Thrive: Headhunter Does a Full 360 During Pandemic to Follow Interior Design Passion: Suzan Allen’s Journey to Launch French Italian Home Furnishings
Nov 20, 2020
Sometimes, when life throws you a curveball, you realize you need a new plan.
By Dave Devloper
Sometimes, when life throws you a curveball, you realize you need a new plan. And when a worldwide pandemic hits, that plan is to come out swinging. That’s precisely what Suzan Allen, founder, and CEO of French Italian Home Furnishings, did. And she’s not looking back.
In the past several months, the world has been reeling from what seems to be an unstoppable pandemic. Many businesses and business people have had to pivot and redirect their energies to remain in place. For Suzan Allen, the change was more like a full 360-degree turn than a pivot. But Allen is proving to herself that following her passion has immeasurable rewards.
Pre-COVID-19, Suzan spent her time recruiting top talent for large industrial markets, something she’ll continue to do. With a sales and marketing background, Suzan founded, owns and manages Blue Marble Recruiting LLC. Yet, a life-long passion continued to pull at her and an opportunity forged from this calling and with it, the chance to follow her passion and launch a second career.
So, Allen’s curveball — ignited by the repercussions of the pandemic — has proven to be a welcome change from ‘life as usual’ before COVID restrictions. Her 360 landed her smack dab in the middle of her dream job — importing, marketing, and selling French, Italian and Portuguese home furnishings.
What’s so special about French Italian design, you ask? For Allen, the styles and designs take her back to her roots. As an Italian, Suzan grew up loving the perfectly melded romantic elements from Old World Italy and France. And the nostalgic, casual design elegance Allen always loved has stood the test of time. She says the familiar, trademark elements from both countries have influenced American decor for decades, ultimately creating the popular French country and Tuscan designs.
So what are some unique identifiers of French Italian style? As a whole, the style encompasses a warm, welcoming, relaxed elegance centered around the traditional romantic elements of Old World decorating. Exposed wood beams and arched windows and doors are two popular architectural characteristics. Intriguing design elements include distressed faux finishes, stone floors, and mixed metals to create a primitive, simplistic ambiance. Signature colors of the style are straight out of the vineyards of Italy. Rich greens, burnt oranges and reds, shades of yellow, purple, and a striking cobalt blue contribute to the Italian portion of the look.
The French influence can be seen more in the light, coastal-inspired colors to balance the rich, dark Italian hues. Beiges, creams, and subtle blues in distressed finishes create a time-worn look that completes the French Italian style.
No room would be finished without accent pieces. Items that complement this design element include earthenware and terra cotta pottery, faux fruits and vines, wooden baskets, copper bowls, tapestries, and framed art. Allen loves it all, and her dream to share her passion for French Italian decor is finally coming true with her new online business French Italian Home Furnishings.
Allen has had a lifetime of planning this dream, but now she finds herself meticulously putting those plans into practice as her online home furnishing venture ramps up and prepares for launch. She refers to her company as an ‘online retail boutique’ that imports furniture and other design elements from France, Italy, and Portugal. Her mission is to bring the elegance of France and Italy into the American home. Allen takes pride in knowing all of her merchandise is unique and has a modern and contemporary look with a touch of Old World charm.
For Allen, this adventure has been the fulfillment of a life-long dream. She is working hard to make sure every experience you have with French Italian Home Furnishings — from ordering to delivery — is a pleasurable experience. Suzan Allen is living proof that sometimes when you’re thrown that curveball, you just need to step into it and knock it out of the park.
Published on June 1, 2020