EHL Success Stories: Start-Up Edition is a new series to show support to our EHL Family and, more specifically, our hard-working AEHL entrepreneurs. This project aims to showcase EHL's entrepreneur mindsets, support new and upcoming ideas and businesses. While overcoming a challenging time for all companies, these Start Ups prove that resilience and hard work can overcome any problem.
For this feature, we present Meillart: a luxury craftmanship platform that gives you the chance to travel through a selection of unique objects from the world's greatest craftsmen. In a fast and instantaneous consumption world, they offer a new online experience to craftsmen to create objects that have a story and are destined to last through time.
We had the chance to speak to them about their brand, motivations and challenging times.
Can you present yourself in a couple of words?
My name is Marie de Franssu, I come from Belgium. I graduated in June 2018 and am currently living in Paris.
Can you tell us about Meillart?
Meillart is a new online destination for the most beautiful luxury craftsmanship around the world.
Image credits @ardmoredesign
Can you tell us the story of how it all started?
My brother, Alfred, and I come from a family in love with beautiful things. At home, we have always been concerned about know-how and a job well done, which we now take to heart. After professional experiences in the digital world for Alfred and at Sotheby's for Marie, we decided to offer a new experience to showcase craftsmen and designers. More modern, in line with the way we consume today and our desires for tomorrow's world.
Image credits @molecotporcelain
How long has your company been around?
We launched Meillart on September 1st, 2020.
How did EHL play a role in developing your ideas?
I would say EHL gave us a sense of entrepreneurship. I took an entrepreneurial elective course in BOSC6, which enhanced my will to create and participate in the construction of tomorrow's world. A more responsible and respectful dynamic.
Image credits @molecotporcelain
How did Meillart experience the pandemic?
Launching a company in the middle of COVID-19 is not the usual way-to-go. Nevertheless, we have been able to take it as an opportunity. First, because we understood how COVID could have a positive impact on the interior design sector. Second and most importantly, because the pandemic has brought our focus back to important matters. Amongst these critical values, I would mention craftsmanship. People are starting to understand and embrace the different processes that creating an item implies. I hope this will further increase and help our craftsmen to embrace their important place in our actual society.
Image credits @storiesofitaly
What was your biggest challenge faced during the past few months?
A young startup is like following a rollercoaster journey. We have had so many challenges. We needed to create a brand image, to learn how to sell, recruit, and so many other different skills in such a small amount of time. All in, I would say our biggest challenge was to promote our craftsmen and help our clients fully understand their craft and passion. We seek to give a reason for and a story that stands behind every item purchased.
What is your favourite quote?
It is time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince