The Inside Guide
Allow me to introduce you to the inspiring lady Kate Davis, founder of the site NettementChic. With a love affair for the net and a passion for online shopping, Kate quit her job as a lawyer to embark on her lifelong dream of becoming an entrepreneur and setting up her own online business here in Paris.
Kate founded NettementChic with the idea of bringing under one roof the best of French online boutiques (in fashion, beauty, accessories, home wear, and children’s wear). Each day Kate scours the web with her team searching for the coolest sites and curating specialist shopping guides. These include ‘Chic picks of the day’, ‘Chic looks of the week’ and, for this festive season, a sparkling shopping guide for a Chic Noël.
Chic Noël Guide de NettementChic
Over breakfast at Claus, I met with Kate to chat about the inspiration behind NettementChic, living in Paris, her personal style, her favourite Paris addresses and also to see if she has up her sleeve some chic e-tips for this festive season…
The inspiration behind NettementChic?
When I was organising the preparation for my wedding three years ago here in Paris, I was working twelve hour days, I didn’t have the luxury of time to go round all the boutiques trying on dresses. I fell in love with a dress on Net-A-Porter and I bought it online. When it arrived at the office, my French colleagues couldn’t believe what I was doing. Shopping online was not something they were used to, and moreover shopping online for a wedding dress seemed crazy to them! I mean compared to my friends and colleagues in London who were all shopping online (thanks to Net-A-Porter) their reaction seemed bizarre. I realised then that there was no real online shopping culture or market here in Paris, and that my friends/colleagues needed a guide to chic online shopping. I think that started to resonate with me and this combined with an ambition to start my own business. With a now or never attitude, I quit my law job and three months later in January 2013 I launched NettementChic! The rest is history in the making!
How would you describe NettementChic?
I would like to say that it is like having a glass of red wine with a friend who always has a new chic address up her sleeve.
How would you describe the NettementChic experience so far?
Having worked in a law firm for years, where everything was so inward looking, NettementChic has opened up a whole new world for me. I have met wonderful people and I am learning something new every day. It’s an exciting venture I can finally call my own. I have 140 partners now on board including (Net-A-Porter, Merci, Esensual Living, Sézane and L’Exception) and my dream is to build NettementChic into one big family.
How long have you lived in Paris?
I have lived here for seven years. I met my husband on my third day of being here. I am a 1st arrondissement girl!
What do you love about living in Paris?
For me it’s the intangible things you can’t find anywhere else except in Paris. When I first moved here (7 years ago) it was the things like coffee and cigarettes, moped fuel on a cold morning and the grey buildings on grey sky. I also love to run through the Jardin Tuilleries at night, with the Musée D’Orsay on one side and the Louvre on the other, it’s incredible!
Your Paris luxuries?
Champagne is not just for special occasions! It’s so true in France and something I love about living here. My other luxury is the open fire in my apartment! I am the happiest girl in the world on a Friday night drinking champagne from my vintage Baccarat champagne glasses!
A favourite café?
My favourite café in Paris is Le Café Castiglione on Rue Saint Honoré. On my first working day here in Paris, I was early for work and I stopped outside the café to say hello to the dog outside. The owner came out and said ‘are you in or not Mademoiselle?’. Next minute, I was inside, enjoying a coffee and a croissant and chatting with the owner. I will never forget it. I’m not sure if the coffee is any good there but this café always sticks with me. I also love Claus for breakfast!
How would you describe your personal sense of style?
I am a great believer in basics. For me, that means skinny jeans in black and pale grey, black and grey cashmere tops and t-shirts, and black dresses from a favourite boutique in La Marais called L’Art du Basic. I think it all started with having to wear a uniform at school – I can’t make complicated clothing decisions in the morning! Having said that, I do love bags (Tila March is a favourite French designer), shoes (Jimmy Choo for pointed pumps) and my Venna necklace that I wear with everything.
Kate wears: cape from ASOS, jeans are from MiH (Made in Heaven), boots by Gianvito Rossi and hat from Terry de Gunzberg.
A favourite Bistro?
Bistro Volnay, on Rue Volnay is an old favourite
Your favourite online boutiques?
What are your favourite digital reads?
Louise Paris – Eloise (the founder) takes utterly beautiful photographs, especially during Paris fashion week and they are what takes her online shop to another level in terms of content. She is also a delightful person to while away a few hours with! Garance Doré, always a pleasure, I flick onto her site every day!
What are some of your treasured pieces?
Vintage Champagne flutes, Bib & Sola carafe, Venna necklace and my grandmother’s glass paperweights
Your favourite French pharmacy products that you cannot live without?
I went to see a brilliant dermatologist called Catherine Planté and this trio was her prescription: Avene water spray, Bioderma hydrabio cleansing milk and Ictyane moisturizer.
Your favourite festive things to do in Paris?
Decorate my tree whilst listening to cheesy (english) music and drinking champagne. Walk across Place Vendome at night to look at the lights. Drink red wine at the bar of Les Caves Legrand and buy presents in the shop afterwards. Go to the Comptoir de la Gastronomie on the Rue Montmartre to buy foodie treats to take back to London.
A warm thanks to Kate for taking time out to chat. You can find Kate’s good news from around the web and her chic online shopping guides over on NettementChic.