Charlotte, Maxime: where are you from? Can you introduce yourselves, please?
We both come from Bordeaux, and we’re a couple of passionate entrepreneurs. We co-founded Selency 4 years ago. Maxime loves entrepreneurship, sports and challenges of all kinds. Personally, I’m a decoration fanatic. I like to conceptualise, imagine and develop my ideas, and then take them as far as I can. We found ourselves involved in this project, which allowed us to combine our common passions, values and ambitions, and I must admit that Selency is allowing us to blossom 1000% at the moment.
For those who don’t know about Selency. What is it?
It’s a website that allows everyone to find and sell second-hand furniture and decorative items. Our role is to select the most beautiful and unique pieces, authenticate them, and contribute content and decorating ideas to create a truly inspiring experience.
How has Selency evolved since we first met? How are things going today?
Selency has developed quite nicely. We’ve changed our name. We’ve changed offices. And we have raised two lots of funding that have allowed us to increase in size from four to 35 employees now. We’ve made mistakes now and then, and we’ve improved. We have redesigned our site from top to bottom and added many new features (online negotiation, professional services and so on). And above all, we always strive to offer the best pieces at the best price.
Your decoration is somewhat different now. Your tastes too? Do you need to change things frequently?
Yes, both, clearly! My tastes have refined over time and have probably changed as a result of my discoveries. I must admit that no matter what happens, I love change too. This also goes for our entrepreneurial personalities, which are continually evolving.
Green still my forever colour. I love it. It's soothing, comforting, and in line with Selency's green values as well.
Do you still go bargain hunting anywhere other than on Selency? If so, can you give us your favourite addresses in France?
To be honest, not much, because Selency really responds to the need I had identified: to have available a wide selection of unique quality pieces and a complete range of services from purchase through to delivery. Flea markets are reserved for holidays and moments of relaxation. I love the one at the Jas des Roberts in Grimaud and the sales outlets in Lille or Amiens. And in Paris, the Porte de Vanves at weekends is still the best place in the capital to physically go bargain-hunting! I’m still convinced that the traditional flea market is a terrific complement to our activities at Selency.
And for those who like to search online, have you some advice?
Be proactive, think about bargaining. Dealers are often open to discussion! And above all, check the dimensions to avoid the “would I lie to you?” effect by having the unpleasant surprise of receiving a miniature product that we thought was a standard size. It’s happened to me in the past, and I must say I felt a bit stupid.
Which is the item, furniture or material that your customers prefer on Selency?
Unsurprisingly: brass, rattan and cane are our most popular materials of the moment. And a special mention goes to the Breuer chair, which has become an increasingly difficult to find must-have. It remains to be seen what the next big thing will be… I’m pretty sure that Empire and Restoration furniture will make a comeback. Reconciling aesthetics and practicality at ultra-affordable prices. It costs less nowadays than a chest of drawers from Ikea.
What are your latest acquisitions? The ones you’ve been dreaming of?
I reread our last interview on The Socialite Family in which I said I dreamed of a Tulip table by Eero Saarinen. We gave ourselves one as a wonderful present last year. I still love it as much as ever! It’s a timeless piece that works with everything. Apart from that, we’ve just recently acquired a walnut buffet that I love. It sits proudly in the entrance hall and what I like most is that I’ve teamed it with our Atollo lamp, a classic of Italian design from the 1970s.
What’s your current favourite colour, in paintings and decoration?
Green in all its nuances. I’m not sure if it comes out of my paintings, actually, but it’s still my forever colour. I love it. It’s soothing, comforting, and in line with Selency‘s green values as well.
What atmosphere did you want to give to your interior?
A big mix of styles but always refined while maintaining a warm feel, with lots of wood. In short, a place where you feel good!
The Socialite Family for you is…?
The newsletter I love to open, after Selency‘s of course! And a big dose of inspiration.
What are your plans for 2019?
Be proactive, think about bargaining. Dealers are often open to discussion!
Photography: Valerio Geraci – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily