Behind the Scenes: The Paris Market Pâtisserie

This past week & half, The Paris Market has become a veritable pâtisserie as our design girls have been hard at work getting everything ready for our dessert-themed Valentine's Day windows & display. From three-layer cakes to petit fours to mini donuts & more, it was amazing to see what the girls were able to create with just a bit of spackling paste, model magic, & piping tubes. Keep scrolling to check out some behind the scenes photos of the girls hard at work in the "kitchen." And then be sure to come by the store soon to see the amazing finished products for yourself. They look good enough to eat!! ;)


Pick of the Week: The Fragrances of Santa Maria Novella

When it comes to selecting the perfect fragrance, quality is everything. It takes the perfect balance of precise ingredients to create a scent that is unique, flattering & lasting. Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is one of the world's oldest pharmacies - they've been around since the 13th century, in fact - so we're pretty sure they know a thing or two about fragrances by now. Keep reading below to find out more about their amazing history...

The old pharmacy
The Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella was founded in 1221 in Florence by the Dominican Friars who started making herbal remedies & potions to use in the monastery. Their reputation became world renowned and the pharmacy, sponsored by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, opened to the public in 1612. 

Many of Santa Maria Novella’s products have become a part of history: the world famous pot-pourri is still hand crafted in large terra cotta vats using local essences & plants as has 
been the tradition since the 1200’s. The first “Eau de Cologne” has been attributed to the pharmacy’s creation in the 1500’s of Catherine de Medeci’s “Water of the Queen.” She used the citrus & bergamot scented water constantly & gave it to all of her closest friends during her reign as the Queen of France. It’s popularity in France lasted into the 18th century whereupon a certain Italian, Giovanni Feminis, took it with him to Cologne & began to make it there, renaming it Acqua di Cologne or Eau de Cologne as a tribute to the city where it was produced. Today this refreshing mix uses the same original formula from the time of Catherine de Medeci & is simply called Santa Maria Novella. It is Santa Maria Novella’s Signature Fragrance and surely the most sought after of all of their scents. 

Some of the oldest products from Santa Maria Novella are among the most popular today. The Almond Paste is an excellent rich cream made from almond butter. The Rose Water can be used on the face for washing & removing make-up or for scenting linens. The Pot-Pourri with its pungent, spicy scent, is still hand made & left to ferment in large terra cotta jars. The Milky Soaps, scented with Santa Maria Novella’s own fragrances are made with whole milk to protect & soften delicate skin. And of course the Santa Maria Novella fragrances themselves; classic scents like Honeysuckle, Rose & Iris, exotics such as Patchouli, Marescialla & Calycanthus, &, romantics like Jasmine, Violet & Lily of the Valley.

Today, the Pharmacy is run under the direction of Eugenio Alfandery, a gentleman who has kept the tradition & legacy of Santa Maria Novella intact, while at the same time updating the centuries old methods & procedures that are the mainstay of the reputation of this great brand.

An early 20th-century photograph of the old distillery


Get to Know: Meredith Anne Sutton

One of the things we love the most about being located in Savannah is all of the amazing local artists, especially because that means we get to fill our shelves with their beautiful hand-made products. And although we don't like to play favorites, we are especially enchanted by the work of local jewelry designer, Meredith Anne Sutton. "Her style uniquely balances industrial & feminine influences & reflects her enamoring of found objects, including vintage pieces, architectural finds & hardware procured from old furniture. Sutton’s work is highly romantic & takes inspiration from literature & poetry, as well as structural relics. With an aesthetic that is at once clean, ornate & bold, Sutton works with mediums of sterling silver, 18k gold, bronze, & acrylic to present pieces apropos for the most discerning & mature woman to the chic young trendsetter." So naturally, you can see why she fits right in here at The Paris Market. We recently had the chance to visit Meredith in her studio & find out a little bit more about her process as a jewelry designer. Keep reading below to get to know Meredith Anne Sutton!

Working at her desk
Look familiar? ;)
How did you get your start as a jewelry designer?
When I began my studies at SCAD, my focus was Graphic Design. During my sophomore year, I was at a friend’s house who was majoring in Metals & Jewelry. I will have to say, I owe it to her because if I hadn’t seen all the cool things she was making, I wouldn’t have been inspired to use one of my electives for an Intro to Jewelry class. Two weeks into the course, I switched my major. From then on, I knew I would be a jewelry designer. 

