The most amazing thing that my blogging journey has brought me, are the friends around the world that I have made solely because I blog. I’ve formed friendships with some astoundingly talented, energetic (or should I say driven) women that I have met along the way.
I was thinking a lot about these ladies as I recently spent the weekend with one of my daughters, who hadn’t been home for a while and who is currently caught up in the excitement and whirlwind of beginning her own professional life. She has created her own company, which is no small achievement at only 23 years old and I am one proud mama! She is passionate and driven, and over the weekend I smiled to watch her take astute business decisions and field multiple phone calls as if she had been in business for years already.
I’m not sure where we girls find this energy, and I’m certainly not saying that women have cornered the market when it comes to surprising exploits, but today I simply want to celebrate some of the amazing talent I am fortunate to have met. Some were originally readers of the blog; some were clients buying antiques; others were simply met over a luncheon in Paris … today they are all good friends and I am proud to be seen in their company.
So here in no particular order are a few of the talented people that the blog has brought my way:
Tish Jett – blogger, journalist and best selling author
My dear friend Tish, always so generous and so quick to encourage. And so modest! Did you know that her first book Forever Chic was an Amazon best seller for years and translated into 14 languages! Her second book is released next month and I’m already a fan.
Carla Coulson – photographer and life coach
Carla is the most Italian Aussie that I know! Exuberant, energetic and so full of life. She is a very gifted photographer with a specialty in portraits of women. She has the rare gift of knowing how to listen and understand people, and this makes her a successful life coach. She also sells prints of her pictures and has published several books about life in Italy.
Jeni Maus – stylist and entrepreneur
Jeni popped into my life quite out of the blue, many moons ago, when she came to Normandy to shop with me. I didn’t know at the time that this young energetic woman was going to become a dear friend. Today after all these years, her sure eye and business acumen continue to leave me in total awe.
She created the successful company Found Rentals the same year as I started My French Country Home. We meet up whenever possible and have shopped and traveled together ex-tens-ively! I’ve stayed with her family, and they have all been here too. She is a precious friend and our meet-ups are never long enough for all that we need to talk about.
Sandra Sigman – master florist and entrepreneur
I first bumped into Sandra at the Chatou antique fair. She was looking gorgeous (which I now know is normal, because she always does) and we spoke briefly about buying antiques in Normandy. A few months later she visited me and we shopped together and a friendship was born. I have visited her awesome store in Andover, Les Fleurs, and each Spring, we host a tour in Provence together for her private guests.
She specialises in wedding flowers, and also sells a beautiful selection of French antiques. I love chatting with her about family, flowers and also about business, and our compared experiences.
Vicki Archer – author, blogger, influencer, and hotelier
When I started blogging Vicki was my (and many other people’s) icon! She has a true flair for design both in the home and in the wardrobe. Globetrotter and successful author, she also owns a stunning boutique hotel in St Remy de Provence. We regularly meet for a lunch or a brunch in Paris and we always have too much to talk about.
Shannon Ables – author and life coach
I was thrilled to meet Shannon for the first time this year, after several years of corresponding or talking by Skype. She did not disappoint! Her beautiful blog The Simply Luxurious Life is a true reflection of her personality and the way she lives. Clear-minded, organised and great fun! We share a love for walking our dogs in the forest, and we both enjoy highlighting the talent we see around us! I am in awe of her energy and her entrepreneurial spirit.
Her first book , Choosing the Simple Luxurious Life appeared in 2014 and I’ll be featuring her new book on my Instagram story this week, it’s called Living the Simple Luxurious Life, and is a new release this month. In this new volume you’ll find pages of ideas for living a rich and fulfilled life while keeping the right balance and staying focussed on the essentials.
Also on her website she has started her own cooking videos, which are such fun to watch!
Susan Blakey – blogger, stylist and influencer
Susan and her husband live in California but visit Paris regularly and have stayed with us here in Normandy. She started her blog Une Femme d’Un Certain Age when she was still holding down a high powered full-time job. A few years ago she gave up her ‘day job’ and since works full time on her very popular and successful website where thousands of people visit every day for her wardrobe and travel tips.
Stacey Caron – blogger, cook and raconteur
I first met Stacey when she came to Normandy with her husband Henry many years ago. They emerged from the taxi that brought them here, and I was somewhat intimidated by this striking, sophisticated couple, who brought an air of New York glamour to our Normandy countryside.
Since then we have become good friends and enjoyed many meals together on both sides of the Atlantic. She writes a wonderful blog Stacey Snacks where she shares her delicious recipes every day, and it is a mystery to me why she hasn’t published a cookbook.
Tina – blogger, stylist and entrepreneur
Tina is the only lady on this list that I have not yet met in person, although I feel as if I have! She started her blog The Enchanted Home a couple of years after I started mine, and as well as watching her blog grow we also watched her build a very beautiful and enchanting home.
Her taste was so perfect that she soon found herself inundated with requests for information to buy the pieces she was using to furnish her new home, and that is how her shop came to be. Today her thriving business is a byword for New England glamour and beautiful home decor. What I love the most about Tina is her down to earth approach to everything she does. We all want to be her best friend, and we certainly all need her shopping tips!
Jeanne Henriques – blogger, mother and globetrotter
Jeanne is a truly elegant lady. I’ve been fortunate to meet her a couple of times, and we exchange by email regularly. She has never diverted her blog, Collage of Life, into a business of any sort, and that sits well with her personality.
Mother of four, I believe that she has a family member on nearly every continent. She is by definition a globetrotter as she and her husband travel for professional reasons, while renovating their stunning Tahilla Farm, and visiting various children at the far ends of the earth. She surely knows a thing or two about having friends around the world!
Jeanne has an artists soul, and a curious, open-minded approach to life that is very charming. She has also undertaken a landscaping and garden project at her home that is quite breathtaking.
Charlotte Ann-Fidler – mother, gardener extraordinaire, and recent entrepreneur
Charlotte shot to sudden instagram fame because of this very enviable view from her home. She shares her home, her beautiful garden and her life with her two girls growing up in the English countryside.
Most recently though she has launched a brand of skin care products for teenagers called Spots and Stripes, and I look on in wonder as the brand is taking off and looking quite fabulous.
And last but not least … Paula of Hill House Vintage
Paula lives in the English countryside in Norfolk, in a house which she and I refer to as the sister of my house here in Normandy. She worked in the world of fashion for many years, enjoying the excitement of London, but is now most definitely a country girl, and shares with the world her daily pleasures , be it decorating, antique buying or simply walking her dog.
Visit her blog Hill House Diaries