Tucked away in the bohemian and hipster neighborhood of the ninth arrondissement in Paris, a stone’s throw away from the foodie heaven that is Rue des Martyrs, the concept store Sept Cinq is a fashion and lifestyle voice to be reckoned with.
A well-curated selection of ready-to-wear, jewelry, accessories and lifestyle objects can be found on the premises . The boutique appeals to fashionistas, thirty-something cool Moms and young couples looking for fashionable items not readily available in every other concept store in Paris. Upon entering the shop, you immediately sense that a lot of thought has gone into the design of the space, with beautiful solid wood furniture and ceramic titled floors. There is a modern clean feel to the design of the boutique, with cement blue walls and citrus yellow detailing. A charming Salon de Thé awaits you at the back to enjoy a nice cup of tea with freshly baked pastries.
Aptly named after Paris’ postal code number, 75, the boutique proudly promotes “Made in Paris”. Every single designer they work with is based in the capital and produces locally. It’s a novel and courageous step for a new shop. They are limiting the number of designers they can turn to and working with small and independent brands can also be synonymous of higher price points. But focusing on an only Paris-made selection has been a very wise and flourishing approach for the boutique and they have managed to keep the price point very reasonable, which may also be one of the keys to their success. Neat and chic bow ties from the brand Balzac, geometric jewelry by Fosseth, delicate and feminine bracelets by Louise Damas or catchy printed t-shirts by Newstalk are just some of the Parisian brands Sept Cinq carries.
This week, Sept Cinq is celebrating their third anniversary, which in France, is quite a feat in itself for a small independent boutique.
I recently spoke with Audrey and Lorna, the two co-founders of Sept Cinq about their thoughts on entrepreneurship and how they envision the future.
You co-founded the shop together, can you tell us a bit about your backgrounds?
We met during our studies in 2008. We each had a dream: to open a tea/book shop (for Audrey) and a designer boutique (for Lorna). We talked about it and imagined a space that reflected who we are, where we could work together and bring our ideas to fruition. We applied to an entrepreneur competition and we won, that’s what set things in motion.
You are two young female entrepreneurs, did you face any hardships or challenges in opening your boutique?
It’s not easy to go into business at the age of 23. You must convince prospective partners such as banks or the property landlord that your youth isn’t synonymous with a lack of maturity, that to the contrary, it’s a strength.The hardest part was finding the shop. We felt as though we were never going to find our dream space in our dream neighborhood. The location of the shop can have such strong repercussions on the success of the boutique and that was very stressful for us! And finally, we had our “coup de coeur” (immediate love of something) so you shouldn’t loose hope.
Why did you choose to focus on the “Made in Paris”, rather than the “Made in France”?
We’re both Parisian and are passionate about design and we love to unearth young talents in our city. In a society where the standardized product is king, we wanted to recognize young designers that are not very well-known and the Parisian savoir-faire.We absolutely wanted to work with people in the same city as us. What a delight to be able to go and visit a designer such as Chic Sick Chic, a fifteen-minute bike ride away or to welcome Mimilamour or Archibald in the boutique.
It is vital for us to form strong and meaningful relationships with our designers, to see each other regularly, to know each other well and to work in a friendly and mutual environment. This proximity enables us to know our products perfectly and their respective designers, and share that knowledge with our clients.
Have you contemplated working with designers form elsewhere than Paris?
It isn’t in our plans at the moment but we would like to introduce our designers abroad, maybe with pop-up stores, why not…
You are celebrating the three-year anniversary of your boutique this week, congratulations! How do you imagine the future three years from now?
Filled with lots of hope and promises! We see ourselves with our two shops in Paris and why not a boutique in the United States or in Japan!
According to you, what are the current Parisian fashion trends?
It’s hard to say, our designers each have such different and very personal aesthetics, they don’t follow a specific trend but more so their personal inspiration. That’s what makes Parisian design so prosper, it’s varied and in constant renewal all the while remaining chic and timeless.
And finally, what are your favorite Parisian spots? A coffee shop, a restaurant or a walk maybe?
There are so many great places in the neighborhood, like the restaurant Buvette, Causses, the grocery store or the decoration boutique Curiosity. We love to go to the Saint-Ouen flea Market and the textile market, Le Marché Saint-Pierre.
Sept Cinq is open daily from Monday to Saturday 11am – 8pm
54, rue Notre-Dame de Lorette 75009 Paris
T: 09 83 55 05 95