Scottish expat Susie Hollands, lives, works and breathes Paris. For the inside scoop on who’s hot and where it’s at in Paris, Susie’s your go to source of inspiration.
VINGT Paris is the only property company in Paris managed by expats with in-depth cultural and lifestyle knowledge of the city. Susie takes her clients right to the heart of the city, helps them understand which neighbourhood will suit them best and helps them integrate into French life. Susie’s passion for Paris is evident, and she loves sharing it with her clients.
Building on her success, Susie has now launched a Paris magazine for expatriates – also called VINGT Paris– featuring interviews with the people of Paris, art, culture, beauty, food and lifestyle. It's a far cry from fluffy or the clichéd; this is the real Paris.
Juggling the demands of motherhood and different business ventures is a challenge in itself, but to have achieved so much in Paris is all the more impressive. Paris does not make life easy for entrepreneurs, particularly expats! The red tape and legal requirements are a challenge, and growing a business can take a very long time.
From an early age Susie loved Paris, and like many a Francophile, she was a frequent visitor to the city, harbouring dreams of one day living the Parisian life, soaking up the atmosphere surrounded by magnificent architecture.
Susie graduated from Stirling University in Scotland and headed to London to work as Marketing Director for an online start up. She spent some great years, footloose and fancy free in London town. When the company was taken over in 2003, Susie seized the opportunity to take a much needed break from work and headed to Paris, to pursue her interest in contemporary art.
When Susie first arrived in Paris, like many foreigners, she had a terrible time trying to find a place to live. Many landlords and estate agents don’t like dealing with foreigners and the red tape was atrocious. It turned out Susie was not alone. Everyone she met after finally finding somewhere to live had had similar experiences. There was clearly a gap in the gap in the market for a property company dedicated to making the move to Paris smooth and stress free.
Susie’s first entrepreneurial venture was to set up a gallery for contemporary artists. The salon became the well-known Paris collective for international artists and art lovers called VINGT Paris.
By this time the entrepreneurial spirit had taken hold. The opportunity for a service helping foreigners buy their dream property was niggling away at her. When arriving in a new city, there is so much to think about – and struggling to find accommodation should not be one of those things.
Susie realised that with her knowledge of the French language and insider info about the city, she could help expats find accommodation in interesting lesser known parts of Paris, and help them start their own life less ordinary in the City of Light.