In order for you to learn more about our history, we have drafted some questions that Fanfan's creator, Martine Wack, has carefully answered.
What did you do before creating your online shop/company ?
"I studied law, political science and legal translation. I was first a company lawyer for a while, then I set up an interior design shop, I was also an estate agent and finally worked in advertising for about fifteen years."
The story behind the creation of this website ?
"After a long illness I wanted to work again, but as I was over 50 it was difficult to find a job in my field. So I thought it was the best time to start my own business and become self-employed in a field I really like. That's why I opened my physical ready-to-wear shop. And as for the creation of the website, it's because a long time ago, a customer who was not from the region told me that it was a shame not to be able to buy our articles elsewhere."
Why did you choose the name "Fanfan" for your company ?
"I wanted a name that was simple like "NAF NAF". That's when the idea of "FANFAN" came to me, it was the name of my first book when I was a child. It is on display in the shop."
What do you offer on your website ?
"Quality and original bohemian-chic clothing for all sizes."
Why did you choose these different designers for your website? What qualities do you look for when choosing your brands ?
"When I choose a designer I always have two criteria: quality and the extra something. Then obviously in a shabby, hippie-chic direction with a touch of originality."
What is Fanfan's philosophy ?
"Fanfan's philosophy is customer service, there's nothing worse than walking into a shop, whether it's physical or online, and not having the service that follows. Then make it a pleasant experience to come and shop with us, whether the customer buys or not."
Who are the members of the Fanfan team ?
"My husband, Patrice, is in charge of the logistics and administration of the website. Personally, I own the physical shop and for the website, I take care of the choice of brands and models, and I also take the photos and descriptions of the products. My friend Murielle is our photo model for the website, but she also helps me in the shop during the week. And we also have students every year who are on work-study in the digital field to help with the development of the website and social networks."
Where does your interest in fashion come from ?
"Already when I was a child, I drew a lot, I painted, I made portraits. The creative side has always interested me a lot, that's why I stopped working as a lawyer and went into fashion, because I missed creating...
A little advice: when you choose a job, you should always ask yourself the question: "do you want to do it until you retire?"
What do you like most about your job ?
"The artistic and creative side, as well as the contact side, is obvious. And the fact that you get to touch a lot of things is very enriching."
Tell me about a typical day in your job ?
"There's not really a typical day, it depends on the time of year. There is a time of year when you have to take as many photos as possible and write all the descriptions of the articles for the website. Then there are also the missions for the shop: you have to take care of the customers, redo the windows, change the seasons, and also prepare the orders."
What are the challenges of being an contractor ?
"Managing to survive in the midst of a lot of other entrepreneurs and having your own identity that makes people appreciate what you do or not."
What is the most important thing you have learned from Fanfan ?
"You have to know how to listen to the customers! Now customers ask me "What can I try on?", and the same on the website they call me to ask me "Would it fit me or not?" and that's because I know them, and they know I'll tell them when it does or doesn't."
If you want more information about a product, what do you do?
"We go to the shop, we phone or we send an email! This was a key criterion at the beginning when we created the website, because creating a site why not... but type 1, or type 2, it's Kevin who answers, it's not my cup of tea. That's why there is a mobile number and a landline number on the website, because we wanted to have the same customer service on the internet as in the shop!"
How do you compose your daily looks ?
"I try to make something original but wearable! I never use more than 3 colours!"
Which brands do you think work best together in terms of looks ?
"In the shop upstairs I have installed Rhum Raisin, Les Ours, Privatsachen, Ewa I Walla together because you can mix these brands without any problem. Downstairs we have brands that are a little less shabby, such as Grizas or Ivko, which can also be mixed with Ewa I Walla or Les Ours, but in principle it's perhaps a little more classic. So some customers go straight to the top and others only stay at the bottom because they identify more with one style than another.
What do you think is the must-have item in her wardrobe for a perfect bohemian-chic look ?
"Several passers-by have already come into the shop because they were intrigued by the window, they told me it was beautiful but it wasn't for them because they had a more classic look. So my advice is to start with a petticoat! The more classic ladies if they are not comfortable at the beginning can wear the petticoat with a white top or a simple jumper for example. And often what happens is that afterwards they enjoy wearing it and they come back for something else."
How is your clientele constituted ? And how has it evolved since the beginning ?
"It's mainly ladies over 40, but my youngest customer is 13 and my oldest 96. Generally it's after 40 that women dare to wear this style, because there are many who like it but don't dare, whereas from that age you don't care."
Your company sells internationally, which countries have the highest sales rates ?
5. United States
How do you see the future of Fanfan ?
"We didn't expect the website to grow to this extent! So I hope that it will continue on this path while remaining on a human scale, because we are closer to our customers and we want to remain so."