What is special about shopping in Paris, when so many things are available at home or online?
I know it’s easy to think once-rare items can be more easily found at home or online, but shopping in Paris is not an ordinary experience. You will never have a chance like this at home or on the Internet. You’ll discover more about yourself and your desires than you ever will in a Google search.
Does anything make you hesitate to buy, when you find a piece?
I often find pieces that need repair or redecoration. I used to think, “This piece is such a great deal, how can I possibly get this restored? It’s just perfect for my bedroom.” Now, I have longterm relationships with local artisans who can transform anything. I used to wonder, “Where do I store all the items I’ve bought, while I wait for these few pieces to be restored?” After discovering the warehouse services of Transports Mari, I no longer have the problem of finding too many bargains. I buy and store items, no matter how large or how many, and then ship everything at one time with Transports Mari. “How can I get everything home that I want.” No matter! I’ve made the necessary contacts around the world to secure safe packing and transport for the tiniest jewels to unthinkably heavy stone fireplaces and interiors. Not buying a piece, or not venturing out to shop in France is a terrible mistake. Once one starts to make lifelong friendships with transport specialists, fine French restorers, and private dealers, the world of shopping in France opens up into a Wonderland that my life has become.
Why should visitors to France consider getting help with shopping?
Visitors to France definitely want to take advantage of guides, if they want to shop The Marché aux Puces. The Puces has 1500 dealers and 17 acres of shopping area to cover. And, it’s not just that the shopping is overwhelming, you also need to deal with international shipping. Many people enjoy learning from and being accompanied by a professional shopper, who can locate authentic bargains, negotiate fair and happy deals, and get even the most fragile pieces packed and shipped without difficulty. Trusted professional shoppers protect clients’ interests while dealing with the exasperating details of international deliveries. My personal consultancy provides the additional services of translation, restoration, transportation formalities, customs formalities, crating and packaging, insurance, air and maritime freight, and white glove service. Shopping becomes a delightful exploration, with the burdens of administrative complexity eliminated.
Why do you shop the Marché aux Puces when you’re in Paris?
Shopping in France is a transformational, deeply satisfying pleasure. I never hesitate to grab a café and head in to the hustle and bustle of the markets, because shopping always creates the most extraordinary memories. In a visit to the South of France, I discovered that I could purchase antique building materials, and I immediately called my Argentinian architect. I asked her to grab the house plans and meet me in Provence the next day so that she could help me shop. In one week, we had purchased all the antique doors, exquisite stone fireplaces, fountains, garden gates, and French limestone flooring that transformed my California home into my perfect dream. With the home framework set, we jumped on the train back to Paris and the Marché aux Puces to buy a wild mix of furniture, mirrors, chandeliers, and rugs—18th century paintings to contemporary leather couches—that completed my vision. The huge project of building and furnishing a home with materials from France was my first step into the world of international purchasing, packing, and shipping via container. Years later, because of my contacts and experience through many personal and corporate-scale builds and remodels, I enjoy a flourishing professional shopping consultancy in Paris and Provence. My heart is grateful to the Puces that always overflows with gorgeous items to inspire and delight my friends and customers!