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Merci's Fiat de Resistance

 ink & watercolour illustration on cotton paper, 6.25" x 9.25" [16 x 23cm]

It's one thing to say, "Merci," when leaving a store in Paris ~ it's another to give your store that name.  And what better name to choose, when your store sends all its profits {after break-even} to charity, as does Merci. This generous creation of Marie-France et Bernard Cohen {founders of iconic children's boutique, Bonpoint} is housed in a converted textile factory on Boulevard Beaumarchais on the edge of Le Marais.   {I'm tickled pink that they used a drawing for their website, which I found after doing my illustration.  And I'd be even more tickled pink if it was mine, yes.}

Merci stocks all kinds of quirky recycled, upcycled and unicycled items of furniture, homewares and fashion.  There's something for all the senses ~ you can also partake of lunch or coffee, and take your empty flacon to the Annick Goutal perfume bar {Marie-France's late sister} for a refill.   This excellent article says it all, so without further ado, I'd like to draw attention to the star of the show, "a teeny, vintage, red Fiat Cinquecento at the entrance, overflowing with funky objects like a modern sculpture, that give Merci its unique charm.  The Cinquecento installation, created by the London-based photographer and style director Tim Walker, sits at the entrance like living, three-dimensional photo advertisement - improbable, yet there it is."

I'd like one, inflatable crocodile and all.  {Clarence needs company.}  How about you?  Santa, are you there???


  1. They most definitely should use your illustration! I wondered how you came up with that over stuffed Fiat (de resistance - lol! I will have to use that line from now on. I can't wait for all the silly people who will try to correct me! I will just tell them it's the Australian version.)including a companion for Clarence.

    I like the name Marie-France so much I am thinking of changing mine to Cali-France!

  2. Cali-France, what a brilliant idea.

    I have a brilliant idea, too. Shell-France, since the store is about charity, why don't you donate your charming picture to them to use on their website? They'll start commissioning your works, and what could be better PR?

  3. Cali-France ~ Clarence would be SO delighted! {And look what you've started, LOL!}

    Petrea-France ~ great minds and all that ~ a noble idea, for sure! So far, I've not found an email address for them, so does this mean I'll have to cobble together some French and pick up the phone? A scary proposition, though a worthwhile cause.

    Marie-France ~ are you out there???

  4. If it required a phone call I"m not sure I'd do it!

  5. Great idea to add France to our names, Petrea. We are like the girls in Petticoat Junction: Billie-Jo, Bobby-Jo (I accidentally wrote Ho) Betty-Jo!

    Shell-France: I am sure you know this already, but you can get really cheap rates to France from Skype.

  6. Petrea-France ~ an email definitely allows more scope for the trusty French dictionary... :)

    Cali-France ~ ho ho - I mean, hee hee!! And unless Skype comes with a built-in translation service, that's a great thought for my purse but I'm still chicken.

  7. We will come up with a plan, Shell-France.

    Sheesh, I can't believe I forgot to address Petrea as Petrea-France. It is past my bedtime. A demain.

  8. It's late, Cali-France. I think Petrea-France has already retired for the evening. Sweet dreams!

  9. Mise-France here, admiring the lovely drawing, and also just remarking that Shell-France is pretty amazing. The rest of us just have to type type click type POST BLOG ENTRY, whereas she does draw draw colour concentrate scan type type POST BLOG ENTRY, regularly and beautifully. So Merci for that.

  10. Oh, they must use this illo! I'll do some research and see if I can find anything resembling an email address. Perhaps send to the Bonpoint for forwarding?


  11. Virg-France here. So explain how in the world I have not found this place? Well I'll find it this time Missy and you can take that to the banque! I'll march right in and inquire where their collection of Shellsherree's are located, s'il vous plait?? And BONPOINT??OMG their children's stores are to die for. I have the window of the baby store somewhere. I ran it on my blog a while back I think. I'll have photos this time. Lots of photos. Not to worry.

  12. Ok, I sent an email to Bonpoint asking if they had an e-contact for Merci. We shall see.

  13. Virg-France, Eric posted about Merci awhile back, young lady. You must have been busy gallivanting across the French countryside, otherwise you wouldn't have missed it.

