This week’s blog is dedicated to the city of Paris and its people.

The first time I went to Paris, I cried when I had to leave. Now, it was January and I was going home to San Diego, so I really had no reason to cry. And although I was in my 30s, I cried like a 5 year old. I knew I was being ridiculous. But after experiencing the level of quality and passion that the French put into everyday experiences, I just didn’t want to go home.

I was incredibly lucky to spend the week there with my Dad. I dragged the poor guy up and down every boulevard, into every shop and through every pastry shop/cafe/chocolatier/perfumery I could find. We had never really spent that much time alone together since I was an adult, and he’s normally very quiet, but it turned out when there wasn’t anyone else around to talk, he had some things to say! We talked more about life, his youth and our families on that trip than ever before or ever since. And only Paris could do that.

But the great thing about being in Paris is that we didn’t have to talk all the time, because every experience was so enjoyable that you really didn’t need to add words. Every meal was out of this world. Everything smelled wonderful. Every building was a masterpiece; around every corner there was a statue, a garden, a park or some other magical discovery. It is so rare when a place that is so hyped actually lives up to, let alone exceeds, your expectations. One of my favorite moments was walking home after another fabulous dinner, and watching perfect, idyllic snowflakes fall all around us. I hadn’t felt that kind of magic in a long time.

When I got home, everything seemed colorless and bland. And unlike most vacations that you shake off after a few days back at work, I couldn’t shake it. I had been stirred and nothing was the same after. Paris had awakened all of my senses and I suddenly felt like I was settling in life.

But who was making me settle? I was. I was on autopilot and feeling stuck in a bland, yet comfortable existence. And Paris represented one giant pandora’s box of creativity and passion and quality and excitement and joie de vie that I knew I wanted but I just didn’t know what to do with.

It was out of this experience that Charmone was really born. Lauren and I had talked about it before, and we were on a path to creating a business, but I didn’t feel a sense of urgency until I went to Paris. It wasn’t anything specific- I didn’t meet any shoe people on that first trip or have any “a-ha” moments about the business. I just knew that I had to do something that kept my senses awakened like that. I wanted to take a risk and create something. And I knew that something had cracked open in me and that I would never really be the same.