Helen Siwak

Helen is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Comms, publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, and multiple digital lifestyle blogs. She is a pr

Jan 20, 2021
Published on: Medium
1 min read
Image provided by Jackie Kai Ellis / Flax Sleep
Image provided by Jackie Kai Ellis / Flax Sleep

There is a dream that lives through story-telling of the vivacious and driven young woman who leaves it all behind to begin a new life, a true life, in Paris, France.

There the young woman thrives and becomes cosmopolitan. She never forgets the fast-paced western city life, and occasionally returns to share her adventures and life’s truths with the next generation of adventurous women.

Jackie Kai Ellis is such a woman. Vancouver-born and holding a residence here and in Paris, she is a woman with soul and without cliché, who has turned her actions and musings into a source of inspiration for an international audience.

Image provided by Jackie Kai Ellis / Flax Sleep
Image provided by Jackie Kai Ellis / Flax Sleep

A Focus on Authenticity

Jackie is an outlier in a digital world where you can find design and beauty in your hand at a moment’s notice — but is questionable as to whether this a genuinely authentic vision or one that is fleeting in nature. The work that she does is equal parts enduring and natural, focusing on craft and the understanding that anything worth enjoying is one that takes time.

Jackie is a woman who has accomplished much in a relatively short period of time. Early on she ventured over to France, to attend the Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil pastry school, and returned many times with her business — The Paris Tours — which delighted ticket-holders with a tasting tour of the best pâtisseries in the city.

A Memoir of Note

Image provided by Jackie Kai Ellis / Flax Sleep

Her ability to capture moments and emotions has resulted in a bestselling memoir The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris. This book takes a vulnerable and personal look into the darkest years of her life and an eventual impetus for her decision to begin exploring food, France, and a life that gave her joy. Her story invites readers to join her as she embarked on a path to overcoming fears and doubts.

Image provided by Jackie Kai Ellis / Flax Sleep
Image provided by Jackie Kai Ellis / Flax Sleep

APT La Fayette is Revealed

Her Parisian home is located just off the Canal St. Martin, in the artsy 10th arrondissement, which she bought in 2017 after selling her award-winning and much-lauded Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe to siblings Betty and Jacky Hung. At first sight, the cluttered apartment was in a state of disrepair because its former owner had done little in the way of renovations since the 1940's!

Jackie envisioned a chic and cozy space and proceeded to knock down walls to showcase the unit’s large square-footage, which is uncommon among Paris’s notoriously pint-sized flats. Other treasures demanded to be reborn-a marble fireplace, herringbone wooden flooring, and room mouldings. Like an elegantly carved wooden bed frame, many of her prized pieces were picked-up from sellers on — French Craigslist — Le Bon Coin.

The result is a home that was meant to be shared. Just as her open kitchen allowed her to keep guests entertained while preparing a meal from the bounty of the Parisian markets, her influence led to the apartment being profiled in Architectural Digest, House & Home, Real Living, and Curbed. It even demanded a name and was christened APT La Fayette.

JKE x Flax Sleep

APT La Fayette has become a physical space for inspiration and a space to build her creative consultancy while working with brands. Recently, she entered into a collaboration with Canadian bedding company Flax Sleep that resulted in the Cuisine Collection by APT of kitchen-ready linens.

Image provided by Jackie Kai Ellis / Flax Sleep
Image provided by Jackie Kai Ellis / Flax Sleep

The homewares collection includes items straight from Jackie’s kitchen ( market bags, a chef’s apron, dish towels, and cocktail napkins) with inspiration drawing from the experiences of long evenings around her Parisian dinner table.

Longing for a glimpse into this world? When Jackie is in Vancouver, APT La Fayette is available through Airbnb.

How wonderful would it be if at this very moment there is a young woman on her laptop, dreaming of a new life, who stumbles upon the listing, and clicks? The results could be magical!

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AUTHOR: Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer

Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Communications, publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, and multiple digital lifestyle blogs. She is a content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist in the luxury lifestyle niche. She is a regular content contributor to Retail-Insider and has a vast freelance portfolio including Boulevard English & Chinese editions, Indulge, and Montecristo Magazine. When not attending high-profile events in Vancouver’s ‘Luxury Zone’ or on assignment abroad, she is honing her plant-based cooking skills and caring for her rescues. helen@ecoluxluv.com