That’s exactly what Chloe Johnston did when she established CJ Tours, a company that specializes in shopping tours of Paris. From “Mother Daughter Getaways” to “Get Your Vintage On” there is a tour for everyone no matter your style or grasp of the language. I sat down with Chloe to find out more about these ultimate-shopping experiences.Q: Paris is every girl’s dream but when and why did you decide to start CJ Tours?
A: CJ Tours actually stemmed from a project for one of my capstone classes in graduate school. My Mom organized our first trip when I was 12 and I fell in love with the city. She then took us back at least once a year after that as she was also instantly hooked! Each time I came home I received the same question, “Where did you get that!” “How do you always find the best stuff in Paris?” “I went to Paris and didn’t find anything like that!” “Let me guess… Paris!” Eventually my Mom purchased an apartment in the 7th and it made it that much easier to continue our love affair with the city. One night in New York City over dinner the idea to start shopping tours to Paris hit us and we decided to run with it.
Q: Now you can share your love of the city with everyone! Tell me what it is like being a business owner, what does an average day consist of?
A: Running a company, no one day is ever the same! I would say the only thing that remains consistent is starting the day with plenty of emails. After that I am either on the phone with vendors or designers in Paris, coordinating with my guides in Paris, organizing trips, putting together trunk shows, ALWAYS staying on top of the newest trends in Paris and travel tips, organizing inventory, social media, branding, PR and the list goes on. I have to say I am always on my toes!
Q: Sounds like you are busy! So where are your three favorite spots to visit in Paris?
A: Michel Chaudin has the best chocolate in Paris. Aoshida is one of my favorite boutiques. Café de L’alma is a neighborhood restaurant that I love to ea. And the flea markets of course!
Oh and you must try water biking while visiting, you have to experience it to understand!
Q: Now on my list! What tour do you think Sweet Lemon readers would enjoy the most? Tell me about some of the places they will see during the trip.
A: The Girlfriend Getaway where you stay at a chic hotel or Parisian apartment. The trip includes an experienced CJ Tours guide, tres chic! Marvel at all the sights that Paris has to offer, unleash your inner chic French girl in some of Paris’ most unique boutiques, and unearth vintage treasures on our hand crafted vintage tour. Sit down and discuss fashion, traveling and life with some of CJ Tours’ favorite Paris designers. Indulge in handcrafted perfection that is a true French meal. Try our unique wine tastings, and discover your inner Julia Child with a French cooking class! And my favorite, enjoy dinner in one of our unique French apartments for dinner with your own personal chef and fashion guru.
Q: What a fun trip. Before we get there what do we pack? You travel back and forth to Paris often so you must be a packing pro, what are some tips you can share with us on packing?
1- Never over do it, you are going to Paris after all and will be buying things. Keep room in the suitcase for the new goodies!
2- Always bring a jacket, the weather is unpredictable.
3- Scarves can be your best friend- they make for the easiest and lightest accessory and spruce up any outfit.
4- Bring a bag that easily transforms from day to night, think across the body during the day… remove the straps for a clutch at night
Q: If only I could remember not to over pack! Great travel style tips too, so how would you describe the Parisian style?
A: Tailored, chic, conservative with an edge.
Q: You recently got engaged and simultaneously launched the “She Said Oui” tour. Congrats! What type of dress can we expect to see you walk down the aisle in?
A: Thank you! I can’t give specifics, but it is from Paris and it is the only one out there! I like being unique and different. Follow our blog for the journey and eventually pictures of the big day!