  14. Shelly, this is delightful. Great comments and suggestions, too. Your work is magical, they should use it!
    (I resisted the urge to say GyPsY- France, as you can see)

  15. I like the France suffixes! I shall be PCN-France, though it doesn't sound quite as melodic as the others. More like an airline.

    Sooooo, Shell, what's the address of the store again? I might just go there and drive away that Fiat while no one's looking. Don't worry---I'll be charitable. I'll give away the stuffings and just keep the car.

    I second the idea that they should use your drawing!

  16. Well, look how much you all achieve while I'm sleeping ~ I wish I could achieve as much while I'm sleeping. :)

    Finie-France ~ somehow, I thought you would!

    Mise-France ~ {very pink blush}

    Altadenahiker-France ~ not only the Renaissance woman but a little Inspector Maigret as well. Great thinking!! And I should have linked to Bonpoint, with its delightful Soledad Bravi illustrations throughout. Aah.

    Virg-France ~ LOL ~ you are a woman on a mission ~ I'll pick up some ginseng pep-me-up pills so I can keep up with you. :)

    Petrea-France ~ excellent memory! Here's Eric's Merci.

    Gypsy-France ~ I couldn't resist, on your behalf ~ on the other hand, you could be Gypsy de Resistance. :)

    PCN-France ~ hee hee, you are cleared for takeoff. If you used your real name, it would be a very pretty combination! 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais in the 11th arrondissement, right near the Marais. Métro: Saint-Sebastian Froissart, Line 8. Not that I recommend attempting le Metro as your getaway plan.

  17. Called out by Petrea-France, well you will see moi posing beside said Fiat in the very near future. I'll be all over that place. There will be hell to pay if they don't allow photos.! Now off to King Eric's place to do a search. Gallivanting........MOI???

  18. That store sounds delightful!

    The picture is fabulous; I love all the details. I've got to say though, you had me at "inflatable crocdile" - it made me laugh out loud. :D

  19. Katie-France checking in. (How can I not join in the fun, especially since I have to admit I like the ring of my new name?!) I love this drawing; what fun it would be to show up at Merci with a little Fiat like this to pack to the gills with cool stuff! I forgot to visit this store last trip, so it's now definitely on my new list for next year. I hope you're able to contact them as I'm sure they'd love your drawing!!

  20. I'm still giggling at the moniker, "Altadenahiker-France." We could call her "Karin-France," but it doesn't have the same je ne sais quoi.

  21. Virg-France ~ if photos aren't allowed, I'm sure you can put your Southern charms to good use...

    Amy-France ~ it made Clarence happy, too!

    Katie-France ~ I have to say, the new Fiat Bambino has made a dramatic overnight move up my 'new car' shopping list.

    Petrea-France ~ true, though if we went for "KB-France", it would give "PCN-France" some company.

  22. What a lively conversation. I think I'll take the Fiat. I don't need new.

  23. I HAVE to go and visit that place on my next trip to Paris ! And if I can come back home in a Fiat 500, it would be great !!!

  24. How generous of them, and how artistic of you to express it right.

    Forest Warbler

  25. Margaret-France ~ red seems to bring out the liveliness in everyone...

    Marylène-France ~ my Italian needs a lot of work {ANY work would help} ~ it took way too long to occur to me that the Fiat 500 is the same as the Fiat Cinquecento!

    Bhavesh-France {why not?} ~ many thanks. ;)

  26. You betcha! Oh wait, I didn't say that did I ???Pardon, pardon!
    Virg- Southern France

  27. Still waiting to hear back...

    Altadenahiker-France. (I love me new name.)

  28. Virg- Southern France ~ say what? Of course you didn't. :)

    Altadenahiker-France ~ I'll wait with you.

  29. Alexa-France here, after the fact. I hate it when my job keeps me so busy that I miss visiting your post and getting in on the back-and-forth. These folks should only be so lucky to have your fab illo to use!
    And I hope Santa sends you at least an inflatable croc (if not a shiny red Cinquecento).

  30. Alexa-France ~ so glad you made it! I was starting to fret. :) Clarence has already hung out a stocking in hope. {It would have been impolite of me to ask what may have happened to the previous owner of same...}


Merci, grazie, thank you for joining our conversation lounge. Your smile lights up the room. Even more beautifully than our crystal chandelier. x

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