Meet Clément Baulot-Suckov, founder of La Maison de Beauté

“You should try to understand things from the inside, and the ground up so that you have a more objective view”

Edited by Tamar Weisert.

My name is Clément, and I’m from Dijon, Burgundy, in France. I’m 32 years old and am a hairdresser, makeup artist, and choreographer. I started doing hairstyling when I was 15, which is also when I began performing Bulgarian dances. In 2006, after high school in Dijon, I moved to Lyon to prepare for my exams in aesthetics, makeup, and hair mastery. I moved to Paris in 2009 and started doing hair in an upper-class hair salon, where I frequently saw actors and actresses. There, I learned how to care about people’s needs, working with a friendly and demanding clientele.

From 2003 to 2012, I came to Bulgaria every year to learn Bulgarian Horo, somehow also learning how to drink rakia properly, making friends, and enjoying vacationing here. I lived in Paris in 2012, when I decided I wanted to make a move and start my own salon. In France, there is the advantage of having many laws to secure businesses, but it can also make things slow and complicated. In moving to Bulgaria, I also hoped to improve my dance skills and learn the language better.

I’ve always wanted to have my own place with my own rules. Even though learning is a continuous process, I gained a lot of experience working for “big names” in Paris. With La Maison de Beauté, I’ve tried to incorporate their skills and beliefs about creating tailored services for hair and makeup. I want to “educate” people in the Parisian style. I believe France shines with its beauty standards. I share with people how to look smart and elegant, but never overdone.

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When I discovered Bulgarian folk dances, I was thrilled to join them, because whether you are rich, poor, blonde, short, fat, creative or shy, you’re more than welcome. It’s always very inclusive. I discovered them when I was 15 and challenged with my self-confidence, so they helped me a lot. Countryside people developed this art, so you may imagine it to be rough and heavy, but it is nothing like that, especially for men. I have always admired how refined, diversified, and complicated the steps, hand movements, songs, and music are. I still do respect it, maybe even more now.

My life changed once I settled in Bulgaria. I began my first business, so I had to make sure to follow the laws, maintain a steady income, and mostly to be creative. I moved to Bulgaria with my French boyfriend, and it was the first time we lived together in our three-year-long relationship. It was also the first time I had ever lived with someone, and it was a challenge, of course.

In general, I guess I’ve become more open-minded, more focused, and more willing to evolve, but I can’t tell you if it’s Bulgaria or just me getting older.

I wish I would have known earlier that it is essential in the business culture of Bulgaria to be aware, reactive, and creative when facing any situation. 

I married a wonderful man from Varna two years ago, and for now, we’re not planning to move to France. Living abroad always has a bit of a vacation feel, and I'd like for it to continue. Establishing yourself outside of your native country can be challenging, and once you manage to overcome it, you may want a new experience.

My piece of advice to a newcomer in Bulgaria is: you should try to understand things from the inside, and the ground up so that you have a more objective view. A Bulgarian who has lived abroad already has this perspective, and they can help you understand local situations better. But you should also socialize with Bulgarians who have never lived abroad and are not used to foreigners; they help you learn what Bulgaria truly is.

My last piece of advice would be: call me and let's have a coffee. I would feel lucky to share my experiences with you.

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