The Krama phenomenon arrives in the US

The Krama phenomenon arrives in the US

October 27, 2013  |  featured, inspiration  |  No Comments


Recently I’ve been in awe and wonder about all the creations in the world and all the ideas that make it a more beautiful world, and I came across the story of Krama Heritage. This young company from France is bringing to the US the Krama phenomenon. It is sweeping Paris as I am writing this article, and I’ll tell you why.

Krama Héritage HéritiersDo you know what a Krama is? I sure didn’t. The Krama is the traditional garment of the Khmer people. It is used as a scarf or a bandana to cover the face or carry infants. The Krama is also so beautiful and elegant that Raphael and Alexandru decided to make it a part of Parisian chic with a social twist.

When traveling in Cambodia, the two founders felt a deep empathy and connection to the country and their people. They also saw the aesthetic value of the Krama and thought that it could easily become a Parisian fashion accessory as well as making the people wearing it proud to contribute to a better world. Today while wondering in Paris, Raphael told me you can see people from all ages and walks of life wearing the stylish Krama and embracing the spirit of the company. “Wearing it is transmitting of the hope of the Khmer people.”

The company gives 10 percent of its revenue to a non-profit called “Pour un sourire d’enfant” (For a child’s smile), specializing in schooling and training kids in Phnom Penh. Or, as Raphael explained to me in a communication, Krama Heritage’s raison d’être is the support of social causes in Cambodia with the goal of helping people rebuild their country after a dark past. More social projects will be added as the company expands.

The Kramas are woven in Phnom Penh in small workshops. They come in beautiful colors. I love all the colors, but my favorite is rose. Soon they will be available in the US through retailers, but you can order yours now through the company’s website. It looks like they will arrive in the US within two weeks.

Through the symbolic thread of a scarf, cultures are woven together and the world is better off for it. Let’s support this company’s making an impact while staying Always in French Style.

Krama Heritage - Meatpacking - Photograph by Erfu Wang

Krama Heritage - Times Square - Photograph by Erfu Wang


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Try the world in a box

Try the world in a box

September 6, 2013  |  featured, inspiration  |  No Comments

Idée cadeau

How would you like to be surprised every two months with a little box of goodies arriving at your door offering you the flavors of the world? This is the brainchild of founders Kat and David, who met at Columbia University, traveled the world, then decided to create a company and a product that would instill the same feeling of surprise and wonder they experienced in their travels.

If you subscribe to Try The World, you will be taken on a “gourmet tour around the world,” and your packages will include food items representing the best of the local culture, as well as artistic add-ons, such as a “ music playlist, a list of top local films, and even a poem.”

The Paris Box - TTW

The first box you will receive is the Paris box. It is prepared and crafted with true French Style, and it looks gorgeous. Inside you will find artisanal jams by Alain Milliat, signature tea blends by Le Palais des Thés, and hot cocoa powder by Les Confitures à l’Ancienne, as well nougat, chestnut cream, a pouch of rare artisanal salt from Brittany, a poem, Paris tips, and much more. Be prepared for a true cultural immersion and a few delightful surprises upon opening the box.

The Paris box is only le début of the story. Next on the list are Rio and Tokyo, and many more cities to follow. The ultimate goal of the company is to help people discover new cultures, and to “be able to send a culture box from any great city to any corner of the world!”

Discover Try the World by going on their website, and be ready to receive the best of the world at your door!

Kat and David


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Learning French Demystified

Learning French Demystified

June 28, 2013  |  featured, inspiration  |  1 Comment


As summer approaches and friends start talking about their summer plans, we start remembering our old dreams about going to Paris, sipping coffee at an Eiffel Tower Restaurant, ordering lunch in French, and feeling great about speaking a new language. We all know the benefits, the transformation, and the excitement about learning a foreign language, but somehow, we always manage to put it off. Too much effort, not essential, maybe one day, I am bad with languages… our minds invent countless pretexts not to pursue our dreams.

Contrary to widespread beliefs, learning French is not the most difficult thing you will ever do in your life and could become one of the most satisfying experiences you’ve ever had. It could open doors that you’ve never imagined and could bring excitement, joy, and new passion for life. Remember that William the Conqueror brought to England his Norman French, and English still has a large pool of French words. To make you feel even better, English words like cool, boost, hot, are used all over French fashion magazines. But of course, this shared linguistic foundation will not help you start a conversation with a waiter at a French café or a gorgeous girl sitting at the bench next to you.

Learning French is a beautiful process. If you start today by following the advice below, you can be sure to realize your dream quite fast. You can bet on this one, and I can show you how. So, where to start?

Call your local Alliance Française, enroll in a class or contact us. We offer one to one online classes through our virtual school. I wish that you could do it alone, but I advise you against it. A teacher would not only give you the grammatical foundation but also immerse you in the cultural aspects of the language. Under the guidance of a great teacher, you will start to understand the basics and learn the best way to study and assimilate the material. A teacher will show you how to explore the vast pool of resources found online and build your skills on your own. If you are brave and have the means, fly to Paris and enroll at the Alliance Française in Paris or find another language school. Not only are you already in town and sipping your coffee in Le Quartier Latin, but you are also discovering your linguistic ingenuity and making new friends. In the meantime, grab a copy of the novel “French Lessons by Ellen Sussman and get inspired.

Curiosity grows with focus. The more you learn, the more you would like to know. If your local cable provider carries TV 5, the French international channel, get it. It is worth every penny. As you watch, notice the words you understand. In the beginning, you would capture a word, but in a few months, you would be able to comprehend a sentence, then a conversation. Indulge yourself with French movies on Netflix and YouTube. Download a free French radio on your smartphone. Buy a magazine in French at your local bookstore and read the titles, and then challenge yourself with an article. You will be amazed at the progress you are making. If you are bold, stop any French tourist you meet and introduce yourself. Why not have fun with the process? Go to your local French restaurant or bar and start a conversation. For more questions, lessons plans, prices, and for fast immersion on your way to France, email the editor at

So, are you ready to start? Have fun, be bold and enjoy! And lastly, sing with Edith Piaf and imitate her accent.



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