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High-end furniture and decor providers can help galleries expand their reach and meet top-quality clients, and galleries can do the same for them. All they have to do is creatively combine their efforts.
Galerie d'Orsay in Boston has sustained a long-term alliance with high-end furniture retailer Rolf-Benz after it approached the gallery to partner for its grand opening. The two companies got together to plan the event, which paired the gallery's canvas art with the store's furniture to enhance both companies' products.
Sallie Hirshberg, managing partner and CEO of Galerie d'Orsay, headed up the partnership with the Rolf-Benz owner. The gallery created an installation for Rolf-Benz, hung the art in the store and educated the staff about the artwork by giving them biographies of the artists and talking with the staff about the art. Hirshberg also gave a presentation for the more than 100 people who attended the grand opening, and the gallery was featured in several magazines.
"The art and furniture pairing continues, and we have talked about bringing some of their furniture into our gallery," Hirshberg says. "We have sold a number of pieces as a result of the partnership, and we change the art in the Rolf-Benz space every so often to keep it interesting."
After seeing the tremendous amount of advertising Rolf-Benz did (including advertising in Architectural Digest and other magazines) and the benefit it had on the gallery, Hirshberg recommends that other art professionals look for public relations opportunities when partnering.
"As art consultants, we often have clients approach us who are looking for furniture and vice versa," Hirshberg says. "We have received referrals from the furniture store because they have seen our artwork there. Also, in this economy, the partnership gives us two locations in Boston, and we are always looking for outreach and ways to continue to build our brand."
The simple, direct statement, "Let's work together," can often spark a lucrative partnership. That's how ADC's partnership with Bova Furniture was born. The companies planned a successful weekend event, which was beneficial for both businesses.
"We took 500 pieces of art to Bova and set up an 'Art Trunk Show' in their showroom, hung the art on their walls and took unframed pieces as well," Spanos says.
Bova sent an invitation featuring ADC's art to the 50,000 people on its mailing list, which resulted in many sales during and after the event, according to Spanos. "We gave Bova a percentage of the sales, and they were able to offer something exciting and different that they wouldn't be able to do otherwise," she says. "We sold about $10,000 worth of art and have numerous future leads as well."