The Ultimate Shopping Experience in the Marais Neighbourhood
It’s easy to simply stroll past the entrance of Hôtel Bourg Tibourg. In fact, I did. There’s no obvious signage other than the ‘19’ above the blue door. Found in Paris’ popular Marais district, I wasn’t on my way to check in to this pretty jewel box of a hotel, though I’m a bit smitten with its Jacques Garcia-designed interior. Instead, I was meeting Linda, my personal shopper for the afternoon.
Though I was a few minutes tardy, promptly waiting on the sofa was Linda. In her cobalt blue shirt, chunky necklace, patterned black pants and simple leather sandals, she wasn’t afraid of colour or making a statement. As a Texan where bright colors, big diamonds and even bigger hair are revered, I knew that I would like her immediately.
Linda had a warm smile and an infectious energy, thus I immediately felt at ease. Over a plate of colorful macarons and sparkling water, we got to know one another. As a journalist, lover of fashion and recovering shopaholic, I was curious as to how she came to start a shopping business in Paris as opposed to other fashion capitals, such as London, Milan or New York.
Fabulous You Paris
Just like me, Linda fell in love with Paris on her first visit. In fact, Linda’s first trip to Paris at the age of five. She recalls thinking that she would one day live in Paris. That dream has become a reality, as Linda has called Paris her home for over a decade. As a speaker of Italian, French, English and Spanish, Linda is certainly an international woman. She credits her parents for investing much time and money into her education. With a degree in fashion marketing and an advanced degree in advertising and marketing, Linda has studied or interned in France, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Hailing originally from Naples, Italy, fashion is in Linda’s blood. Her father once owned several clothing stores in southern Italy, and she was often by his side learning not only the family business, but also style and design. Throughout the years, she’s held most every sort of job in the fashion industry, including working as a salesperson at the flagship Louis Vuitton store on Paris’ famed Champs Elysees. Though, as much as Linda loves fashion, she didn’t love the cutthroat, Devil Wears Prada mentality of the industry. A people person, Linda wanted to work in a more positive environment where she could be her friendly and outgoing self. That’s when Fabulous You Paris was born.
Exploring Le Marais shopping scene
After peppering Linda with questions, it was her turn. I was there for shopping, and she needed to know my tastes. Of course, one look at me and she could probably rattle off twenty shops that would suit my style. Two hours would not be enough time, I thought. I could easily spend several days with Linda prowling through Paris’ seemingly unlimited boutiques and vintage shops. Not only a personal shopper, Linda is also an image consultant and wardrobe stylist. And having been in Paris for nearly a month, it was painfully clear that I could use some of Linda’s expertise in that regard.
Our shopping focus would be Paris’ popular Marais district. The largest Jewish quarter in Paris, the trendy Marais is a blend of stately villas, kosher restaurants, museums, gardens, cafés, independent boutiques and a few chain stores. The perfect place for a day of strolling and shopping, several of the Marais’ main streets are pedestrian-only, and it’s one of the few shopping areas in the city that is open on Sundays.
As we meandered, Linda pointed out some of her favorite shops, including a Russian bakery that makes divine macarons, boutiques from Japanese and Korean designers and a vintage shop that sells clothes by the kilo. As a self-professed expert in finding unique and non-clichéd Parisian souvenirs, Linda also took me into stores that specialize in French jams, lotion, olive oil and kitchenware.
Between the chatting and perusing, our time flew by. Prepared, I grabbed cards for the stores that piqued my interest. And which shops are those? Well, I promised Linda I wouldn’t give away all of her Marais shopping secrets. That’s exclusive knowledge reserved for her clients.
How to book your personal shopping experience
To make the most of this neighbourhood, stay at the boutique hotel, Hotel Bourg Tibourg, Paris