What is your favorite medium to work with? 
Pretty much any kind of metal, but recently I have really enjoyed working with brass. It makes a great price point for my work & I love the contrast I can create with patina. 

In addition to working as a jewelry designer, you also work at Service Brewing Co. Can you tell us a little more about what you do there?
I am the creative marketing director. I handle all the creative direction for the company’s identity. I work with our graphic designer, writer & illustrator for our labels, merchandise, & other media outlets. I also designed the tasting room & curated the Tap Handle Project, a collection of 22 tap handles all created by artists.  

Piecing together a cuff 
Filing the edges of a completed cuff
What is your favorite part about what you do in both of your professional roles? 
Being creative, working with other artists/designers & passing on a product that makes people happy. I mean, jewelry and beer… it doesn’t get any better than that. 

What do you see as the biggest challenge of being a working artist & what are some ways you try to overcome it?  
Finding the time to do everything. I think every artist’s biggest challenge is time. I am constantly making lists, establishing daily deadlines, & have learned to bring in help during the holidays. I have had many sleepless nights just to make sure I meet those deadlines. 

What are your main sources of inspiration, particularly when starting a new jewelry piece?
Lately, it’s been the material. I think that is where it all starts. Whether it’s the metal or a found object, the idea takes shape as I create the piece. 

Studio details
From behind the artist's desk


Our Photo Collection is Back!

After taking a brief hiatus during the holiday season, one of our favorite collections is back out on the shelves! Our photo collection is back & better than ever!! One of our favorite things about this collection is that we find cool, new things about it each time we go through it. From vintage instruction manuals & camera parts to unique tintypes & hand-colored portraits, there's something for every photo enthusiast & collector out there! So be sure to come by the store & find a little piece of photo history to take home with you!!


Throwback Thursday: 36 West Broughton Street

One thing that we get asked about a lot is the history of our amazing building. And while we know bits & pieces, we decided to take a little field trip to the Georgia Historical Society to do some more serious digging. And we found out some pretty interesting stuff!

Our building in the distance on the left
Our building is located in Derby Ward, which was one of the first four original wards in downtown Savannah when the city was founded in 1773. In 1851, the structure in our current building's location, as well as many of the buildings around it, were completely lost in a fire. This was due largely in part to the fact that the buildings at this time were primarily constructed of wood.

Derby Ward
It wasn't until 1878 that the building that we occupy today came to be, thanks to a man named John Lyons. We found this excerpt published in the Savannah Morning News on May 31, 1978: "The handsome building known as the "Lyons Block," at the corner of Whitaker & Broughton streets...is the adoration of every citizen & is justly regarded as not only a decided ornament to Broughton Street, the great retail business thoroughfare of Savannah, but as probably the handsomest & most stylist row of buildings in the city." (Whew those writers back in 1878 were wordy!)

The article goes on to say: "The first floor of the corner building, which fronts on Broughton & Whitaker streets, will be occupied by Mr. John Lyons as a wholesale & retail grocery establishment...The store is provided with large magnificent show windows on both streets & splendid commodious entrances, and will be the finest looking establishment in the city. The cellar is 30 x 90 feet, has a brick floor cemented, thorough ventilation & light, and is perfectly dry & clean. In fact, no better cellars can be found anywhere than those with which the various stores in this block are provided."

Early 1900s
From then on, the Lyons Block became the mixed-used commercial center of Broughton Street. In addition to Mr. Lyon's grocery store, other rooms in the property served as everything from a dentist's office to a shoe store to a pub. The third floor of the building was even at one time known as Lyons Hall & served as a meeting place for social organizations. Although the facade of the building was drastically altered & modernized in the 1950s, by the time 36 West Broughton Street became home to The Paris Market in 2005, the building had been beautifully restored to it's original Italianate style.



