FUSAC Packs 28 Years of Paris Know How into Books for Expats
For years, newcomers to Paris have known that the acronym FUSAC is one of the first words to learn when adapting to their new environment. Transferring to Paris? Seek out FUSAC’s ads for apartment rentals or find great used furniture sales. Leaving? Sell off your household goods quickly by posting an ad. Job searches, advice, it’s all been there for the past 28 years. And, what’s so incredibly impressive about FUSAC is that it is founded and entirely run by a devoted couple, Lisa and John Vanden Bos, with their assistant Caroline.
Many of us at INSPIRELLE can remember picking up our free copy of the FUSAC magazine at one of the English-speaking bookstores or shops in Paris. Today, FUSAC is available exclusively online, and its owners have packed all their knowledge and experience with expats into three books: 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French, Speak Easy Puzzles (volume 3) and, most recently, the FUSAC Free Guide to Paris.
Chapeau to FUSAC! INSPIRELLE spoke to founder Lisa Vanden Bos to learn more about how they paved the way for expats and businesses in the city of light.
My goodness! Which expat hasn’t heard of FUSAC and all that it offers to the expat community living in France. But how many of us know what FUSAC’s name stands for?
FUSAC was originally France-USA Contacts. But, with the French penchant for using abbreviations and acronyms,it pretty quickly became FUSAC. Using FUSAC also allowed us to have a more open door – beyond just Americans – and it helped us create a brand. (Now the word is often used for Fusion-Aquisitions, but we used it first!)
Lisa, how do you explain FUSAC’S 28 years of success as an indispensable resource guide for the Anglophone community in Paris?
FUSAC was the central source for information before the internet existed. We distributed copies to all the places that English speakers went in Paris and the surrounding area. It was widely available, nicely displayed and delivered very quickly as soon as it came out. That is what allowed us to build our reputation, which then was enhanced by “bouche à l’oreille” (word of mouth).
Who is behind the writing and production of FUSAC?
Myself, my husband John, and our assistant Caroline, who has made herself indispensable, all participate in writing and production.
What is your role with this established community business?
Everything! When you have a small company you wear many hats. Each of the three of us has some specific duties, but we all participate in just about all the tasks.
The rest of the interview and article is available on Inspirelle.