The star of the Maison à Vendre TV show, Sophie Ferjani, has chosen Marseilles, her beloved city since her childhood, to embark on a new project. Since mid-October 2017, she has been giving advice to the public in her very first interior decoration and design boutique on Rue de la République. The TV presenter looks back on the reasons for her choice, which she mulled over for a long time, and the installation of her team of decorators, accompanied by Provence Promotion.

Business for sale! The sensational Sophie Ferjani has just dropped anchor near to the Old Port where she now dispenses decoration advice to the people of Marseilles in a 270 m² (2,900 sq.ft.) boutique decorated in her image, which opened on 12 October 2017.

Based for many years in Paris where she records the TV show, she has now chosen to leave the capital behind. “I made a beeline for my beloved city, Marseilles, where we used to spend the holidays with my parents. I’m fascinated by its contrasts, its diversity. I love this city where people talk loudly, this port city with its procession of ferries, which I get to see every morning when I take my children to school. It’s an endless spectacle!” marvels the former student of the School of Applied Arts.

Ever the businesswoman, she has been thinking over her concept alongside her husband, a retail specialist, for many years. Their business plan has not only been constructed within the family, but technology degree students studying marketing techniques at Aix-Marseille-Université have also cast their eye over it. “The students worked on both the study of reputation and the location. It was a great opportunity to work on a real-life scenario,” explains Sophie Ferjani.

The metamorphosis of the Passage des Folies Bergères

The M6 decorator fell for the Haussmann buildings on Rue de la République, and in particular the architecture and character of the Passage des Folies Bergères, which led to the music hall of the same name in the 1930s. “As an interior designer, I notice structures, old stones. The abandoned location proved to be spectacular, magnified by imposing wooden shutters,” describes Sophie Ferjani.

This passage, completely transformed and incorporated into the “Sophie Ferjani-La Sélection” store, is now home to the decorator’s capsule collections adjoining the advisory hub. DIY, the very reason the decorator became famous, will take center stage for three weeks, followed by a theme dedicated to childhood. A real life space with its design workshops open to the public, the boutique employs four people including Julia and Melissa, two interior decorators who are cut from the same cloth as Sophie Ferjani.

The team’s installation in Marseilles was facilitated by Provence Promotion, which put forward several apartments for the families. “The project started in May 2017 and quickly took shape. The Provence Promotion team offered to help find homes for my family and my team. This saved us precious time!” says Sophie Ferjani.

The presence of the TGV line, meaning that Paris is just three hours from Marseilles, played a decisive role in this installation.

There is no doubt that this new store will drive openings of new independent brands and revive Rue de la République. There are rumors that new home furnishing and art of living stores could soon set up nearby. Rue de la République, one of the city’s most beautiful thoroughfares with 200 businesses running between the Old Port and La Joliette, will see the opening of a 4-star hotel in January 2018 (176 rooms and suites) by NH Collection, a high-end brand of the NH Hotel Group, which took over the reins of the Palm Beach in 2017.