December 27, 2017

Momoirs By Susan Love Loughmiller

sixtine another montana avenue

Sixtine Celebrating Montana Avenue Halloween Walk

Celebrating Sixtine Damon

In France there is a saying for what we call "the rat race."

"Metro, boulot, dodo" - literally meaning subway, work, sleep - is how Sixtine Damon describes her former life in Paris.

In a city that many consider the most romantic and desirable in the world, Sixtine says she had "no life" - she was working in a lucrative asset management job in a big skyscraper, with closed windows, air conditioning and a mobile antenna on the roof, long days, eating her daily lunch in a canteen in the basement.

"The job was nice, but I felt I was missing those tiny moments with my kids, and I was tired always," she says. "I also felt it was difficult to move up as a woman; the women I saw breaking the glass ceiling were those acting like men.

"I didn't want to lose myself."

Now she works in the business she shares with her husband, Vincent - a bright, colorful and beautiful store with the door wide open to Montana Avenue in Santa Monica where on a recent weekend her daughter Roxane, 7, visited her "at the office" and her son Felix, 2, danced outside on the sunny sidewalk.

Their family enterprise, Le Macaron, serves French pastries made with highest quality ingredients, with delicious coffees and a serving of conversation on the side.

Vincent had been thinking a long time about moving to the United States, and having lived a year in New York City, Sixtine was open to it as well. The couple found the franchise business opportunity through, of all things, a Spam email that came during the latter part of Sixtine's pregnancy. After many months of conversation and negotiation and planning, they left the chilly, polluted Paris they knew and chose to move to Santa Monica, lured by excellent schools and the Pacific Ocean, to open the business developed by a French couple. It took much longer than expected to renovate the space, but the result is a wonderful spot where people hang out in the Café atmosphere or in comfortable chairs on the sidewalk to take their time with their treats.

One of Sixtine's items of décor in the store is the tower of macarons that she provides to her catering and special-event customers. She also is planning some events in the space as she tries to get the word out to the Santa Monica community. One of the things she said she loves about the shop is that she gets a chance to combine the best traditional recipes of France with the best ingredients made right here in California such as almonds and various fruits. And she loves even more, "having a more balanced work and personal life - being able to see my kids more - they can even come here and I can see them anytime." -- Susan Love Loughmiller

A quote that inspires Sixtine:

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

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