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SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED… ALL YOURS!

Edouard Gouin and Clément Ouizille, the bright minds behind Convelio, are re-imagining the business of shipping fine art. We met with them in their Paris headquarters, where they explained how they are building the new logistics backbone of the Art World.

When the Invisible Collection launched, we knew that we had to match the impeccable quality of our iconic furniture with the same impeccable white-glove-delivery services. While searching for the best shipping companies we found Convelio: they met all our high expectations and more! Since then, they are our go-to partner for the trickiest and most complex deliveries, whether it’s an oversized sofa going to an Italian Palazzo, or an extremely fragile lighting fixture due in Miami…the next day! In addition to their outstanding door-to-door service, we cannot but praise their reactivity, professionalism and transparent pricing policy: instant quotes 24/7, and all-inclusive competitive prices.

 

We sat down for a chat with Edouard and Clément, Convelio‘s co-founders. They talked us through the creation of their fast-growing company, and told us what makes Convelio so special:

 

How did you come up with this idea?

We met some years ago while working for a German tech investment fund based in Berlin. We were part of a task force focusing on accelerating digital startups that showed potential. After our experience in the tech industry, we both discovered a passion for the Fine Art and the High-end design world. We both quickly realized that shipping was a major obstacle inhibiting today’s online business and we needed to find a solution!

 

Can you be more specific?

Well, if it takes 48 hours to get a shipping quote, you’ve already lost your customer! Moreover, the shipping fees are so high that it would discourage any potential buyer.

In a nutshell: we felt that in today’s digital market, you cannot offer a service that was conceived before Internet, and did not evolve.

 

First step?

Writing the code! We created an algorithm that solved all the above problems… we had our first customer the day we launched, September 2017.

 

How do you make a difference?

What we bring with Convelio is a very simple tool to order, to book and to manage your shipment for galleries, auction houses, interior designers and art/design related e-commerces. First, we guarantee an instant quote: no matter the complexity of the shipping requirements, the customer instantly gets the information online. This is very important as nobody likes to wait for one or two days before knowing how much it will cost to get the goods delivered. Secondly, we cater for art galleries, auction houses, and companies that, like The Invisible Collection, have customers all over the world. This means that you need to deal with more than one handler thus making it more difficult to track and manage your items. We simplified the whole process, and now we are the only online company to cover the whole of Europe and soon the United States. Last but not least, because of all the above, we can safely say that we are able to offer the most competitive prices.

 

You launched your new upgraded platform a couple of days ago: what’s new?

We are now the first and only company in the world that can give instant quotes online for shipping high-end art and furniture. With one click, the customer gets a full service door to door, including the handling of all customs documentation and labeling. We developed many additional services, tools and contents to make logistics as easy as possible. What we offer is a cleaner look with a new online quoting options and an interesting editorial content on our blog. Our goal is to become the reference in logistics for the Art World.

Furthermore, in the last year, we’ve managed to create a team of dedicated and bright people. Recently, we just hired Christie’s former joint-director of logistics, and we are deepening our knowledge of the art market…

 

Do you deliver worldwide?

We are very strong in Europe and in the US; many American clients insist that we develop a wider inland network there – something we are considering, as we plan to open an office in New York by the end of 2019. In addition, we are building a stronger presence in South East Asia

 

Can you share an anecdote that exemplifies your “normal day at the office”?

A few months ago, one of the high-end galleries at the Saint-Ouen Market (the famous flea market in Paris) sold its entire store – literally, every single pieces displayed – to a wealthy Qatari client. We were asked to handle the whole logistics within 48 hours! Basically, we camped in the customs area at Charles de Gaulle airport for two nights… we delivered on time!

 

Can you recall a very emotional moment?

The first time we held a Picasso in our hands … It was emotional because… well, how can Picasso not move you? Also, because a client was trusting us with an invaluable piece of art. We were the fresh newcomers being admitted into that specific tight circle of art handlers who’ve been in the business forever: we felt very proud to be part of this adventure, and we believe that Convelio’s core mission is to be an enabler of sharing artworks and unique pieces across the world.

 

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your work?

The Art market is a fascinating world. Niche and extremely demanding, we are aware of the level of expertise our clients are expecting from us. We know it is a challenging sector where we are dealing with precious and unique pieces (both in terms of economical and emotional value). Our goal is to build the backbone of the Art Market and to create an ecosystem that enables Art exchange all around the world. Think about it: a designer creates a beautiful piece in France, sold by The Invisible Collection to a customer in Los Angeles: this is how culture travels, and to travel, it needs the best logistics! We are proud to be part of it.

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