Friday, 12 August 2011

Meet the expat: Tialys

The lovely Lynne runs three shops, Tialys, LaMance and Tour de Force on Etsy. Phew! Three shops, that sounds like a lot of work.

When this busy lady finds the time to chat with us she always manages to give me a chuckle with her wry sense of humour.

Lynn took time out of her busy schedule to tell us about herself.

Born in London, I’ve been living in France for the past 6 years with my husband and two daughters who are now 17 and 16. We sold our house in the U.K. because we wanted a change and we thought, whilst looking for a new property, we’d rent. Of course, we rented a big house, expanded into it for 4 years and then couldn’t afford to buy anything of a similar size as U.K. prices had rocketed. We already had a holiday home in France so it seemed the right time to make it permanent.

My husband works in IT in the finance and investment banking sector (yawn!!!) so he commutes to London on a Monday morning, returning Thursday nights and, with the girls at school, I needed to find something with which to occupy myself – apart from the dogs, cats and chickens we seem to have acquired.

I started my handmade shop, Tialys, because I always seemed to be making things and then not quite knowing what to do with them – friends and family already overstocked with my creative outpourings!

I absolutely love rummaging in junk shops and flea markets and, to save my house having to be registered as a shop itself, I decided to start offering some of my finds in La Manche which, I must admit, is now my favourite.

I recently started Tour de Force combining my vintage and handmade passions by making one of a kind cake display stands and jewellery holders but I haven’t really had a lot of time to promote that one yet so it’s a bit of a slow starter.

Biggest challenges living in my part of France

  • The language
  • The school system 
  • The shop opening hours (almost everything still shuts for 2 hours at lunchtime here)
  • French websites (abysmal)
  • No fish and chip shops
  • The language (I know I’ve already said that but it needed saying again!)

Best things about living in France:

  • The wine
  • The weather
  • The peace
  • The mountains
  • The lack of traffic jams (compared to the U.K.)
  • The lack of crowds everywhere (ditto)
  • The health system
  • The fact that my daughters are now bilingual
  • The wine (ooh, have I already said that??) 

Of course, there are more serious challenges about being an expat. My father is unwell at the moment so that’s difficult but, in reality, I can be at their home in England in around 5 hours so it’s not as bad as it could be if we had decided to move further afield.

I have a blog which some of the expats kindly come and read from time to time and I ramble on about everything and nothing on there when I get a minute.

All in all, I’m glad we made the move but I certainly don’t rule out moving again although next time it would definitely be to an English speaking country – any recommendations?

Thank you for taking the time to talk about yourself Lynn! It's nice to get to know you better. Hmmm... no moving recommendations from me at the moment. Give me more time to settle in South Africa before answering that.

Are you a soon-to-be, been-there-done-that or currently an expat? If you sell on Etsy come and join our team.

Post by: Jacqueline Fouche (Tangentine)


  1. The lovely Lynne always humourous and inspiring nice to know a little more about you. Thanks Jacqueline as usual great blog ;~D .. Monique (UniqueNique)

  2. Oh, I love Lynne's pieces - totally gorgeous. Love her list too...I'll join her about the annoying school system and lack of fish and chips :)

  3. Ditto about the school system and lack of fish and chips! I took mine out of school and make my own fish and chips. It's the best solution I have found for now ;-)