Mimi Montgomery of Lolo French Antiques and extra: The Faces of Birmingham

Whether or not bringing the magic of French antiques to life on-line in a field truck via France or behind a pc display screen, Mimi Montgomery actually has a “joie de vivre” for French tradition regardless of its American roots. A longtime French antiques fanatic, Mimi is now residing out her dream at Lolo French Antiques et Extra as she works along with her fiancé Laurent to share probably the most fabulous French and European antiques with their purchasers in Birmingham and on-line. Supply, restore and share gadgets. They’re “bringing again the brown wooden,” and doing so with model and braveness. We’re so excited to introduce the face of as we speak’s Birmingham, cutie Mimi Montgomery!

Mimi Montgomery

Mimi’s masterful rebrand of Lolo French Antiques et Extra has reworked French antiques from intimidating to approachable. Whimsical illustrations by Nan Richards, a weblog that features the whole lot from inside design inspiration to French cocktail recipes, and an internet site rife in helpful data, all contribute to her efforts to make “Brown Wooden” cool. She can be a daily contributor to The Antiques Diva & Firm weblog.

Since when have you ever referred to as Birmingham house? What do you like concerning the metropolis?

About three and a half years. We love our inventive associates, so many superb eating places, how straightforward it’s to journey out and in of Birmingham to the airport, and my complete household is close by.

What introduced you to the world of French antiques?

I’ve all the time beloved the joys of searching, however I actually grew to become concerned with French antiques once I began serving to a buddy of mine whereas my son was younger, after which touring to Paris and the flea markets there. Sealed the deal.

You put on many various hats at Lolo French Antiques et Extra, however most of your work occurs on-line – whether or not via social media, web sites and blogs, or e-commerce. What are your objectives when sharing Lolo French Antiques together with your on-line viewers?

As I usually say #werebringingbrownwoodback. We wish to make antiques look interesting and interesting in a method, particularly for a youthful era which may discover them ostentatious and pretentious… even boring. I might additionally prefer to share data, whether or not it is French traditions, interval French furnishings, journey suggestions or a cocktail recipe for the French 75. I would like guests to seek out our website distinctive and need them to come back again repeatedly – not solely to buy our antiques however to find out about our fantastic world of French antiques.

Mimi Montgomery

Working at Lolo French Antiques is a household affair. Mimi and Lolo are engaged and Mimi’s son Cole can be a part of the workforce. Mimi says working along with household is equally fantastic and difficult.

What do you want probably the most about your work?

Touring and assembly new folks – We all the time go to probably the most unimaginable locations and see probably the most superb items and listen to probably the most superb tales. Each piece has a narrative. They do not all come from a fort, and typically it is the little bits of a tiny farmhouse that I like probably the most.

I like having the ability to work with my sons Laurent and Cole more often than not. Typically working with household may be very difficult. And, in fact, all the time being surrounded by stunning issues is a plus!

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What do you discover most difficult?

Touring and dealing with Laurent and Cole! Journey has its advantages, however there’s usually no WiFi and that makes it inconceivable for me to do any work. And more often than not, we’re on the crack of being hauled throughout France in a field truck.

Though working with household is a problem, we appear to be doing an ideal job at it. Laurent and I already realized that it was greatest if I labored from house as a substitute of being collectively 24/7.

What motivates you on a day-to-day foundation?

I prefer to learn and be taught; There may be all the time one thing new to be taught. Additionally watching Laurent’s work is inspiring. He’s such a perfectionist, and our purchasers recognize his consideration to element.

Mimi Montgomery

Louis, Mimi and Lolo’s beloved Frenchie, Lolo is a sort of mascot of French Antiques et Extra, which is featured on their web site as illustrated.

You describe your self as a “Francophile”. What do you discover so interesting about all issues French?

There are lots of issues, however that beautiful French man I will marry quickly tops the checklist.

Additionally it is notably evident that French folks lead very passionate lives and actually discover pleasure and satisfaction within the easiest issues, like meals – meals specifically. Meals go on for therefore lengthy, and folks even have actual conversations with out distractions. And all of the meals is contemporary. Seafood comes straight from the boat, greens are purchased day by day on the native market. The baguettes are scrumptious even on the fuel station.

i like what everybody says Good morning! And greeted everybody by kissing on each the cheeks. Manners are necessary. have a sense pleasure to stay which is contemporary.

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What forms of items do you most prefer to see in retailer and share together with your clients on-line? Is there a specific model or piece that provides you a particular thrill?

Very massive math tables are one in all my favorites, just because they’re getting tougher and tougher to seek out. However they’re like every kind of children – I actually cannot decide a favourite.

They’re tough to promote, however the Chateau Armoire of the Louis XIV or Louis XV interval may be very stunning. The craftsmanship and particulars are superb. We discovered one within the south of France this summer time that I nonetheless take into consideration and want we had purchased. The carving was wonderful.

Mimi Montgomery

“I used to be out of labor” [as a stay-at-home mom] For a few years once I began working with Laurent, ”says Mimi. “I believed I knew quite a bit about French antiques however realized quite a bit from it. His ardour and his love for this enterprise is what actually helped me flourish.” Mimi accompanies Laurent on journeys to France, throughout which they journey the countryside for hand-selected items to ship house to the shop in Birmingham.

How would you advocate a newcomer to dip their toes within the huge world of French antiques?

I all the time recommend shopping for a case piece like a buffet or chest or an vintage eating desk. Purchase new upholstered items and put money into at the very least one good vintage. They may usually price as a lot, or extra, for the same high quality piece at a house items retailer. Keep in mind, our items have been round for over 100 years and can be round for a whole lot of years to come back.

What’s a “hidden gem” in Birmingham that each resident ought to see or discover?

Wow, that is robust! There are such a lot of and so many who we’ve not visited ourselves. Kahaba River – particularly when the lilies are in bloom.

What does an ideal stress-free weekend appear to be for you?

Taking a nap in mattress on Sundays with Laurent and our French bulldog, Louis, binge-watching Netflix.

Mimi Montgomery

What Mimi loves most about her work is being surrounded by stunning issues and her fantastic household. Are you able to think about something extra inspiring than a spot stuffed with beautiful antiques and those you like?

Do you could have any responsible pleasures?

Umm… sure! Flamin’ Scorching Cheetos, TJ Maxx and on-line buying.

What’s the very best recommendation you’ve got ever been given?

Two items, actually: “it’s what it’s” and “one of the best ways to be taught is to encompass your self with folks smarter than you and higher at your job.”

In addition to household, associates and religion, title three belongings you can’t stay with out.

My laptop (sadly), air con and no-sugar iced tea with lemon and Candy’n Low.

Thanks a lot, Mimi, for sharing a dream look into your life and enterprise! To be taught extra about Lolo French Antiques and extra, go to lolofrenchantiques.com.

And because of Eric and Jamie Gaye of Eric & Jamie Images, for these nice photographs.


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