France Trip 2019: Meet Sharon Santoni
As we are preparing for our trip to France in October of 2019, I couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Sharon Santoni of My French Country Home and exploring the Normandy countryside, Paris and the Champagne region of France all in one glorious trip.
I met Sharon a while ago when she was going on her first book tour through the US and she came to Chateau Sonoma for a book signing. We filled the house and had a wonderful evening with champagne and macaroons and Sharon shared with us stories of her French girlfriends and her beautiful life in France.
A year later, I had the good fortune of traveling to Normandy and staying in Sharon’s guest house with my Mother and we were overwhelmed with her generosity of space and her time. She took us around to her favorite Chateau’s, shops and restaurants and I will never forget her kindness and taking time out to really make our experience special.
This week I was able to sit down and ask Sharon a few questions so you can get to know a little more about her.
When did your love affair with France begin and how did you start this journey that has led to numerous books, an online magazine, subscription box and a following of people from all of the world?
I created the blog nine years ago when as a full time mum of four growing children I realized that I would soon be redundant! I urgently needed to reinvent myself and when a friend sent me a link to her blog, I discovered the blogging world and decided to have a go. I had to learn how to use a computer, a camera, and find my voice. The blogging world is a very generous community, and readers responded well as I tried to learn and follow the rules, and gradually built up a following on social media as well as the blog.
Each of the activities around the original blog have grown organically, and for that I am very grateful. I was offered a book contract by Gibbs Smith, then another one; our lifestyle tours started because readers wanted to shop with me; the subscription box started because readers asked me where to find French products and now we have launched a digital magazine. And I really don’t know where that will lead me next!
What do you find to be the most gratifying part of your work and home life?
I count myself very fortunate to have been able to reinvent myself, and to be creative everyday. Without a doubt, the best thing about my blog and other activities is the people that I meet. It is amazing to me, that from my desk in Normandy, I am in contact with so many interesting people around the world.
Will you share with us some of your experiences or time on how to create and among a dream business as you have done?
You flatter me Sarah! I have just followed my heart and my instinct and worked very hard at always trying to do better. I’ve discovered a passion for a good picture, and I love to share. The rest has fallen into place.
What inspired you for the Chateau Sonoma tour and what part of the experience are you most excited to share with the group?
When I first visited you in Sonoma in 2016, I loved your part of the world, and could see similarities with the South of France. And of course when I visited Chateau Sonoma, I could tell that we were totally on the same page as far as design and decor are concerned! I really look forward to sharing my corner of France, which is Normandy in the north west. The countryside is beautiful, and the towns and villages are very charming and unspoiled. I also look forward to sharing with our guests the fantastic antique fair at Chatou, hands down my favorite antique fair in France.
Thank you Sharon and we hope you can join us for our first trip together in France!