HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN PARIS?
I moved to Paris in July 1998, I meant to stay only a few months but it’s already been over 20 years!
WHAT INITIALLY ATTRACTED YOU TO THE CITY?
I grew up in the US, we would go to Paris every Summer... but I fantasized about working in the city of love, buying a baguette every morning, taking the métro, strolling around the different neighborhoods, spending hours at the terrasse of a café people watching.
HAVE YOU LIVED IN THE CITY LONG ENOUGH TO CONSIDER YOURSELF A TRUE PARISIEN?
Although it's been 20 years, I still don't feel like a true Parisienne, more like an adopted Parisienne!
TO YOU, WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF A PARISIEN?
There is one main quality... being plural : loving the city & always organizing weekends in the countryside or far away journeys, dining in institutions (Lipp, Le Flore, Chez George) and new cuisine restaurants with young talented chefs, spending hours at the Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle & at the Musée d'Art Moderne, dreaming of a classic Chanel bag as well as an L/uniform.
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE FRENCH 'JOIE DE VIVRE' IS A REAL THING?
There is definitely an epicurean way of life in France - but the French also love to complain!!
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR OTHERS LOOKING TO CAPTURE THE ESSENCE OF JOIE DE VIVRE?
Put your phone away, open your eyes and look around and above, be present with friends, family, laugh, host big gatherings around a meal, listen to music, sip a glass of wine, fill your home with fresh flowers & delightful scented candles.
THE OUTER WORLD IS CONSTANTLY LOOKING TO PARIS FOR CREATIVE INSPIRATION, WHAT ASPECTS OF LIFE IN THE CITY INSPIRE YOU?
Architecture, light, music, markets, and the variety of cultures.
WHAT IN GENERAL MAKES FOR GOOD DESIGN?
It has to appeal to the eye, the touch, and be practical.
WHAT MAKES DESIGN TIMELESS?
Purity in its lines and tones - so that it adapts to different types of environments.
WHY SHOULD BEAUTY BE EFFORTLESS?
True beauty is natural and comes from within. Your soul transpires through your eyes, the way you move, your laugh...
IS QUALITY IMPORTANT TO YOU? WHY / WHY NOT?
Yes! I prefer to have less things but all of great quality... I get attached and want them to last a while!
HAVING SPENT TWENTY YEARS IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY, HOW HAVE YOUR TASTES EVOLVED?
I worked with very different designers (from Calvin Klein to Roger Vivier, Azzaro by Vanessa Seward and Schiaparelli). Spending time with these different creatives definitely trained my eye and taste. Today my taste is really an effortless style with a twist! The twist can be a piece of jewelry, sunglasses, a handbag. I do the same when I imagine a tablescape, or decorate my home.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR COMPANY, MISS MAGGIE'S KITCHEN. WHAT LED YOU TO LEAVE FASHION IN PURSUIT OF THIS CULINARY EXPLORATION?
At the end of 2016, I experienced a burn out due to seeking to be perfect in every aspect of my life : work, as a mom, as a wife, as a woman, a friend... I stopped working, slept and slept and then was pushed by my husband and brother to do the things that I loved most : cook, travel, create... I had always done these things but never had thought I would one day build a business focused on my passions. Creating something with your hands helps to reconnect with your soul, it helps me stay centered.
HOW DID YOUR COUNTRY HOME IN NORMANDY INSPIRE THE NAME?
We bought the house 4 years ago and as it has an old British woman look, we named it Miss Maggie. When I edited the first journal of recipes for family and friends, I didn't really know what to put on the cover, so I wrote Miss Maggie's Kitchen as all of my friends and family knew the house... the name stuck!
HOW DO YOU BALANCE FAMILY WITH THE DEMANDS OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?
It's just like for any job except I have more freedom. I am free to adjust my schedule as I wish and participate in school outings, work from the countryside, or travel with my family during school holidays (during the school year France, children have two weeks off every 6 weeks!)
HOW HAS THIS NEW DIRECTION WITH YOUR WORK POSITIVELY IMPACTED YOUR LIFE?
I am more balanced today. My family has never seen me this happy which is crucial! Every day I am lucky to work on my passions. I like to say it feels like I am on vacation every day - except it's probably the less restful vacation I have ever taken! :)
WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE FOR MISS MAGGIE'S?
I am working on a book which I hope will come out this Fall! I am also looking for a space in Paris as I love being able to get out of the digital relationships and meeting people in person!
WHAT ARE THE WORDS YOU LIVE BY? [FAVORITE QUOTE OR MANTRA]
It's not a dress rehearsal, life is now! So go for it!!