New Orleans native Paula Danyluk opened up her retail, coffee shop and design services space, the Paris Market and Brocante, on Broughton Street when “people were pioneers to launch storefronts there.”
Danyluk, who has a master’s degree in speech therapy, always enjoyed art and “do-it-yourself” projects, yet when she was in college, she was told, “art is not a career,” she explained.
While reading “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” in 1999, she and her husband, Taras, drove through Savannah and decided to stop in the city to experience the eccentric place Danyluk was reading about in her book. Her husband found a job at Memorial University Medical Center and they chose to move to Savannah shortly after their trip because they loved the city so much.
Determined to pursue her passion in the arts, Danyluk opened a 400-square-foot store in a Savannah antique mall.
“I was doing well there and realized I needed a bigger space, so I rented a shop on Jones Street,” said Danyluk. “Within six months of business, Vogue featured my shop. I felt I was onto something.”
She subsequently moved the Paris Market and Brocante into a 5,400-square-foot space on Broughton, when most people weren’t buying property on Broughton.
“The shop used to be a bar before we rented it. The windows were blacked out and there were pigeons flying around underneath the floorboards,” she remembered.
Today, the Paris Market and Brocante was voted as 2017’s best shop in the South by Southern Living and is a place that invites customers to feel at home.
“When we lived in New Orleans,” Danyluk said, “we loved having coffee at our local coffee shop. We wanted to bring that experience here. Our store is about bringing together lots of books, unique finds, coffee, and macaroons. We want people to listen to great music and kind of get lost in our store. The atmosphere, to me, is key.”
The Paris Market and Brocante has pickers all over Europe — mainly Paris and Brussels — who find beautiful objects and have them shipped to the store. Danyluk and her husband also travel to Europe once a year to discover books, kitchen items, clothing, and vintage finds at flea markets.
“I’ve traveled all over and I’ve hit every continent in the world,” said Danyluk. “That was my goal before I turned 40. I did it. My husband and I will travel to Marche de Puce, a flea market on the outskirts of Paris, where every little kiosk is so well curated. There’s so much style in each 10-by-10 space.”
Danyluk also works with local Savannah artists, woodworkers and metalworkers to craft items in her store.
“I’ll collaborate with a lot of locals to make private label things,” she said. “It’s not made in China. It’s made locally. People will pay extra to ensure products are good quality.”
Also offered at the Paris Market and Brocante is design services.
“I’m a designer and stylist, and I have an interior designer and furniture maker. Together, we’re a team,” said Danyluk. “We’ll go into our clients’ houses and assess the situation and come up with a plan.”
As for her style, emblematic at the Paris Market and Brocante, Danyluk said she likes to mix classic luxury with modern.
“I love old architecture, old textiles, and taxidermy, but I like to mix those in with new elements,” she said. “I don’t like a house to be all old or all new. I enjoy using items in an unconventional way. A book doesn’t have to go on a book shelf, it can go anywhere.”
She added, “And there are no rules with owning the store.”