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In the Marché aux Puces in Paris, the famous Parisian flee market, I once saw a sign that read: If just looking, la Louvre is downtown. This sign sums up how many North Americans perceive the French to be – snooty and rude. My experiences in Paris have not held this to be necessarily true. I find that Parisian service staff are generally gracious and friendly. The snob factor is more about being forthright or giving an unsolicited opinion or advise, which is some cases may not be so nice. On the flip side it may be well-deserving or even welcome. The French will often correct my woeful attempts to speak the language and 80% of the time I appreciate this. I need the help.

But back to the flee market vendor sign. To North Americans this sign it is exceptionally arrogant and rude. To the French, while still cheeky, it’s more about letting the public known that they are in fact a store. They are there to sell, and need to sell to be in business.

Which brings me to my point of this article. We are a store and need to sell so please mess up the displays. Go ahead, buy the mirror off the wall or the lamp that seems so fittingly part of a vignette. It will look great in your home and we welcome the challenge to re-make the store. New pieces and new looks is what bring you back again and again.

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