Nathalie Clément & Laurabel Clément
"We share events, activities, secret addresses, hidden gems about the city, in French…"
What is your job and your responsibilities?
Laurabel: I work at BMO Harris in the Equipment Finance department and I am co-founder of “French & Friends in Milwaukee” to welcome newcomers in the incredible Cream City.
Nathalie: I am a mother of three/blogger/co-founder of “French & Friends in Milwaukee” to help new people to settle down in the U.S. and especially Milwaukee.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee & what brought you here?
Nathalie: I am from Paris and moved to Milwaukee for my husband’s job a year and a half ago. I am thirty-ish and I used to work for the cosmetic brand, l’Oréal in Marketing and Human Resources. This is my first experience living abroad.
Laurabel: I am 25 years old. I came to Milwaukee for my husband’s job, too, in Fall 2014. I love traveling and discovering new cultures. During my studies, I lived in China and Spain and both were rewarding experiences.
If you could create one thing in Milwaukee, what would it be?
Laurabel: I would create something to welcome newcomers. Actually, we did ☺ : it’s called “French & Friends in Milwaukee” Moving to a new country can be tough. Now that we have learned the ins and outs of Milwaukee, we wanted to help other newcomers to acclimatize, especially Europeans that sometimes don’t really know the American culture.
Nathalie: “French & Friends in Milwaukee” is a network of people; we have two different platforms: a group on Facebook and recently we launched a blog on mydistrikt mobile app, very popular among travelers, where we share events, activities, secret addresses, hidden gems, advices, tips… both in French and English. We engage a lot with our community and love to hear about others’ experiences. We also redacted many guides to help people settling down in Milwaukee.
Nathalie: I totally fell in love with the Joan d’Arc chapel brought from France stone by stone inside the Marquette University Campus. So delicate! Or just reading a book, sitting on a bench at Atwater park while looking at the lake. There are so many small treasures like this in Milwaukee, unbelievable…
Laurabel: When I first moved here, I was amazed by Milwaukee Art Museum and its stunning architecture by Calatrava. Even after one year, it still fascinates me.
Also, going down Milwaukee River kayaking on a Saturday, I ended up at Barnacle Buds drinking a Bloody Mary under the sun, so authentic and really “peaceful Milwaukee style”.
What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
Laurabel: Without hesitation, Odd Duck. Their tapas are amazing and so flavorful!
Nathalie: A romantic getaway at Onesto; I am dying for their homemade ricotta!
What is one word that you would use to describe Milwaukee?
Both: Welcoming! And friendliness. You really feel like home here.