Culture is future »

10.01.2015

3 questions to... Daum’s director of communications

On the occasion of the Daum et Dali exhibition at the espace Dali (from the 11th of September until the 3rd of January 2015) the Forum d’Avignon met Vanessa Pariente - Daum’s director of communications - a cultural company dedicated to creating crystalworks.

As a cultural company, how do you cooperate with artists?

Our creation work relies on collaborations between our art craftsmen and international artists which are central to our company’s development. Such collaborations are based on disposal to the artists of our craftsmen’s know-how – their knowledge of the glass and crystal texture.

These artistic collaborations began in 1878, the same year Jean Daum – the founder of Daum – meets Dali and starts a true artistic collaboration embodied in about twenty pieces – the first one is entitled L’important c’est la rose.

What is more, end 2008 and beginning 2009 the Financière Saint Germain group – the Daum’s owner is Prosper Amouyal - tookover Daum and planned to integrate the company within a 100% French group established in the culinary arts. This was considered as a new opportunity to re-think artistic creation as a comparative advantage and a differentiation strategy. Therefore Daum’s new collections these last years have resulted in more than 350 collaborations with renowned  - Arman, César, Paella Chimicos, Etienne- and less renowned - Louis Derbré, Jérôme Mesnager - artists who are creators in art but not necessarily – Daum also works with florists and architects.

This willingness to incorporate artists in the production process is profitable because Daum is a company renowned in the artistic world: the company participates in different international art and design salons – the Maison & Objet in Paris or Table TOP in New-York, etc.

The financial history of Daum is full of adventure, what is the business model?

Daum made the choice to ground its business model on collaborations with artists and to put foward its ‘Made in France’, which is related to its unique manufacture technique and its work on colour. Then our business model relies on work of art sales – the latter are produced in limited edition. Artists choose the technique they want to use and the number of pieces they want to create. This collaboration with artists is a mean to innovate and stretch the limits of the crystal technique. For instance Daum integrated ultraviolet rays in the fantasy garden collection.

The second foundation of Daum’s activities is its international distribution network in B2B and B2C. Daum owns two shops in Paris, one in Nancy, Hong-Kong, Singapour and New York. 70% of its revenue come from its international sales. It is the reason why our production follows the demand specificities in the different countries. For example because this year is the monkey year in China, we created three pieces on this theme.

To further our development we also plan to create an e-shopping website.

What links do you share with the Lorraine region? What role do you wish to play in Nancy?

The links between the Lorraine and Daum are historical and very strong. They are based on a particularity of the Lorrain territory with grounds rich with minerals like crystal. Today Nancy and its region are where we work because our creation workshop and our manufacture are located in the city and our production is located in Vannes Le Châtel. Nancy and the Lorraine are our windows to the world.

In Nancy, Daum is a symbol and a pride for the city and its inhabitants. Our shop is on the Stanislas Square and it is therefore an unmissable site for cultural tourism. Also a whole room in the city musée des Beaux Arts is dedicated to Daum and its artistic production.

Anchoring our identity within a territory is for undoubtedly a major asset to ground the reputation of our cultural company. 

Photos credit: The Jardin imaginaire collection and « Dance of Time », Salvador Dali © Daum

Learn more : 'Towards a necessary hybridization of business models to support and promote culture', report of the Forum d'Avignon 10th June debate in partnership with the consultancy agency Kurt Salmon 

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As a cultural company, how do you cooperate with artists?