Every month, we introduce you to an interesting woman living in Languedoc. Curious as we are, we like to find out why she lives in this beautiful region, what she does for a living and some of her Languedoc favourites. This month we would like you to meet Josefine Vizago as Ramoneta of the Month. She is a brow specialist and runs the permanent makeup clinic ‘Vizago’ in downtown Montpellier. After interviewing her, my brows are in tip-top order!
With my husband and daughter, I lived in the third-largest city in Denmark. My husband introduced me to the world of tattooing, as a tattoo artist himself. Although I went to law school, I gradually started to tattoo small tattoos and eyebrows through university to earn some money. After I had our daughter, I decided to open a permanent makeup clinic in the middle of Denmark. And even though my family and I were living the good life, we felt like there was more to discover in a country where the sun shines continuously.
First time visiting the region
Once my husband and I had made the decision to move to the South of Europe, we had to choose a country to live in. We narrowed it down to three countries: Italy, Spain and France. Because the competition for permanent makeup is high in Spain, this wasn’t an option. As I already worked with a Danish company for my products and they didn’t have a distributor in France, it made the choice easier to come to France.
Although I visited the South of France a lot when I was a child, I had never been to this part of the South. During our first visit to the Languedoc region, we stayed in Béziers. For us, this was too small, and a Danish friend suggested having a look in Montpellier (1 & 2). And this turned out to be the perfect place for my clinic, with a great mix of French and international people.
Settling in Languedoc
At the beginning of 2020, my husband and I took the step to move to the South of France. After having found a location for my clinic, we had to look for a home for our family as we didn’t want to live in a city. And now we live in a village close to Montpellier, where our daughter can go to college, and we can take the tram into town. It’s the best of both worlds. However, I have to say that I’m a little jealous- but mostly proud- of my daughter because she is already fluent in French.
At my clinic Vizago (3 & 4), I offer permanent makeup for mostly eyebrows but also eyeliner, lip liner, beauty spots and nipples. Besides permanent makeup, you can also have your nails done or have a lash lift. My level of French is good if it’s related to my work, therefore my clients are a mix of French and foreigners.
Setting up a business in France
Setting up the business was a challenge, as we had to organise a lot of things. Although I’m educated in Denmark with an internationally recognised degree, I had to pass my hygiene code here in France. Luckily, I received a lot of help from a Danish friend, and also my French accountant advised me well. We moved to France in the middle of the pandemic, which meant that I had to close Vizago twice because of the lockdowns. Either way, it was a success from the beginning. It helped a lot that I’m a social media expert, so people started to find out about my clinic really quickly. In Denmark, everybody knew me after eight years, whereas in France I had to start all over again. But the people in Montpellier are beginning to know the brow girl from Denmark :).
Living in the South of France
We have met so many lovely and friendly people since we moved here, of all nationalities. The difference with Denmark is that the work mentality is more relaxed and less stressful. Here, I really take my time to enjoy life. However, we do have to tell our friends and family from home that even though we live in a holiday spot, we do have a life to live. We combine it with the good things of life though, by going outside and enjoying the food, beach and walks. I also love that you buy your groceries locally in shops that are specialised in one particular product.
Montpellier has such a wide variety of great restaurants. My husband and I love to go to the Place de la Comédie and having lunch at Café Riche or Le Yam’s. And my newest find is eating at the vegan restaurant Greenlab (5) at 2 Rue de l’Université. Their homemade falafel and houmous are the best!
Perfect day out in Languedoc
I would either go for a family walk to the Pic Saint-Loup, a modest mountain close to Montpellier with great views. Or I would take my husband and daughter to the beach. We love to go to La Grande Motte (6), as it gives an instant holiday feeling. To end the day, we would go to a ‘course Camarguaise’. This bullfight Provencal style is not cruel to the animals, as they don’t get killed, nor is any blood spilled. Instead, the so-called ‘razeteurs’ have to try to grab a ribbon from the bull’s horns.