I bloody love this girl, she feels about her flowers the way I feel about our vintage posters.
Check this out to see what I'm talking about.
And check out her blog if you feel like some happiness in your days.
So I was falling in love with this small Parisian kitchen while perusing my latest blog-crush, when...
...kapow! My heart exploded as I spied this original vintage movie poster stuck to the wall.
Amazing how often that happens. I fall for a home or a certain interior aesthetic grabs me & it ends up having a little vintage poster love going on.
So I've spent alot of the last couple of years wondering how much of me has gone into Galerie Montmartre? For a while there, I was raising the Petits & running around in the background, allowing L'Homme to be the face of the business. It was his interest in images that got us into collecting original vintage posters to begin with. So once the fog had cleared slightly from his collapse, I had to be very honest with myself....am I doing this because I want to? Is vintage poster art my thing or was it his & I just played along? Am I simply running this business in the hopes that he will return & everything can go back to the way it used to be? Or has as much of my heart, soul & passion gone into Galerie Montmartre as L'Homme's did?
In the early days, people were constantly asking me, in that slow, quizzical, am-i-ready-for-the-real-answer way? "So Femme d M, how's business? I mean, how are you finding the posters? Do you have enough stock? is everything OK?" And for a while I did my 'fake-it-til-I-make-it' routine, not truly knowing all the answers at that stage. I knew business was ok, I was pretty sure I could source more posters although I hadn't been on a buying trip in over 5 years myself, I had enormous faith in my staff. I knew I was putting one foot in front of the other, re-branding, holding meetings, putting systems in place, setting up social media, emailing contacts, putting on a big smile the hours I was at the gallery & I was getting good enough sleep. (Always a wonderful indicator that I'm at peace, despite the turmoil) It felt like there was momentum, even if it was slight & talking with my other retailing friends, I knew everyone was doing it tough. So, the fact I hadn't had to hold off one payment to anyone, I actually employed two more people & regular poster deliveries were being made was telling me that I was doing something right. And that "yes, business is good. Yes, all is well, thank you."
Then today, when I looked back at old photos I'd taken before the heart of Galerie Montmartre was changed forever, I smiled. I am indeed a collector at heart. Look at all these groups of things around the house, most still remain - frozen in time (!!)...must do something about that - even though alot of furniture & collectables have gone across to L'Homme's new digs. These are my collections. Magazines, books, candles, barware, vases from the 40's, the letter 's', crafty toys & of course, vintage poster art. Galerie Montmartre is definitely a part of me, it is my heart & soul.
Collecting is my thing & I have learnt that retail is definitely my thing. I couldn't think of doing anything else. I've learnt it in quite a cruel way, but I've learnt it & that's worth celebrating.
And a very big thank you for all the comments & emails I received in response to my last blogpost. I'm so grateful that you took the time to contact me. It was unexpected & really lovely. x
...ahhhh, doesn't that feel better?!
It's time to come clean, my little Fem De M-Ettes, I'm finally, truly, coming up for air & breathing deep, full breaths of fresh air after what must be the most harrowing two years of my life. Our family & therefore family business, completely turned on it's head by a random health issue which has now left L'Homme with a permanent brain injury.
I don't want this to become a pity party, because despite the upheaval, the many inevitable changes and reality checks, there's been a positive light.
It has forced me to truly look at my life;
who is in it? who can i call on? who is for me? what needs attention? where might I find myself if I don't make certain decisions? The how this happened to L'Homme was explained the day he collapsed. And I've not ever asked why, because truly, 'why not'? Who am I to think that something of this scale couldn't happen to our family?
This incident forced me to be raw in a way I never had to be before. A massive spotlight was shone onto our lives, everyone looking to either help, offer words of wisdom, learn or simply love us. The way we lived, the changes we needed to make, the way we have had to soldier on have been placed under a microscope and examined by professionals, family & friends. And that is a challenge to say the least. But it means you are forced to be stripped bare & with that rawness comes an inner strength & honesty....nothing can be hidden. Not how you live, how you think, your true self is at the very surface.
So, I'm being honest with you now. I love having a blog, but have barely been able to bring myself to look at it, as I've felt slight hypocritical, trying to bring sweetness & light, when the days have often been a little dark. Most of the moments I'd be blogging or reading those of friends are now spent in the bath after I've put the Petits to bed. Or I go to bed myself.
I am starting with baby-steps, now that L'Homme is happily living independantly with the freedom to work on himself & not worry about anything outside his personal progress....except for time with the Petits, which they all love. Now that I have emerged from my grief & confusion & feel grateful for the 19 years l'Homme & I shared together. Now I have learnt how to live with a bruised heart & start living independantly as the sole carer of our two little boys. Now that I am looking forward to the second half of my life with a full heart.
My blog baby-steps will be to write a post every Thursday, until I slowly build up to Tuesdays & then I may even throw in the odd Friday. I am going to visit colleagues & retailers, art galleries, I'm going to continue building our business, attending lectures, listen to stories of creative lovelies & generally fill my own cup.
Thanks for reading, I hope it makes sense. It's off the top of my head, I just needed to start a clean slate on this here blogosphere. From now on, there's going to be more me & more honesty.
See you next Thursday xxx
Some vintage poster images in honour of the rain beating on my tin roof...definitely one of my top three sounds. (Waves crashing & my boys laughing are the other two - just in case you were wondering!)
Ok friends - I had such a great night at our Five Years in Fitzroy Birthday Bash, that I took photographs before anyone had stepped through the door & then neglected to take a damn photo all night. I was too busy talking, too busy celebrating, too busy dancing my red-dressed butt off. What a celebration!
The band were awesome, the booze & cheese were fine & every single person who joined us last Thursday were obviously there to party. I know I threw the bash, but goddam, it was good. Ha!!
