WHAT WE LOVE: The beautiful mix of dried and fresh flowers, plants, home wares, and vintage pieces. Les Fleurs is made even more enchanting by the beautiful original architectural features of the shops, such as the tiled floors and historic shopfronts.
WHO: Lucie Deniset a former bioligist.
WHERE: Two pretty shops in the Bastille neighborhood of Paris.
Lucie Deniset opened her first small shop in 2004, in a small hidden Parisian street. Lucie, originally a biologist, had no specific retail training. It was with innocent enthusiasm that she decided to open a shop specializing in jewelry from emerging designers. The first years were very difficult and required a lot of effort, concessions, energy, and head aches. To develop the Les Fleurs brand Lucie launched her blog in 2006, a platform where she could also sell her products using Paypal. It was an instant success, clients discovered Les fleurs, visited the shop and participated in its growing success. Without this blog, which largely contributed to the success of the brand, Les fleurs would not have survived. Lucie and Les fleurs moved to rue Josset in 2008, her husband joining in the adventure helping to search for antiques and vintage items that they both like to add to the shops mix.
In November 2014 the second eponymous boutique opened, just a few blocks from the rue Josset shop. With the help of Instagram (Lucie is adept at knowing how to maximize social networks), the new shop opened to great acclaim! The same lovely mix of flowers, both fresh and dried, home decor items and vintage pieces mixed throughout, as Les Fleurs’ first shop. The light through old glass, windows, cement restored tiles on the floor, raw walls, concrete shelves … a truly magical place to wander and browse.
One marvels at the displays, full of ideas; the small, nearly missed object seen; the unexpected gift; inspiration and spirit. Lucie and her husband successfully incorporate their flea market finds. The plants initially used for decoration are now part of the offering and are greeted with the great enthusiasm. There are lots of plant pots, macramé plant holders, and vases. As Lucie says herself: “the shop ambiance is somewhere between your granny’s home and a curiosity cabinet”.
The hardest lesson learned when you started your business? Patience
Best lesson? Everything is possible with perseverance (and luck).
The tasks that you like to delegate? Internet orders management
Advice to anyone wishing to open a shop today? From zero: we go further if there is no fallback; Learn to ask and to get help.
Which personality would you see in your shop? Mark E. Smith (well, mostly my husband).
If you were not a shopkeeper, you would be a.. Vintage dealer in a lost village, with internet connection anyway!
The perfect day off? Return from the flea market to Les Fleurs to install our findings.
Favorite neighborhood coffee shop? Black coffee or a pint at Bottle Shop, our neighbors at 5 rue Trousseau !
I would like to… have more time (or better management) to develop other projects
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
“Work … we are not at all into analysis at Les Fleurs, it is our own desire. That said, from experience, we know that shops are subjected to novelty and trends, then the future of retail is being not too attached to one’s “creation”. Remain sensitive to one’s desires and inspirations to enrich the shop and evolve in tune with one’s spirit.
And more prosaically, I’m sure that independent shops will have an increasing place: after “any purchase on the internet” era, the public likes to come “visit” a shop, as we would visit a gallery or a museum, say “it’s beautiful” find ideas, inspiration for more than one object composition. In any case, I work like that! And this is what happens at Les Fleurs, we are often told “I want to live here.”
Updated from a 2016 feature by Valerie Anglade 2B&Co.
6 Passage Josset and 5 Rue Trousseau, Paris 75011
Photographs courtesy of Les Fleurs & Milk