Hey! Have you ever fantasized about living in a creative, thriving city in the South of France where the temperatures are glorious and you can go straight from enjoying breakfast in a charming cafe to walking down the hill for a swim in the sea? How about if your life expands to include living in and renovating a 300 year old farmhouse an hour north of that city — sounds flipping amazing, right? Wait– what if you ALSO had a pied-a terre in Paris to round it all out?!
You think I am being silly, right? Nobody could create a life like that which also includes running their own calligraphy and design studio . . well kids, apparently it is not a dream. JOY FAIRCLOUGH of Studio French Blue is doing just that and I have to say, chatting with her this morning on the dock has filled my heart with the magic of possibility.
An American who grew up in Michigan, Joy went to France on something of a lark, but found her true home. And, in the process, she found that one of her most favorite past-times could, in fact, be a very profitable small business.
The story of how Joy and I have connected is rather dear to my heart. In January I received a comment on the last blog post I wrote about losing my dad. Here is what Joy wrote,
Dear Elizabeth, I’m sorry for your loss. J’ai été très émue d’apprendre la disparition de ton papa… Years ago, I fell in love with your writing when I happened one day upon Blue Poppy (Puppy), and read straight through the archives. I’m American, and I’ve lived in France for almost a decade now. I’ve thought of you many times over the years (and nearly always of the sweet story of your papa, and his pronunciation à la française), and the other day your writing was on my mind all morning, so I googled you… and came across this new(er) blog and this post. I came back again today to extend my condolences. You’ve been on my mind and heart since I read this post last week. Thank you for all you’ve shared. I hope you are being loved-up by your nearest and dearest. On pense à vous …
Wow, right? So– you can imagine that Joy and I began a conversation following her lovely comment and one of the craziest bits was that I had JUST (I mean, like a day or so before) chosen JOY as my word of the year.
If you want to learn more about Joy, she links to several wonderful interviews in the blog at her website, but here is one in particular I thought was just so lovely: An wonderful interview with Joy
All photos courtesy of STUDIO FRENCH BLUE