Currently Inspired: The Great Outdoors

One of our favorite things about living in the south is that you can pretty much go camping any time of the year. And our latest entryway display, starring one of our favorite new finds: a vintage canvas cot, has got us inspired to pack our sleeping bags & spend a night out in nature. Unfortunately, the weather is a little dreary right now, but we're already looking ahead to the weekend &, thankfully, the forecast calls for a whole lot of sun. In the meantime, come on by the store & get inspired by our homage to the great outdoors!  


A Few of Our Favorite Things: Isaac

It's been far too long since we've gotten to share a few of our favorite things with you & there are definitely a few new members of The Paris Market family who are eager to do so! Today we are so excited to officially welcome Isaac to The Paris Market team as one of our awesome coffee bar baristas. Originally from Illinois, Isaac recently moved to Savannah to pursue film & music. When he's not behind the coffee bar perfecting his latte art, you can find him writing for online blogs, including Savannah's own music blog, Hissing Lawns, & working on his own artistic pursuits, whether that be working on films or writing & recording music. The ginger of the family, Isaac always makes work more fun with his witty banter & film trivia. Check out a few of Isaac's favorite things below & be sure to say hi the next time you see him at the coffee bar!!

1. Price's Anti-Tobacco Candle Tin | 2. Minimalist Lamp by Collin Garrity | 3. Vintage Ledger Book | 4. Honey Breve | 5. Black & White Photography Print by Kelia Anne


Currently Inspired: Dried Botanicals

For those of us with a green thumb, winter can be a particularly lackluster time of year. It becomes even harder to bare these brisk days when all you want to do is get outside in the garden & get your hands dirty. And while there are a few winter-hardy vegetables that you may feel brave enough to try & grow, we've found another way to please our gardening urges during the winter: with our collection of beautiful dried botanicals. Although it's not quite the same as maintaining a living plant, we've been having just as much fun making arrangements of these dried beauties & placing them all over our homes. So even if you may have already started the countdown for spring, come on by the store & find the perfect way to keep your green thumb inspired in the meantime.


On the Shelf: Natural Curiosities

One display that we always look forward to setting up the most is our collection of natural curiosities. Maybe it has something to do with our inquisitive nature but we always have so much fun taking all of these odd bits & ends & finding a way to make them fit together. From shells & geodes to taxidermy & bones, you never know what you might find in our collection. So be sure to come by the store soon & see if you can manage to resist the urge to pick up a magnifying glass & explore every detail of this amazing collection. ;)


Yearly Recap: The Best of 2014

It's hard to believe that it's already that time again...one year is coming to a close & another is beginning. But before we say goodbye to 2014 for good, we wanted to take this opportunity to look back on our favorite moments from the year. And what a year it has been! 

The Paris Market Family

Probably the best part of what we get to do, is who we get to do it with. We had to say goodbye to far too many amazing members of The Paris Market family this year, but thankfully we also got to say hello to just as many wonderful new members. And let's be real, once a Paris Marketeer, always a Paris Marketeer. :)

Some of Our Favorite New Products in 2014
Sweetfield Leather Bracelets
Pendant Lights & Wooden Birds by Collin Garrity 
Puppet Parts
Repurposed Lockers
Adelene Simple Cloth Pillows
Produce Candles

A Few of Our Favorite Windows & Displays of 2014

Paper Moon 
Grand Hotel
Back-to-School Windows
Savannah's Fashion Night Windows 
Ashley Woodson Bailey
Clue Windows
Cabinet of Curiosities
Repurposed Books Holiday Display
Winter Wonderland
Woodland Elf Cottage Windows

The Paris Market Café

One of our biggest undertakings of the year was expanding our coffee bar. We couldn't be more happy with the results & we're sure that all of our regulars feel the same. And possibly the best thing about our new & improved coffee bar is the expanded menu! Throughout this year alone, we switched to Cup-to-Cup coffee, began brewing French press, & started offering sandwiches from Back in the Day Bakery, tarts from The Naked Tart, & pastries from The Florence. We can't wait to see what 2015 will bring to our coffee bar!!    

Connect Savannah: Best of Savannah 2014

Savannah's Fashion Night

Ashley Woodson Bailey Reception

Rooms With a View

Annette Joseph Book Signing

To each & every one of you who shared 2014 with us, thank you for helping us make the year so special! Here's to an even more exciting & memorable year ahead!
See you in 2015!