Une Pincée de Provence is a local company that offers luxury gift ideas from the finest producers and artisans in the South of France that can’t be found in regular retail shops. We highly recommend Une Pincée de Provence to all of our guests looking for unique and thoughtful gifts with a Provençal touch for their loved ones, it’s a wonderful way to share your memory (or anticipation!) of your stay with us on the French Riviera. We sat down with Lisa Boot, the founder, to find out more about her and her company.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you decide to move to France?
I am originally from London and moved to the South of France in 2015. I have always loved the French language and culture right from my first French class at the age of 12. I was totally mesmerized and loved the sound of the language. I used to come to France on holiday frequently and my husband would always comment on how happy I was when I was in France. Our plan was to retire here but after a tragedy in 2013 we re-evaluated our London ‘rat race’ lives and decided to make the move to the sunny South of France. Prior to moving here I had worked in the beauty industry for 18 years creating and launching beauty brands (primarily premium haircare) and selling them into retailers worldwide, specifically in Asia. I adore the beauty industry and love discovering new unique brands created with integrity and passion. I am particularly fond of all the regions key scents – jasmine, orange blossom and lavender.
Why did you decide to start a business in the gifting industry? Why “Une Pincée de Provence”?
On arriving in the South of France I started to notice lots of incredible brands which were not available in London or other key international cities. I wanted to work closely with the amazing local artisans and producers to provide a way for visitors to discover the very best products and produce from the region. Whether that be during their time spent in the South of France or by purchasing online via my gift boxes.
I chose the name “Une Pincée de Provence” meaning a pinch of Provence because my goal was that everyone could sample a piece of this amazing region.
What makes Une Pincée de Provence unique on the market?
We are currently the only company in the South of France offering a luxury concierge gift service for hotels, private villas, weddings and events.
We are the only company to have curated the finest selection of the regions products across a variety of categories: wine, home fragrance, perfumes, beauty products, teas & coffees, savoury snacks and sweet treats. We do not compromise on quality and only work with the most passionate producers. We also ensure that the products work together aesthetically so that our gifts wow the recipient visually as well as by their taste and/or scent.
Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating the gift boxes?
If I fall in love with a brand I know others will too! I go a lot on gut instinct but essentially (excluding the category of wine) I look for premium local brands which do not currently have international distribution. When you visit a location on holiday it’s exciting to discover and return home with new brands that you truly love. I am very passionate about the region and encouraging people to visit and enjoy what we have to offer here. The gift boxes are a showcase for the South of France.
How do you select brand partners and products?
It is important for us that our brand partners are inspired by the local produce, that the products are as natural as possible and are produced using traditional methods. We like to see the local flora and fauna being used in the ingredients listings e.g. : rosemary, thyme, olives, jasmine, lavender, oranges and lemons.
Where can your gift boxes be delivered?
Currently to any country in the EU and the UK.
What are the latest trends in the gifting industry, in your opinion?
Care packages are the biggest trend we have seen in recent times. Lockdowns have meant people are separated from their loved ones and consumers are looking for ways to connect and bring joy to the special people in their lives. Consumers are also time poor and many do not wish to physically go to the shops. Ecommerce gifts where you can select your own items are growing in popularity.
What has been the most rewarding response you’ve gotten for one of your gift boxes?
I recently sent a gift box to a friend who was isolating with her family due to COVID in a very small apartment. She said the thoughtfulness of the gift brought her immediately to tears.
I have also personally been brought to tears by some of the heart felt messages consumers have asked to be written on the message cards going to their loved ones. It gives me immense joy to know I am helping bring sunshine into peoples’ lives during these difficult times. Lots of customers have also referenced their time spent together in France and how the gift box is to enjoy while reminiscing their happy holidays in the South of France. The messages are so lovely to read, there is a lot of love in this world.