Destinations, Europe, France, Journal

A Very Small World

July 20, 2014

Dennis and I made it our mission to hit up all of the highest rated coffee shops in Paris. Previously, we had tried Telescope, and this day we tried 10 Belles.

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The coffee shop itself was super cute. The coffee–most people would probably love it. However, it is all very much light roast and super bright, which is not my thing–but if you love light roast, then this is your spot!

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Dennis and I were just chatting away, when a young couple sat at the table next to us. Being that 10 Belles has seating for about 10 people, we were in pretty close quarters. We overheard a snippet of their conversation when they told the barista that they are from LA. We got to chatting with them and made a little connection, since Dennis is from Orange County.

The husband, Shea, and his brother own a men’s clothing company based in LA called Apolis. We didn’t talk much more about it at 10 Belles, but I made a mental note of the company name.

I looked up the company after we left and was super impressed and pumped about the mission of the company.

When Shea describes it, he gives the analogy of “Give a person a fish and you will feed him for a meal, teach the person how to fish, and you will feed him for a lifetime.”

Basically, he said that a lot of companies teach people in other countries “how to fish” through giving training to provide some sort of services for that company. Apolis differentiates itself from that model in that they acknowledge that a lot of people in impoverished countries around the globe already know how to “fish.” They have incredible skills and create amazing products. The issue that the people in these countries run into is the lack of economic development that in turn makes their commerce successful–they don’t have equal access to the consumer market. Apolis bridges that gap by selling the goods of those around the globe at their LA store and in their online shop.

They had a brilliant, socially responsible idea that got me pumped as I learned more about it [the sociologist within me was loving it].

So anyway, I kept perusing the Apolis site and I read Shea’s bio.

My eyes shot opened wide when I read that he went to Point Loma Nazarene University for college. Dennis and I went to Vanguard University, and Point Loma is in our conference, so we played their basketball team every year.

Also, Dennis and I have really close friends who went there.

Plus, my mom went there for college.

In addition, I almost went there for college–I even went on a recruiting trip!

That jumble of of sentences is to show how crazy it is to meet people clear on the other side of the world, who have that type of connection in such a small sector. It’s a very small world.

I emailed Shea through the Apolis website and he connected me with his wife, Mary. We decided to get together while we were all still in Paris!

We had a wonderful time getting to know them.

Mary is the biggest sweetheart [and incredibly beautiful!]. She works for a super cool company called The Honest Company that sells eco-friendly baby products on a subscription-basis and delivers them to your door [it was founded by Jessica Alba!]. We had a great time just chatting about life, and bonded over the fact that we are both PK’s! Dennis and Shea had fun chatting about business in getting to know each other’s work. We ate dinner at Chez Gladines, where the waiters were hilarious and messing with us the whole time, and then got gelato over by Notre Dame.

People were crowded around some street performers that were doing live music, and some doing tricks throwing batons of fire, so we meandered over that direction right in front of Notre Dame.

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The batons of fire were then one-upped by a kid who starting twirling fireworks. It was absolutely insane and definitely not Smokey Bear Approved. It’s no wonder that the kid literally had no eyebrows… Fireworks tend to singe off body hair in such close quarters–apparently.

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It was really great to randomly make that connection with people from the same niche of schools, that share the same values and faith–along with just being super cool people!

It is definitely a very small world 🙂

xo Kelsey

 

 

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