Welcome to Episode #26 of Profiles in Franceformation. This is your host, Allison Grant Lounes, and this week, our guest is Sumner Hargrove. As a fifth generation Texan, Sumner Hargrove began riding horses at her family’s ranch at the age of three! She received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia in English Literature/Philosophy, followed by a master’s in Public Finance from New York University. She worked on Wall Street as a bond analyst and officer for a Japanese bank. At the age of 30, she decided to move to Paris.
Second career pivot…she taught marketing, finance and media in English at French business schools and grandes écoles, got married and had boy/girl twins, re-inventing herself again after their births as a managing editor in a software firm as well as at a major French services company, in charge of internal communications for the 400+ marketing staff globally.
Most recently, when her twins went to university, she decided it was “the moment” to go back to school again to fulfill a childhood dream to become an interior decorator at last! She received a French diplôme d’état in interior decoration and space design in 2017, founded her interior decorating agency, Flights of Fancy, in 2018 and has never looked back!
Through our conversation, you’ll also learn:
- How an advertisement on a bus encouraged her to overcome the hurdle and challenging experience of learning French at the age of 30 years old, and what she did to increase her confidence while speaking French
- The steps she took to “reinvent” herself in order to work in France
- How €27,64 almost stood in the way of Sumner’s ability to gain French nationality
- The magic and power of the French words “je suis désolé de vous déranger“
- What Sumner has learned in creating and developing friendships in France, and how this differs from the same experience in the US
- The decision to raise her twins to be bilingual and what steps she took to ensure they successfully learned French and English
- The steps Sumner has taken to integrate herself into her community, whether that is in English or in French, and how she has stayed true to herself throughout it all
- In what ways Sumner feels French when she goes back to Texas, and in what ways she feels very American when interacting with the French
- What Sumner loves about living in France, and her suggested route to anyone wishing to explore Paris or for Americans with an interest in history or chateaux
- The part of Paris that inspires Sumner’s creativity and how it has been the source of some of her best ideas, including her business’ tagline
- What Sumner means when she says she’s in “the business of daring” and how she combined the skillsets of both her parents in her current job
- Her favorite French meals, which seem to pay a bit of an homage to her Texan roots
To learn more about Sumner’s company, Flights of Fancy: https://www.flights-of-fancy.paris
Be sure to check out her YouTube and social media pages as well!
If you are considering moving to France like Sumner, Foolproof French Visas can help you navigate the path toward finding the right visa for you. It can be purchased here: http://www.yourfranceformation.com/books or in paperback on Amazon.
If you would like to pursue your own Franceformation, you can also request a free 30-minute clarity call with Allison to review your visa options and decide how to move toward creating your ideal life in France: http://www.yourfranceformation.com/free-call
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