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Meet Billy Folchetti of Luxe X Billy Folchetti

Today we’d like to introduce you to Billy Folchetti.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Billy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My career in the wedding industry actually started 2009 in Southern California. I was at a point in my college years, where I was feeling a bit uninspired and insecure that my study choices were actually going to lead me where I wanted to go in life. At the same time, as the universe would have it, I was offered a sales job working for a company focusing on Vietnamese weddings in Westminster, CA. Prior to this opportunity, I had never considered the wedding industry but I very quickly fell in love. During my short time with the company, I discovered all aspects of the industry from self-teaching floral design and composition to experience in a retail space for gowns, linens, catering, staffing, etc.- all services that the company offered. A few months in the economy took a major hit and I was let go from the company- shortly after three of my clients from there called expressing that they “couldn’t get married without me.” … this was the encouragement I needed to begin my first company.

Flash forward years later, for my 25th birthday, I bought myself a ticket to Paris. It was my first trip to Europe and I couldn’t wait- from the moment I touched ground on French soil I knew there was something there for me. I just had this gut feeling I would end up there one day. Halfway through my seven days baguette and shoe shopping binge I was in a bar with my bestie who took the trip with me- as she was talking to a group of guys, I was “eyeing the room” when I spotted literally one of the most attractive men I had ever seen. As the universe would have it “that guy” was the best friend of one of the gents my bff was chatting with. We spent the rest of my days in Paris together- three months later I moved to Paris to be with Paolo and Italian-born fashion designer who’d already called Paris home for ten years… and less than two years after we were married… we’ve just celebrated five years!

With the move to Paris without speaking French and not knowing what my next career step would be I started looking at the destination wedding scene. I was less than impressed by what I was seeing and saw a missing niche for a chic/simple approach and design aesthetic. I began with a photo shoot which was featured by a major wedding blog and then the clients began to call… since we have done over 100 events in 6 years in destinations all over Europe and beyond- Marrakech, Saint Tropez, London, Porto Cervo, Lake Como, Paris, Monaco and Provence to name a few. Our original sites were Paris-centric but we now travel anywhere our clients want to plan a celebration.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I once said in an interview that wedding planning is “not all flowers and couture…” (what happens behind the scenes can make you laugh, cry, sweat and sometimes/often even get you a little dirty). This is my truth- whether its a wedding or any other event the tension are high to achieve perfection within a format that does not allow for a “dress rehearsal”- if your clients do not like something or it’s not as they imagined there is no time to fix it or change it- you have one chance to get it right. I pride myself on being able perform with that stress and generally exceed – it’s not to say that I am perfect or have not had “failures.” Moving forward and evolving through mistakes is an important power to have and I feel proud to process it.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Luxe X Billy Folchetti – what should we know?
We specialize in event planning, design and flowers- its a mix under one roof that in the European market is a bit new. While in the states, you can find a load of companies that offer both flowers and planning the concept was new when I started seven years ago. As destination planners/stylists our (mostly) American clientele really love that we are a one stop shop per say – if we don’t offer it we know who does. I am most proud of that against all odds- language barriers, cultural differences and starting a business at 25 that we have such a long list of incredibly satisfied clients.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I’d would say my “stop at nothing” mentality. As a kid, my father always said, “Folchetti’s never quit.” I look back at that now and live by it. I think if you have a dream then you must follow it- the most risky investments are usually those with the highest return.

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Image Credit:

Kristine Grinvalde, Le Secret D’Audrey, Evan Perigo, Claire Morris, Linas Dambrauskas, Cinzia Bruschini

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