I went to Paris in mid-January to attend the Maison et Objet fair, for inspiration and to see original and beautiful things. Am I allowed to say I was a bit disappointed? First of all, the weather was awful, rain non-stop and brutally cold, reminding me how Paris is not that charming in the winter unless you are madly in love and everything looks beautiful. Demonstrations were in full swing, as is always the case. French people own the art of demonstrating! I wished I could see them once express their joy and gratitude in living in such a beautiful place instead of expressing outrage every time something made them uncomfortable. Just joking but not...I love Paris, I really do.
I was eager to uncover emerging brands and visit their celebrated "concept stores". Unfortunately, all my internet searches pointed to stores that turned out to be out of business, confirming my fear that even in Paris, small brands are doomed.

LVMH rules the world. And covid precipitated the phenomenon.

Everything looked homogenized, every "quartier" was taken over by massive luxury brand stores (to be fair, the French really know how to merchandise and design enchanted spaces), and Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel, Dior and their ilks were everywhere, on steroid. I was not only saddened but also angry. Paris was all about discovery, about creativity. Fashion is an industry meant to constantly evolve and bring small, new and creative designs to the forefront. Sadly, the big players have taken over, leaving little room for small, independent brands to make their mark. The domination by conglomerates like LVMH made me want to throw up. Paris, once the mecca of creativity and innovation had nothing to offer that NY couldn't.
So I came back a bit depressed until I got a gift from a dear friend of mine, a book called "The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse" by Charlie Mackesy.
Since my visit to Paris I was feeling overwhelmed by my smallness, powerless in making a difference and angry at myself for not knowing how to shake it off. I shared my frustrations and sadness with her and she took a breath and said: "Catherine, everyone is winging it. It takes courage to stand alone."
That simple book changed my perspective.
Indeed, ZADEH is small, but I make a difference. I see it every time on my clients' face when I see them.
Success is to give love, so I am glad to give it through my art, my jewelry. The biggest waste of my time is when I compare myself to others. I admit I do it sometimes with other jewelry designers, not as a mother nor as a person.
I wished I could listen less to my fears and more to my dreams.
Even though everybody sees my outside, everything happens on my inside and I am as sensitive as everyone else.
As I was talking to her, I had tears rolling down my face. "I sometimes feel so alone" I said. "You have to be kind to yourself. You are not alone." she responded. "Tears fall for a reason and they are your strength not weakness."
Everyone is scared, I know. Asking for help is not giving up. It's refusing to give up.

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