A true story of Shopping in Paris – Ooo la la ……..So this ‘Gorgeous Girl’ actually lives in Singapore, She often travels for business and she needs her wardrobe to work super hard for her and to be super adaptable as she frequently travels between her home in Singapore to Australia, US, Europe, Asia. She is a busy Mum on top of this she has two equally gorgeous children and on top of this she is a wonderful Wife.
I was absolutely delighted when I was asked to meet for a Personal Shopping trip in Paris – it’s not every day I get this opportunity so of course I said YES! The thing was I have to fess up I do know this client rather well and we have become firm friends over the years. So this was all expenses paid trip for me with the opportunity to shop in Paris and undertake lots of research for my job – what a treat. The client was also working during the trip so my job was to travel out to meet her from London; No1 task was to scout for shoes which was a wonderful task and one I was looking forward to!
Actually I didn’t need to go far as the hotel was spitting distance from the mecca of shops in Paris, Galleries Lafayette, this store and the surrounding area is bursting with shops full of shoesssss!
I was up early on both days and after the most amazing breakfast, well a girl needs her energy and I take the phrase shop till you drop seriously so it was going to be a long day! I left the hotel at 9.00am armed with a bottle of water and a packet of boiled sweets, I shopped and I walked miles, photographing and noting as I went along, shop to shop. This was my plan to hit it hard, because over the three days we had about two small two or three hour windows to cram in the actual shopping. If you don’t know Paris the shopping in this whole area is fabulous, yes it was fairly easy to get distracted looking at a few possible purchases for Moi! I was good though and I was focussed on the most important things – new boots and shoes and not for me sadly….……
Before this trip I never knew shopping for shoes in Asia was a problem, apparently all the UK expats have a similar issue and they all stock up when they are in Europe. I earmarked about 10 pairs of boots and the same number of different shoe styles. On day two I did succumb to the purchasing devil, I was sucked in by a cold shoulder striped cotton shirt, very stylish and believe me I am even more thrilled to find the mark down on the price when I pay at the till…. grinning from ear to ear.
Now I’m not a quitter, tenacity should be my middle name…. however, Paris, defeated me! There was not a pair of boots or shoes that were quite right and if the client did like them the size wasn’t available or the colour or price point was not working for her. We had a problem and the elephant in the room was the boots she had on. These boots, which were at least 10 years old were her favourites and there was ‘nothing that compared to these boots’ (just like that Sinead O’Connor song) These boots had been taken on every trip back home to England and to other European cities so they were packed at least twice yearly. She loved them I get that, I have shoes and boots I love too, but these were looking tired…like really old. But these old boots gave her an emotional connection to home and I realised then – I knew it was time to retreat, no point carrying on if the task stops to be enjoyable. We agreed to leave the shops behind and go for a wonderful dinner instead, with bellies full and a bottle of red consumed we made it back to the hotel for a nightcap we laughed about escapades of the day and she said to me ‘ well it doesn’t matter these have got years left in them yet and if I can’t get these I would rather just leave it …… and so we wound our weary way to bed, we got out the lift on our floor walked not more than 3 or 4 steps and as if on cue the heel fell off the boots first one and then the other – I am not kidding you this is a true story. Seriously, I couldn’t believe it – she then asked me did I think they could be glued…..
So was the trip a wasted one nooooo I knew exactly what she wanted now and we agreed I’d find great her great replacements now I really understood what she needed. She was back to Europe in a couple of months and I would get them to her for this trip. We did find a couple of items for the children and gifts from Paris for family and we also managed to get a repair to her much loved Fossil watch strap that she had been meaning to do for months, so that was a triumph and she was super pleased with this.
Did I mention I’m no quitter…..We did find her boots in fact she got 4 pairs but would you believe it they were found at a store within St Pancras Station on arrival for the return journey. So after an exhausting few days and not to be beaten, I did something I would NEVER do. I forced ‘the client’ into a one last shop and that was the shop where the perfect boots were found!