Today I would like to share with you all Scissors & Sage’s very first small business profile. I chose a small business that I am continuously drawn to: Petit Jardin en Ville. This “little garden in the city” can be found tucked away in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood, and it instantly transports you to Paris. Claudia Roux, Parisian florist and garden designer, is the owner of this magical storefront. She offers her floral design services for weddings, special events, parties, restaurants, and hotels, as well as her garden services for your every garden need year-round.
When I contacted Claudia to see if she would be interested in having her small business profiled on Scissors & Sage, she was delighted. I couldn’t wait to head over to Petit Jardin for an afternoon. From the minute you walk in, your senses are fed. Beautiful flowers, found objects, gardening tools, and whimsical French music fill the space. Claudia, with the help of her French-born husband, Vincent, assist customers both in and out of the shop. (I have personally received two flower deliveries at my front door from Vincent — what a happy sight!)
Claudia sat down with me and spoke of her journey to Petit Jardin en Ville, and below are some segments from our conversation. At the end of my visit, Claudia, Vincent, and I clinked apple tart slices to celebrate Petit Jardin. This shop, first opened in May 2014, has quickly won the way to my heart. I am excited to share Claudia’s story with you all today. Be sure to check out Petit Jardin en Ville online (Official Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook) or stop by in person!
From Claudia: After I met my husband, and right before we got married, I moved to France. We were living in Paris. I had always been artistic and had worked with florals, but I really didn’t find my path until I moved there. Flowers are part of the culture in France, so I started to take horticultural classes. I worked very closely with my teacher, Catherine Muller, who was the protégé of Christian Tutora. I studied with Catherine for the five years that I lived in Paris. I still continue to take classes with her now. Her aesthetic is very similar to mine. It’s a very garden-y kind of style that I like a lot. France is a mixture of old and new, which really brings an interesting aesthetic. It’s where I gained my understanding of combining both of those.
My husband and I spent a lot of time in different regions in France [collecting found items]. For example, in Bordeaux, you can find old metal grape pickers with leather straps that you would throw the grapes in as you picked. A lot of the areas we go to are in the countryside. We find a lot of farm pieces, which really appeal to my aesthetic, too. We like to go and find things that others haven’t found yet. We do bring some city-type things such as a parking sign and original advertisements from the 1940s. Of course, I choose many things that I can put flowers in, like bottles and glasses, to evoke a feeling of a relaxed, carefree atmosphere that you find in the countryside where people spend so much time outside.
Philadelphia as a whole has changed over the years. When we were looking at spaces, we kept coming back to Old City. We wanted to be part of a neighborhood, and to emulate the spaces you would find in Paris. Those spaces tend to be small and have a very special kind of dark feeling. The flowers bring the light to the inside. You know, I came from the suburbs where everything is big. When we moved to Paris, there were so many things that I left behind that I realized I didn’t need. You can live so beautifully and simply by just editing what you already have. It enabled me to see a different way of life, and I love small spaces now.
Blogs are really important for people like me to get feelings from. I look for interesting blogs that have a little bit of my aesthetic but also bring something different. If you’re doing different kinds of projects, it’s always super interesting to me. I love everything that you can do with your hands. The more you do, and the more you create, the more people will see.
If you have a really great idea, go with it. Don’t second-guess yourself; don’t hesitate. If you really like it, and if you can spend the time with it, it shows to other people and they will like it. In retrospect, I would have tried to start earlier and not be so afraid to start something new.