1- Hello Joëlle, can you please tell us a bit about you?
Hi! I am an Art Dealer and Art Fair Director, growing up in a small farmers village in the Netherlands I was lucky enough to graduate from the Saint Lucas Art Academy in the Netherlands. At the age of 21 I relocated to London after I won the young business Entrepreneur Award, ever since I was young I had great ambitions, huge aspiration and the vision that I wanted to succeed as a businesswoman.
And so in 2010, I started my first business; an online art space specialised in street art and quickly became Google’s number one ranking for ‘Cool Art’ both in the UK and the US.
The following year I joined forces with with Barcelona Entrepreneur Natal Vallvé, and together we founded the Global Art Agency organising major Art Fairs from Tokyo to Miami with our offices based in London and Dubai. We are now one of the fastest growing art platforms, and were shortlisted in the top 30 of the Virgin Media Business VOOM Awards with our pitch to Richard Branson.
We recently established our fifth business focussed on the Middle East and Asia – it is through this company that we have revealed the extravaganza that is the Global Art Awards working alongside The Wall Street Journal.
2- What are your focus areas and why?
One of our focusses has always been on connecting art with art, bringing art to the people in a special concept of having UNESCO listed buildings as a backdrop for our events, think of Gaudi’s Casa Batllo for example which is the venue for our Barcelona International Art Fair.
We also focus on Art investments and Art Auctions for our Collectors Association of which money made goes to Charity.
Furthermore it’s a focus to stay innovative we are working on a blackchain art platform right now.
Asia has become a key focus point for us now that we are at the beginning of opening our China office, the Art & Culture sector overthere is booming and we are confident to bring more of that to the people in Asia.
3- You are an entrepreneur and art lover and dealer, how can you manage to do both?
And art collector, and philantropist, and a mother… haha. As most Entrepreneurs I sleep about 5 hrs get up early for my Bikram Yoga, start working and don’t finish until late. I love travelling, and admire all the Art & Culture on my travels. I visit galleries, exhibitions, art fairs around the world and often invest into a piece. I network where ever I go and have made brilliant contacts along the way that carry the same positive vibes as I do. I see my work not as a job, but as a passion. I think if you love what you do, you can do anything… I guess that’s how I manage…
4- Where do you think your inspirational entrepreneurial work is making an impact?
I have seen Artists going from painting in their bedroom to become international Art stars selling pieces for 50,000 USD a piece, due they were voted as Best Artist participating in one of the events that I organise, and helped them become renowned artists.
The tourism and economy for each city we organise events by bringing tens of thousands of people to their city boosting Art & Culture at the same time.
Supporting charity, we fly over with the team to orphanages in Nepal and Tanzania where we enrich the orphans about Art & Culture.
We give opportunities to not only Artists to grow and be a platform for them to explore, learn and sell, but also to collectors and discover art from internationals brought to their city.
Art Students have the opportunity through us to learn something they can’t be taught in school, commercial aspects of the art business as well as how to be a professional in the art world.
I can go on… there are many differences and impacts we make on wide audience.
5- What does the word “philanthropist” means to you?
To me it means to do good for other people that are less fortunate. Especially children that are being raised in poverty, orphans, kids in third world countries, families affected by force majeure… For me it’s not only about donating money to a certain charity, I want to do the charity myself! Often spending time with the children affects them more positively than just donating money. This is my ultimate goal to become full time.
6- Tell us about your story as a finalist of “Young Achiever of the Year 2017” award?
The First Women Awards nominated me as a figure for recognising and celebrating the achievements of exceptional women. I was pleasantly surprised, and went to London for an interview to meet their Jury panel (amongst them from BMW & Mastercard) to talk about my business and how it affects women in business. Knowing that the awards go to women business owners, who have achieved their success against all odds – removing barriers for other women and by disrupting established industry norms through innovation. It was a strong competition and I made it through to the Finals! It was a great pleasure to experience, and an honour to be a Finalist.
7- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Doing more of the same only on a bigger scale ☺
8- What can you tell young women entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dreams?
The most important thing with any dream is, that if you want something to happen, you visualise it, combine it with positive energy and willpower – and that’s it – you can achieve whatever you want.
9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
Asia… the real deal! More news soon 😉
10- The last word or final thoughts?
My motto used to be: “Success is the best revenge” Then I switched to: “Happiness is the best revenge” but even that doesn’t sit well anymore… I don’t care for revenge.
I just care for happiness.