It won’t be a surprise to you to read that, when finding new french girlfriends, I am drawn to strong, confident and happy women, who work everyday with passion and excitement.
The girlfriend I am introducing you to today, is just such a woman, the first thing you notice about Sylvie is her broad smile, her energy and frank direct approach.
Sylvie’s life has taken some unexpected turns, but whatever life threw at her she just turned it around and made it into something positive and today she is doing what she does best and loving every minute of it.
Sylvie runs her own communication company, and specialises in PR for companies and events that have a link with French art, tradition and heritage. She fell into this niche because she has always loved antiques, and one day while visiting an auction house in the south of France, she noticed that the local antique dealers, preparing an upcoming auction, were glum because business was slow. “So have you done anything about it?”, she asked them! “Have you told the press about the treasure you have lined up for your next auction? did you ask the local tv if they’d like to come down and interview you?!” “Do you have any good photos of the contents of your sale?” …. there was a silence, and then the reply came, “but Sylvie we are antique dealers, we don’t know how to do that stuff” …. her career was born.
Within a week she had local tv and newspapers on board, some national coverage too, and the auction was a huge success. Word of her energy and influence soon got out, and before she knew it she was heralded as the expert in communication for the art world.
Some things are just meant to be.
Today, Sylvie is in the luxurious position of working a stone’s throw from the Champs Elysees, in the heart of Paris. From her office she has a sublime view over the grey zinc rooftops of the city. She goes everywhere by foot, and her office is in her apartment – what you’d call a short commute!
Her reputation is such that she gets to choose her clients, and has some very prestigious successes to her name. When the French cruise boat France was being dismantled in India after nearly 50 years of service, she met a doctor who had spent his entire savings on spare parts from the boat. She loved his story and the passion with which he spoke about the boat, and why it should be saved, and she helped him put together a very charismatic auction, with the nose of the great boat driven down the Champs Elysées on the morning of the sale.
She was responsible for the communication around the sale of the contents of the Crillon Hotel before it was closed for refurbishing, and also organised the sale of costumes and scenery from the Folies Bergères, to name but a few.
Every project has a story to tell, and a passion to communicate. Listening to Sylvie talk about her sales, it is easy to understand how exciting it is to be involved in such high profile work, that involves saving precious memorabilia and artwork from neglect, and puts her into contact with so many interesting people.
When Sylvie is not working she spends time in her beautifully decorated flat. Here there isn’t a computer in site, but the artwork is omnipresent. Some pieces are simply coups-de-cœur (art that she falls for while out and about), others are souvenirs of her sales, given to her by grateful clients.
I loved the day that I spent with Sylvie, chatting, learning about her industry and taking my photos. Her energy and curiosity is contagious, and I came away from the day inspired to keep my eyes open even wider, and always be open to new encounters and good stories – a good life philosophy I think!
If you would like to learn more about Sylvie’s work, her website is here