In this interview series, we chat with members of our club to help you get to know them better. Today, we talk to Richard Stokes about his life and work in the region.
What brought you to the French Riviera? How long have you been here?
Firstly I came to the French Riviera with my wife Kim, as we wanted to do something different for a year. Moreover, we both loved coming to the south of France for our holidays. So, it seemed to be the obvious choice!
That was already over eight years ago now.
After about nine months, we didn’t want to leave. Consequently, we have made up our minds that we are here to stay!
Could you tell us about your professional career? What do or did you do for work?
I run a window cleaning business called ‘Panoramic Cleaning’. Additionally, for about 20 years, I have been in this industry. Undoubtedly, this is the most beautiful area I have ever worked in. Moreover, there is also another business I started called ‘RLS Productions’. Specifically, it’s a videography business for weddings, events, as well as business promotion and interviews.
What does the company that you work for do?
Panoramic Cleaning not only cleans windows on some of the most exclusive properties on the Côte d’Azur but also offers gutter clearances, conservatory roof cleaning, and high reach dust removal.
In comparison, RLS Productions offers video services at events and weddings, to have a short film to watch again and again over the years. Notably, for businesses, we can produce promotional videos or an interview for their business social media or website.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
Panoramic Cleaning, I started this company because I had a lot of experience in this field. Moreover, I saw that there was a clear opportunity to offer this service in this area. Additionally, the business has been growing year upon year since 2017.
In contrast, I began RLS Productions as I love to make videos/films. Undoubtedly, it is a creative outlet for me, and I really enjoy recording and then putting together a beautiful short film.
What would be your best advice to others thinking about living or working on the French Riviera?
Come on over. It’s a great lifestyle here full of interesting people in a beautiful part of the world. Additionally, there are lots of business opportunities here if you are willing to put in the leg work to meet the right people. Notably, networking can work very well.
Maybe test the waters for six months to see if this is the right place for you.
Living here on the Côte d’Azur, in someways, is a challenge at times. On the other hand, when I lived in the UK, I also faced many challenges. However, living here means I have the sun more often with the sea on my doorstep and the mountains in my back garden. Accordingly, life is life wherever you live, so you might as well live somewhere beautiful.
Fun facts about Richard Stokes!
Since when do you live on the French Riviera?
We moved here in December 2015.
Where are you originally from?
What is your favourite wine?
Whichever one I get to share with my friends and family.
What is your favourite spot on the French Riviera?
There is a private beach that I like to visit called ‘Le Pingouin Bleu’. Specifically, it’s a rustic place with a BBQ menu, bar, and a sandy beach. Love it!
What French word, expression or sentence do you find very difficult to pronounce?
Obviously feel free to reach out to me if you have windows that need cleaning. Additionally, if you have a video project in mind or if you just want to say hi.