And then the final two days were the weekend, so it was a little more flexible. I popped into the showroom, and then joined one of my friends on this crazy cultural tour. We visited this incredible Alvar Aalto-designed house, Maison Louis Carré, about an hour outside of Paris. The following day, I went to the Musée Rodin, just on my own, because I had some time just to explore, walk the Seine, and decompress. I found some very adorable new wine bars on the border of the 10th. I noticed there had been this incredible resurgence of these very small, very authentic wine bars. I’m sure that anyone who is a true Parisian would say that they have always existed, but because I now have friends who actually live in the city, I was able to scratch beneath the surface and experience that a bit more.
Who was the most interesting person you met with?
Do you know the really beautiful clothing brand Refine? They have really special, elevated, kind of staples. Their philosophy is very much aligned with the one that we have at Lesse, and I had the chance to meet Anina, the founder, while I was in Paris—she has been living there for a couple of years. It was just such a treat to sit down with her one afternoon in the Marais, have a long lunch and a coffee, and really hear what her experience as a founder with such similar values is like in Europe. It was so insightful. But, I mean, I met so many incredible people. The tour guide at Maison Louis Carré was wonderful, and very witty. Her name escapes me now. But it was very inspiring to see someone who had such an appreciation for art and design, and the history of that house, and to be brought into that world through her experience and knowledge.
Highlight of the trip?
Our European distribution team opened their own space in Paris, and expanded the showroom into a really unique retail and treatment space, where you can go in, shop Lesse, and get a treatment that’s tailored to your skin. It usually includes Lesse products, but also incredible products from other lines that they work with. It’s called Healing House, and really is so beautiful. The sales director sourced incredible, vintage, very elegant furniture from Milan, where she lives, and Paris’s Les Puces flea market. We had a hell of a cocktail party there and I had the pleasure of meeting many other founders—people who are really making an impact on the wellness industry in Europe, and kind of changing the perspective on what wellness means there.
And the best thing you ate?
Oh, this is so hard because every meal was good this time. I have 168 places saved in my map. Okay, I happened upon this really incredible Japanese pancake. And it was such a surprise. The place was about two blocks from where I was staying, with this small door with a curtain over it, and all it said was “restaurant.” I was walking around in the rain, on my own, looking for a meal at around 9 p.m., and I was struggling to find anywhere that was open. Then I came across this spot. It’s called Okomusu; it only has about 12 seats, and everyone sits at the bar and watches the chefs. It’s mesmerizing. Right away, I knew it would be good. There was also this incredible Chinese restaurant, Shifu, where they make all of the noodles by hand, and all of the dumplings fresh as you order them. I went there for noodle soup. And it was really … that was probably the number one best thing I had while I was in Paris.