan and London are so very different. I wanted to bring with From Paris with Love x a London edge together with some unique complementary international pieces to Jersey; something different, bang on trend pieces at affordable prices and accessible and attractive to various generations of style conscious women.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learnt since starting the business?
People have their own unique tastes that reflects their character and, on occasion, mood. It’s all about identifying these traits, in addition to sizes and body shape, and fitting the pieces together to meet expectations. In summary, helping women feel happy about themselves through their appearance.
Any funny stories that you have about the business starting out ?
My dad, who was helping set-up the shop at the time, thought it would be funny to tell inquisitive passers-by that it was going to be a sex shop! Thanks dad! And I managed to open on my first day without petty cash in the till. Once I realised, I had to embarrassingly round-up an emergency collection from the neighbouring business.
What are your plans for the future ?
For From Paris With Love to have an online presence. With Jersey only having the population it has, there are other opportunities out there for me to explore. Hopefully I can spread my views on what is and can be stylish and interest people outside of Jersey. I have had the experience working in fashion e-commerce so I am looking forward to developing that side of the business.
What advice would you give to would-be entrepreneurs ?
Don’t live life thinking “what if”. If you believe you have worked hard enough to get to where you are and you are determined to continue to then try it, otherwise you will never know or may even regret.
School:Jersey College For Girls
First Job:Saturday Girl at Fusion
Book: Mario Testino – Any Objections
Music: Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, The Black Keys, Scissor Sisters, Jamiroquai, Coldplay, Dance Music
Film: Anchorman closely followed by Stepbrothers. I love Will Ferrell
Last Holiday: Ibiza
Enjoys: Spending time with family and friends, shopping and sunbathing.