I was one of 14 artists to participate in the Jewelry Artists of Quebec exhibition at Aaron Faber Gallery in New York City. When Lilian first introduced herself and her company to all of us via email, she asked what each of us wanted to accomplish in our participation. For me, it was most important to understand the U.S. jewelry market, especially for the one-of-a-kind jewelry that I produce. While I expected to learn something in my participation, I never could have imagined the extent Lilian would go through to ensure all of us left New York with a new sense of direction for our businesses.
The speakers’ panel she coordinated brought together some of the most influential people in the U.S. jewelry industry to answer all of our questions. The press coverage before and after the exhibition opening helped our stories reach a much broader audience. And the materials she prepared – from the online press room to the official event catalog to giving all of the artists our own unique portfolios online – went above and beyond anything I’ve ever encountered.
Lilian’s energy, dedication, follow up and sincere interest in our success made this one of my best experiences yet. While we don’t know when and if she sleeps, we do know that when Lilian’s involved, we don’t have a thing to worry about it. She gets the job done – and does so beyond our wildest expectations.
Quebec Government Delegation
Jewelry Artists of Quebec Microsite
Event Conceptualization & Management
Collateral Material Development
Speakers’ Panel Coordination
The Société d’État relevant du ministre de la Culture et des Communications (SODEC), a division of the Québec Government Delegation, wanted to introduce the best of Québec jewelry to the United States market. With this goal in mind, SODEC collaborated with Aaron Faber Gallery in Manhattan, New York to design the Jewelry Artists of Québec Exhibition. We were recommended by Aaron Faber Gallery to assist in conceptualizing and executing key components of the exhibition.
In understanding SODEC’s overall purpose is the promotion of Québec culture (and in this instance, Québec jewelry artists) to international markets, we also considered the importance of the Québec jewelry artists’ understanding the nuances of doing business within the United States. As such, we recommended the exhibition’s objectives should be twofold: introducing the U.S. market to Québecois jewelry artists, and educating Québecois jewelry artists on the U.S. market.
OBJECTIVE ONE: INTRODUCE THE U.S. MARKET TO QUÉBECOIS JEWELRY ARTISTS
We constructed the website Jewelry Artists of Québec, where detailed information on the exhibition could be found. In addition, we created digital portfolios for each participating artist, where their work for the exhibition could be previewed. While the website was under development, we created four master databases of contacts that would serve to further aid the promotion of the Québecois artists within this market. These databases included press and blogger contacts covering the jewelry industry; fashion, celebrity and wardrobe stylists who could find new jewelry styling ideas for their personal clients within the work of the participating artists; jewelry buyers at Manhattan-based luxury retailers and tri-state area galleries featuring the work of jewelry artists; and showrooms and sales representatives that could serve to represent the jewelry artists within the U.S. market.
Once the databases and website were developed, we wrote and distributed via wire service a master press release announcing the exhibition and participating artists. This was followed by a shorter introduction release that was sent directly to members of our four databases. A media advisory was also developed and distributed one week prior to the exhibition launch to members of broadcast media. Further, a master press kit was designed, assembled and mailed to our top 25 press contacts.
In addition to the press releases and media kits, we created a series of weekly Product e- Newsletters, each featuring the work of one of the participating artists, with an invitation to attend the planned press breakfast. This was distributed to all members of our four databases in the weeks leading up to the exhibition opening.
We then collaborated with Aaron Faber and SODEC to design a Press Breakfast, where members of the press, bloggers, stylists, sales and showroom representatives were invited to meet with each artist and review their contributions to the exhibition. We created and managed the guest list for the breakfast, following up with everyone invited to secure an RSVP, whether a confirmation or a request to meet with Patricia Faber at a later date to discuss the collections.
We successfully negotiated the participation of a videographer to video-record both the Speakers’ Panel, and interviews with each artist as they spoke about their origins in jewelry, inspirations and gave an overview of the work that would be part of the exhibition. We also arranged for a photographer to capture all components of the exhibition, including the morning video-taped interviews with the artists, the Speaker’s Panel, the Press Breakfast and the Cocktail Party.
We designed the official logo for the Jewelry Artists of Québec Exhibition, which was used on all subsequent collateral materials. We also designed and managed printing of the official Jewelry Artists of Québec exhibition catalog, which included a foreword written by Noel Guyomarc’h, owner of La Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h Bijoux D’Art, one of Québec’s most important supporter of the sale and distribution of Québec jewelry art.
Speaker’s Panel on The U.S. Jewelry Business
We had the pleasure of meeting Lilian Raji on the occasion of a group exhibition of 14 jewellers in New York City’s renowned Aaron Faber Gallery. This group looked to her to get media coverage and attract important buyers and collectors to the show as well as to organise the events connected with this show i.e. breakfast with buyers, collectors and journalists, panel discussion with marketing experts…
From her first e-mail to us we understood that she was a highly organised professional who had thought everything through, down to the very last detail of this demanding project. Her instructions concerning what she would need from us were clear and concise. There were various deadlines to be respected for photos, texts, etc. and Lilian tactfully coaxed and pushed us along using the art of persuasion and her great sense of humor to make sure that even the chronic stragglers got everything to her on time.
When we finally met her in person she revealed herself as an exuberant, sparkling and attractive person who is as easy to be with as she is to work with.
