Well, our “first official” business trip to Paris has come and gone. Any initial concerns about going so far for our first big trip disappeared as soon as we landed. We’ve discovered that for co-owners to spend quality chunks of time investigating, researching, viewing and dialoging about their craft without distractions, in a city that is itself an living inspiration for design, is well worth the time, effort and money.
The trip also presented us with numerous opportunities to meet like-minded individuals from around the world who assembled with us at Paris Fashion Week, sharing ideas and passions for great design – be it for garments or home decor. On top of that, fashion is a global trade; free of barriers thanks to advances in e-commerce. Hence it’s critically important to be physically present in some of the centers of fashion gravity.
So our lesson is this – to be movers and shakers of any business that you’re in, get out. Move. Shake. How else could we sit so close to the latest fashion designs on the runway where you could literally trip the models (“UNCROSS your legs, s’il vous plait!! They’re in our shot!” spoken by the photogs). Or how else could we bump into a lead design consultant at a random fashion show in the middle of Paris one evening who is eager to refer you to the team at one of the most prominent museums in the world? Or a writer for French culture from the Associated Press? Or an employee from a major French design house? Most of these meet-cutes will never translate into true business contacts or buckets of sales, but over the years a few will and in the meantime you get to chat with some really interesting folk. Win-win.