Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Window Shopping in Paris

Window shopping in Paris is seriously an art form.   Actually, I suppose the shop fronts are the art form, and the act of window shopping is just seriously fun.  

It is like the shop owners have a quiet competition going on to outdo each other.    The colors, textures, lighting, props all come together to create gorgeous imagery that is hard to pass by.   I suppose that is the point.    I could spend days, probably weeks if I had the luxury of time, simply strolling past shop fronts admiring all of the fabulousness.    I admit, I did spend quite a few hours in my two weeks in Paris doing just this.

What I love about Paris if you make it beyond the window to an actual purchase, the same care and design go into the process of packaging up your item.    It never matters to me that it takes infinitely longer to finish the transaction.    The art of packaging in Paris is so worth the wait.   I love watching the shopkeepers hands wrap up a tiny little item in beautiful paper and tying it with ribbon and other pretty things.   It makes me feel special, appreciated.   I am silly that way.    

I remember my very first purchase in Paris.   Several years ago on a trip with friends.    We were strolling through Le Marais.   Had just finished our tour of the Musee Picasso (amazing, amazing, amazing, when it is open!).    Browsing shops.   Just having fun girl time.   In one of the shops I found a necklace.   Delicate, pearls strategically placed, very feminine.   So me.   I was really poor at the time but knew I had to have it.    It was so exciting to make that first purchase and even more wonderful to watch it being wrapped up in such a gorgeous fashion.     That necklace and the experience of buying it made such a lasting impression on me and is one of my favorite memories of Paris.

And... there is truly nothing better than coming home from a shopping trip and emptying all of your little packages onto your bed and spending delicious time carefully unwrapping each and every one.   Kind of like your own personal holiday.  I also just love how it doesn't matter how much you spend, you still get the same treatment.   2 euros on some small trinket and it is the same process and experience!   Love it.

I always laugh a little bit when I read the debates on etsy about packaging and whether it is okay to throw an item in some used cereal box with grubby newspaper, slap it all together and send it out to your customer.   I am all about helping environment, trust me, but I'm not about to lose that 'Parisian experience' in the process and I want my customer to feel just a little special on the other end, like they are receiving a gift.   Everything in balance.

Speaking of etsy, it is probably one of my favorite places to 'window shop' online.    Here are some of my latest Paris inspired finds from a recent trip.   Enjoy!


  1. Very pretty picks! I've always loved that too -- coming home with all these small parcels.
    I completely agree about packaging our own goods. It's absolutely worth a little extra effort!

  2. The food displays are my favorite! And those are some beautiful etsy finds :)

  3. The food ones were my favorite too!!! I wanted to take pictures of ALL of them. Well, actually, I wanted to go in and just buy everything, but the photos were the most reasonable and calorie conscious alternative! Too fun... I can only imagine what everything is like around the holidays..... sigh...

  4. Art form, indeed! When my Mom and I traveled there a few years ago the windows we stood in front of the longest were the patisseries. Oh, talk about dedication to detail. I think we probably ate our weight in sugar on that trip...but well worth it. Do you still wear your pearl necklace?


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