Lilian is truly passionate about her work and the results of her efforts and savoir faire have gone well beyond our expectations; we met with some of New Yorks most important buyers and got media coverage in many important websites, blogs and magazines such as Rappaport, JCK and the Metal Arts Guild of Canada just to name a few. Several months after the show she was still sending us links to new articles. We highly recommend Lilian Raji.
OBJECTIVE TWO: EDUCATE THE QUÉBECOIS JEWELRY ARTISTS ON THE U.S. MARKET
To help the Québecois jewelry artists fully understand the U.S. market, The Lilian Raji Agency coordinated a Speakers’ Panel, composed of influential and deeply experienced participants of the U.S. jewelry industry.
The panel included:
- Cindy Edelstein, Owner of Jewelers Resources Bureau
- Theresa Poirier, National Sales Director of Fragments Showroom
- Victoria Gomelsky, Editor in Chief for JCK Magazine
- Karen Lee, Americas Area Manager for S.T. Dupont
- Randi Molofsky, freelance journalist and author of A Girl’s Guide to Buying Diamonds
- Meeling Wong, Founder of Meeling Wong Associates
Prior to the Speakers’ Panel, we required of all participating artists to submit an advance list of questions they had regarding the U.S. market. These questions were then thoroughly addressed over the course of one and a half hours by the panel members.
In addition to the Speakers’ Panel, we arranged for Cindy Edelstein to have thirty minute consulting sessions with each artist. In preparation for this, we asked each artist to share with us in advance what they would like to discuss with Cindy. We then compiled this information to create a 200 page briefing book. The book was sectioned by artist, and included their core questions, detailed background information and photos of their work, both for the exhibition as well as past work.
This was mailed to Cindy one week prior to the exhibition opening, giving her time to review each artist’s work and make personal notes in advance of the sessions. While thirty minutes is a short time, Cindy commented that the briefing book helped focus the conversations and helped ensure the artists left her with a strategy to move forward with their business.
In addition to Cindy’s briefing book, we also created briefing books for the artists that gave an overview of the week’s events, panel speakers’ bios, a brief introduction of what to expect during the press breakfast, and a list of Manhattan-area retailers the artists should visit while in New York to get a good idea of the jewelry market.
- The Jewelry Artists of Québec Exhibition microsite received 6,301 unique visits and 18,469 page impressions within the first three months of launch.
- The Press Breakfast received 33 RSVP confirmations, of which 25 attended and 20 subsequently did an article, blog, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter post on the exhibition
- To date, we have received more than 50 magazine articles and blog posts about the exhibition and/or participating artists, which include:
- Accessories Magazine, May Print Issue: Exhibition Profile
- Accessories Magazine Online: Exhibition Profile
- Jewellery Business Magazine Online: Exhibition Profile
- Rappaport Diamonds: Exhibition Profile
- New York Magazine: Exhibition mention, both online and in email newsletter
- JQ International: Exhibition Profile
- Association for the Study of Jewelry Arts: Exhibition Profile
- Chic Galleria: Interviews of Laurie Dansereau and Pierre-Yves Paquette Rappaport Diamond Print Magazine: Interview with Matthieu Cheminée
- JCK Magazine: Feature Élise Bergeron
- Pulp Magazine, August Print Issue: Eight page report on Claudio Pino
- Pulp Magazine Online: Feature Claudio Pino
- National Jeweler Magazine, May: Feature Claudio Pino
- MJSA Journal, July Print Issue: Feature Claudio Pino
- FLARE Fashion Magazine, August Issue: Feature Claudio Pino
- 10x Online: Feature Claudio Pino
- Jewellery Business, June Issue: Feature Claudio Pino
- Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, May/June 2012: Feature Claudio Pino
- KENTON Magazine: Feature Claudio Pino
- ZINK Magazine, September Print Issue: Photo Shoot with Claudio Pino
- Metal Arts Guild: Exhibition Profile
- Canadian Jeweller Magazine commissioned Lilian Raji to write an article about the exhibition, which appeared in the August 2012 issue
- Owners of a prestigious Manhattan-based fashion and jewelry showroom requested a meeting with Gustavo Estrada, Élise Bergeron, Matthieu Cheminée, and Lynn Légaré, where they discussed the showroom’s interest in representing each of the artists for sales in the U.S. market
- Laurie Dansereau was introduced to Camille Wiart, formerly Business Development Director for the French Trade Commission and a colleague of Lilian Raji; they are presently discussing having Camille help Laurie develop her business in the U.S. market
- Janis Kerman was introduced to Paris-based Franck-Albert Brafine, also a colleague of Lilian Raji; they are presently discussing Franck-Albert assisting Janis in breaking into the French market
- Lilian Raji attended JCK Las Vegas with Élise Bergeron, assisting Élise in setting up press and retail appointments in advance of the show and helping Élise communicate with potential buyers while teaching sales techniques during the show
The Jewelry Artists of Quebec exhibition at the Aaron Faber Gallery, New York, was a real success. This was an extremely well-planned event, thanks to the Lilian Raji Agency. The catalogue was fabulously designed, as were the amazing website and promotional tools. The media response to the PR work was excellent, as was the organization of the VIP cocktail events, seminars, professional meetings, and the opening. Everything was meticulously planned and carried out perfectly. I was extremely grateful for and impressed by the expertise I witnessed and the generous feedback from the exhibition. It really went beyond anything I could have expected, and I would like to thank the Lilian Raji Agency for its dedication, goodwill, and professionalism. I truly believe that the services provided by Lilian Raji were exceptional, and I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone.
Interviews with the Jewelry Artists of Quebec