Tourists flock to the top of Monmartre's hill to visit the Sacré Coeur Basilica and Place du Tertre — a haven of tacky souvenir stores and cheap art. Few of them realize that the nearby neighborhoods around Monmartre's base are filled with local Parisian cafés and boutiques with unique finds. One of my favorite areas to wander is the tisus (fabric) district around Place Saint Pierre. Storefronts in the area are pure eye candy, filled with rolls of textiles of every type, color and motif imaginable.
While wandering rue d’Orsel, I came across a small store that specialized in notions. I was entranced by the rhythmic button display formed at the end of the long, plastic tube containers. The friendly sales woman taught me that when interested in purchasing fabrics or notions in France, one should always seek a clerk for assistance. She also told me to keep an eye out for "coupons." Though they do connote good deals in France, they do not refer to the paper discounts we use in the U.S. Rather, the French definition of coupons refers to pre-cut /remnant pieces of fabric that are sold at reduced prices.