I don’t know why I feel shallow saying I love retail.
Millions of people love Nascar, summer blockbuster movies with explosions, and cat videos on the Internet – all things that are kinda silly to me, but I am not judging – so why do I feel shallow saying I love walking into a clean, well-edited store, that is playing great music, has great service and wonderful discoveries in every display?
Maybe it is because I am a little embarrassed by how my heart races, a dumb smile crosses my face, and how I will spend an hour deciding what to buy to support an establishment with the hopes that others will get to experience it as well?
And that is how I felt at Merci in Paris.
Tucked between two buildings and fronted by a courtyard, Merci was started by the couple that runs Bonpoint, a children’s fashion label. The couple decided Paris lacked a store that brought together the best products in design, fashion, and household goods – so they opened exactly that.
And the store’s proceeds go to a charitable foundation to finance projects in human development and education, which is a really great bonus.
Each season the courtyard and store entryway is transformed into a different theme. When I visited in May, the courtyard installation was full of potted plants for purchase and the entryway reminded me of an urban campground, complete with bug nets and highlighting the wonderful linen bedding from the Merci brand.
I was especially taken by the linen sleeping bags on posted on the far wall. I really, really wanted one, but if you know me, you know that camping and I do not get along. So we marched upstairs to view the housewares section.
The entire upstairs is full of exactly how I want to live. Genius tablescapes of colored glass and linen accents. All I kept thinking was “how much can I fit into my suitcase…and what amount can I spend before customs stop me and make me pay duty?”
Because I was taking too long to decide what to purchase (a hallmark of my love of retail), the Husband suggested we head back downstairs for another look.
The back half of the first floor was women’s fashion, which features the in-house Merci brand of basics, but I also saw several made in USA brands represented – Sundry, Marie Turnor, and Rachel Allegra. It was kind of like seeing old friends in a different town!
We also shopped the lower level, which was full of gardening tools and supplies and made me want to buy a lakehouse!
So…what did I buy?
I have three rules for any purchase – simple, functional, and beautiful design – and those aprons met all three rules. I needed one…but struggled to decide which colorway I needed.
The staff of the store is not in uniform, but they all wore the orange aprons folded in half and double tied at the waist. They all looked so cool.
I mean, orange would be perfect for gameday, but would clash with my decor. I decided to get the slate blue with maroon accent because it would match my kitchen. I also bought matching napkins, because your apron should match your napkins, right?
I am pretty happy with my choice, but think I will definitely get an orange apron on my next trip!