My speech consisted of five thank you's for five years.
This is what I am grateful for;
1. La Homme - his passion, his vision, for spotting that first vintage poster in 1996...which led to 3 more, then 10, then 30, then to our life savings, then to a business that (despite our lives being turned upside down; a whole new life of change & challenges for him after a near-fatal brain haemmorhage in June 2010) continues to grow, evolve & inspire;
2. Team Galmont - the people who supposedly work for me, but really, they work with me. Their joining Galerie Montmartre has evolved naturally & they have been the right people at the right time. Each member of our team are passionate about vintage posters, they take initiative, believe in Galmont & our vision & when I say "i think we should try this"...it just happens.
I gave an extra shout out to Michelle Belle, the little girl who turned up regularly to our shop back in 2007 with her vintage poster thesis & would leave saying "if you have anything for me, please let me know"....so eventually we let her know. She is now, my right-hand girl, my left-hand girl, my ambidextrous dynamo who has stood by me through challenges that no business, let alone group of people, should have to endure...never once wavering from her complete commitment to our company.
3. Our Collaborators - those who have businesses of their own that choose to be aligned with us, we share ideas, share work, take care of each other in a sea of small business owners who often are busy taking care of their own...they are;
* Tash Kuperman of Red Creative & SwapShuffleShare...go-to girl in the early days;
* our web man extraordinaire, Andy Pope;
* Creative Framing;
* Kate James, dear friend & biz whiz confidante from Total Balance & The Change Project;
* Phil Graham at Tarlo & Graham, emporium of the wild, one-off & plain wacky;
* Chris & Jools from Le Contraste, these classy, classy kids are beautiful people...wonderful friends;
* Luscious Lucy Feagins from The Design Files...doesn't need introducing;
* My little Pippy Doo Pip Lincolne from Meet Me at Mikes...needs no intro either;
* Lovely Lyn Gardner from Empire Vintage & The White House....builds her own personal little empire on top of those teensy vintage clad shoulders of her's;
* Muriel at Cassis, our personal French advisor!
* Monique from Up & Up Creative;
* Lizzy C; the whizbang photographer.
4. Fitzroy - no need to go on here...you all know how much I love our community...it was the sure thing in the many uncertainties of running a small business, our first retail gallery had to be in Fitzroy;
5. Every person who has bought a poster, looked at a poster, asked a question about a poster, marvelled over a poster, haggled over a poster, wondered about a poster, been delighted by a poster, been horrified by a poster, longed for a poster, celebrated the poster. Keeps me doing what I'm doing, keeps me asking how I can make the experience better for all those who engage in Galerie Montmarte.
What a trip! Here's to the next five years, where will they take us, is anyone's guess. It'll be fun though.
This Thursday night (19.04) from 6-9pm. For once in my life I will actually get my IPhone out & take some pictures of the event to show you. (Maybe someone can take a photo of me 'cause, quite frankly, the dress I'll be wearing is slammin'!! ha ha ha! Do people even use that phrase anymore?!)
It's shaping up to be quite a little shindig with many RSVP's from lots of lovely people.
I've been telling my friends there'll be live music, nibblies, booze...& a 2 minute speech.
If you can make it, my lovely blogettes, you are so welcome.
image; christina gordon is so damn clever over at jam fancy
I feel a sense of renewal around Easter time.
When I was growing up Easter was all about attending 237 Church services in one weekend (yes ok, you caught me out with a slight exaggeration there; 7 Church visits over a 3 day period though...kinda felt like it). So now that I am a grown up & choose to never do that again, I feel very indulgent to be able to take this time out. And boy, do I take the time out, doing
It's like I've taken a bite out of the new year, been given permission to take a breather before taking the next bite...the chocolate certainly helps.
...with love from me to you. I do mean it, I love the blogosphere.
Also, a very special shout out to my Dad, who never reads this blog; he announced to me a while back. The man came to every dodgy pub I sang at, back in the day, but can't read a few crazy words & look at a picture?!
He turns 70 on Sunday (my very own little April fool x)
I've had this on my desktop a while now. I love it! I wonder if my 40-something self could still rock this look? I like to think I could. Oh well, until I get my courage up, I'll continue to enjoy looking at the image....although, if you see a brunette wandering around Fitzroy dressed in a similar fashion, give her a smile, it might be the confidence boost she needs...just saying...
Have a great week, lovelies. x
PS. To all of you who dropped into our Flea Market at Galerie Montmartre on the weekend - thank you so much! Phew, what a day...people on top of people all rummaging around, there was such a great feel about the place. Wonderful.
I'm sorry I'm not 100% sure of the source of the image, I thought it was Shelter until I saw the graphics on the photo....Garance maybe?
We have rummaged around our inventory & found some great vintage & contemporary posters that we are offering for as low as $20, $50 & $100...and 10% store-wide for the day. Good, huh?
Some friends are also joining the celebration - Heather at Absolutely French & Muriel at Rouge Store - to tempt you with their goodies. And our delicious neighbours Grub Food Van will be serving French-inspired food. So an all 'round good day, would love to see you (or hear from you, as our online gallery will have the 10% sale for the day too) & hope we can spread the Galmont love!
Galerie Montmartre - Original Vintage Posters - Fabulous Flea Market
Surely you know about them? If not, you really should. Dare I say it, a Melbourne retail institution, these days. Always interesting, quirky, kitsch, wonderful. Beautifully curated. Always packed to the brim. And they do it their way. I love this place. If you can, drop by and see it, then you really should.
Everything that you see on this blog has been found, scanned, photographed, photoshopped, researched and lovingly written by Femme de Montmartre. You are so welcome to the content, just remember to link back to us as the original source. Thanks!