Luxe Paris founder Billy Folchetti is an American designer specialising in event and wedding planning and floral design in the heart of the world’s most romantic city. After several years of event planning in both New York and Los Angeles, Billy went to Paris in 2013. There, he works with an international clientele capturing the style and grandeur of Paris for life’s most meaningful moments.
It’s no secret that Paris is one of our favourite destinations here at House of Coco so we just had to go along to find out more about this creative genius. Here, Billy tells us more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
My vision for wedding and event planning and design has always been based on a foundation of creating experiences that are unique and made-to-measure. I truly believe that events and weddings should be a reflection of the clients and not based on a need to follow in the foot steps or traditions of others. Getting married or throwing a beautiful party/event is all about the occasion- Weddings for example, are the start of a new chapter and is the first moment in the story you will share with the person you love- unique stories are founded by unique experiences so for me it is only natural that these sort of mile-stones be just that.
I guess what I would call my “motto” of planning is to “throw the rule book out the window…” The reason people come to me and Luxe Paris is for something innovative and bespoke; events that are littered with beautiful subtle details- after-all thats what real luxury is and what really seemed to be missing in the market.
Whats your background?
I am American, I was raised in a New York City suburb and after attending Baruch College in NYC I moved to LA where I continued a short study in communications/PR at Cal State LA. After 3.5 years in university I found myself relatively bored and my need to create was at an all time high. I made the leap, left school and began pursuing my creative vendetta in wedding/event planning and floral design. I take pride in being a self-taught floral designer and detail-obsessed planner!
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Luxe Paris is boutique- we have a handful of people who work efficiently behind the scenes but I take a lot of pride in the fact that we offer a white glove service that allows me to work directly with each and every client.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I do not believe in going back in time- I have always said two things “everything happens for a reason,” and “the sweet is not as sweet without the sour.” I believe that all the trials and tribulations, the good and the bad have brought me to where I am today- without them I am not sure where I would be. Rather than thinking about what could have been done differently I like to be cognitive of what lessons can be learned in all experiences… after-all, you “can’t cry over spilt milk.”
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
The biggest challenge I think whenever anyone starts a business is believing in yourself in the hard moments and not comparing yourself to others. Everyone has their own path and their own journey that needs to be traveled. Remember that if you really believe in something and you have the passion for it then it is always the right decision and there truly are no mistakes.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I have had a myriad of different jobs from bartending to waiting tables to working in retail stores and being a celebrity assistant. All of which are experiences that I wouldn’t change for the world- each job (even if in the moment I didn’t see it) has given me tools that I use now on a daily basis- from understanding the “behind-the-scenes” activities of a restaurant or reception venue, how to set a table properly, how to shine silverware or how to be efficient in keeping time, calendars and many different parts moving all at the same time. All of those “little jobs” have had a big part in preparing me for where I am now.
2016 is flying by, where do you plan on taking the brand?
While the brand’s name is Luxe Paris Events we travel around the globe at the demand of our clients. While our home-base will remain in Paris we are setting our sites on multiple new locations this year in order to really take the brand to an international level. It will allow our clients to say “I-do” or throw the party of a lifetime all over the map!
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
The highlight is simple- we are still in business!
We have been in business almost three years and we have experienced substantial growth each year and the highlight is that our hard work is paying off and seeing that work being noticed more and more is truly a gift that keeps on giving.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
This is tough- I love all three cities and they all have fabulous characteristics. My husband and I split our time mainly between Paris and New York but I would say that New York probably “takes the cake…” Its a concrete jungle and the pace gets me every-time.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Hand moisturizer, eye cream and blotting pads. Although finished events look glamorous most people do not really know that the behind the scenes is full of heavy lifting, storage units and difficult deliveries- all of which generally happen at odd hours. When I am not cutting flowers or moving giant boxes of vases I am in-person with the clients so keeping appearances up is key. Blotting pads are an easy fix for oily skin, eye cream helps with the sometimes shopping-bag sized circles under eye and manicured hands are a must in my opinion.
Confidence, integrity, positivity, kindness, humility and great accessories!
Best thing about London to you?
Driving on the wrong side of the road- never gets old!
Statement shoe or statement bag?
I think there is nothing better than a classic- I love Louis Vuitton for travel-their duffles and suitcases are quality-made and classic…two characteristics that I believe are paramount when designing. I find the heritage of the brand to be really special and I love the idea of having something that one day can be passed down to generations to come. A birkin never hurt anyone either 😉
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
A white button-up (my favorite is from Brian Dales); Off the rack his shirts are tailored so beautifully. I wear a white button up on the regular- they always look crisp and sophisticated whether I am in a tux or my favorite pair of torn jeans.
Favourite love song?
This one will sound weird- We Found Love by Rihanna. It was the first song my husband and I ever danced to the first night we met in Paris and it really kind or just stuck with us. There is a beautiful cover by Ed Sheeran that we love for more romantic moments.
Best place for a coffee?
I love local neighborhood spots- there is a great restaurant just near our flat in Paris called Les Jalles on rue des capucines- you can go for a great expresso or have an absolutely incredible meal… its one of those hidden jems and my husband and I take advantage of the sidewalk tables a few times a week
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
“Never give up.” -my Dad
Dark chocolate with sea salt or pistachio macaroons
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I have never been to Thailand and while I love a beach vacation I think it would be quite an experience to see Bangkok- 24hrs seems like it would be sufficient.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
Our focus in the coming years is expanding our locations. We are already well versed in Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, Marrakech and different areas of Italy and Bali so it would be cool to work with our clients in places like Greece or Ireland, or more exotic locations like a Safari wedding in Kruger National Park (another place on my bucket list).
Find out more about Billy…