Sacramento boutique embraces all things French

The inventory at Le Petit Paris runs from flea-market finds and charming toys to elegant handbags

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Sacramento Parisian boutique

Surrounded by designer items she brought back from Paris, Tassina Placencia wants everyone to experience her favorite city.

Angela Wyant

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Ever since a whirlwind European trip during college 15 years ago, Tassina Placencia has been hooked on Paris. "Anytime I had extra money or time, Paris is where I'd be. My friends said, 'Find a new place!' but I loved it."

Placencia, who grew up in Lodi and has lived in Sacramento for more than a decade, always wanted to bring her favorite city home. Her new boutique ― fittingly named Le Petit Paris ― in Sacramento's Midtown Boutique District does just that. Her inventory runs from flea-market finds and charming toys to elegant handbags. This spring, Placencia is excited about her flirty scarves in tissuelike pastel silks and her ruffled, dotted bloomers for girls.

Scoping out such discoveries in Paris is just part of the city's draw.

Placencia has always loved the people-watching too: "On the Métro, I'd notice how people were wearing their scarves, or look at jewelry trends and purses." She used her observations to choose gifts for friends, who encouraged her to open a shop. Now buying trips to Paris are family affairs, with 4-year-old daughter Bella just as excited as Placencia.

In the meantime, Placencia is working with Sacramento's Alliance Française to hold language and culture activities for kids during Sacramento's art-focused Second Saturdays (the next one is April 8). Starting in June, she'll also lead shopping tours in Paris. But for those who can't get that far, a trip to Le Petit Paris will do just fine.

Info: Le Petit Paris (closed Mon; 1221 19th St., Sacramento; 916/446-3639).

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