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Merger Info and FAQ

Joined Forces

MacPherson’s and Savoir-Faire come together to form a creativity powerhouse that improves access and services for the world’s best selection of fine art supplies.

Brought Together by Our Shared Values & Vision

Strong Commitment
to Customer Service

World-Class
Operations

Unwavering Passion
for Arts & Creativity

MacPherson’s Announcement

To our valued Customers and Partners,

Today, we announce exciting news: the merger of MacPherson’s and Savoir-Faire is complete! What a journey this has been. As I have mentioned in prior communications, we had hoped to finalize the merger back in the 2nd quarter, but the COVID crisis threw us a little “curveball”, so we had to put our discussions on hold for a little while. But after re-engaging our discussions this past summer and with lots of hard work, the time has finally come for MacPherson’s and Savoir-Faire to join forces!

The merger with Savoir-Faire strengthens MacPherson’s ability to drive creativity throughout the world by now having exclusive distribution rights with Savoir-Faire’s marquee brands. Key areas of value with this merger are that Savoir-Faire brands will benefit from the extensive distribution and sales expertise that MacPherson’s has to offer, and MacPherson’s will be adding Savoir-Faire’s deep and extensive experience within the industry. Our shared values and culture mean we will work as one team—one creativity powerhouse—to continually improve the customer experience and provide more tools and value to help our customers grow.

A key part of this new partnership is that Savoir-Faire will be set up as a separate business unit, a Division of MacPherson’s, reporting directly to me. We will bring over the key talent from Savoir-Faire, which includes founders Maureen Labro and Pierre Guidetti, and also key executive Laurent Duthoit, along with key employees in the customer service, product development, vendor relations, account management, training, and education areas, who are needed to maintain continuity and directly support the Savoir-Faire exclusive brands with the same high level of quality and attention that Savoir-Faire is known for—but now with the entire MacPherson’s organization behind them to provide support.

As we complete our businesses’ integration, be assured that we are committed to delivering the high level of service to which you are accustomed. Our goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible for our customers. We have created an informational page that has further information on what you can expect during this transition.

We will continue to keep you posted on our plans for integration, and how this merger will benefit you. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager or customer service with any questions you may have. We look forward to continuing to serve your needs.

While it has been a very strange and crazy year, we are very excited about our future and feel with all of us working together as a Team—MacPherson’s, Savoir-Faire, our customers, and our partners—there are so many opportunities in front of us to continue to grow your businesses and the entire industry!

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Dave

Signature from the MacPherson's CEODave Schofield
CEO & President
MacPherson’s


Savoir-Faire Leadership Team

Pierre Guidetti

Co-Founder & President, Savoir-Faire Division

Born in 1961, Pierre-Yan Guidetti is the youngest in a family of six brothers and sisters. As a child, he would spend his summers in a small coastal village in Brittany, where the 2500 members of his extended family would gather for an annual reunion. Customary as it was to remember every aunt, uncle or cousin by their first name, Pierre developed the talent for public relations at an early age. His love for art quickly followed, as his mother and father enveloped him in the works of Masters with weekly visits to museums, galleries and events. Home was also the venue of many a cup of tea with local artists. Though immersed in the arts, Pierre initially pursued psychology, business and economics in college. At the age of 22, he left France in search of new experiences and opportunities. While completing marketing and business coursework at UC Berkeley, Pierre met his wife-to-be, Maureen Labro, while attending one of her silk painting demonstrations. Fascinated by the charm and attraction of importing creative materials, and the opportunity to bring the traditions of the Old World to the New, Pierre welcomed the opportunity to join Maureen in her endeavors. Quickly, Pierre demonstrated his talent for sales, and his passion for the work turned the small venture into a booming success. His infectious enthusiasm, combined with his jovial personality, made him the confidant of artists such as David Hockney and Wayne Thiebaud. For nearly 40 years, Pierre has travelled the United States, listening to the desires and aspirations of artists, interpreting their needs by sourcing and importing the world’s finest creative materials. To Pierre, art is not simply about beauty; it is about life, freedom of expression and the joy of the creative process. The idea that a simple paint brush or pencil can change a life, or even perhaps change the world, inspires and shapes his daily activities, whether it’s giving a seminar at the National Gallery of Art, collaborating with a manufacturer to create an innovative product, inspiring and educating retailers with presentations on the history and influence of the European art tradition, or painting with his two children. Truly an ambassador of the arts, Pierre has made it his life’s work to spread the joy of creativity and of course, Savoir-Faire.

Maureen Labro

Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Savoir-Faire Division

Maureen Labro was born in Paris in 1955 to a French father and an American mother. Her paternal grandfather and father were avid Sunday painters, and her mother, an accomplished seamstress, created clothing and patchwork and lovingly tended to a thriving garden. As a young child, Maureen lived in the south of France, sailing on weekends, until the age of ten when she moved to the suburbs of Paris on the banks of the Seine, home to the Impressionists. Years later in college, Mauree studied architecture and English and was accepted at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. At age 23, she was offered the opportunity to travel to the United States to work as a French lecturer at a California university. As the first Christmas season was approaching, she requested a small number of hand-painted silk scarves from a painter friend to bestow as gifts. As fabric painting was an unfamiliar craft in the United States, Maureen offered classes and workshops in the art while still teaching French. In the summer of 1980, Maureen returned to France, and after searching for manufacturers of silk dyes, she crossed paths with Dominique Sennelier, the owner and manufacturer of a celebrated line of fine art materials. It was at this first meeting that a strong bond was forged and Savoir-Faire was born. The first shipment of materials arrived in old-fashioned wooden crates, delivered to the kitchen of Maureen’s cottage rental in Sausalito. With materials in hand, Maureen traveled extensively, teaching silk painting classes and selling materials to local craft and art supply stores. Pierre Guidetti happened upon a demonstration and the rest, as they say, is history. Twenty-eight years later, Savoir·Faire now has six thousand artist tools imported from all corners of the world. Today, Maureen masterfully combines her passions-family, business, travel, gardening, cooking and the arts. Her dream to paint every day still remains very much alive.

Laurent Duthoit

Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, Savoir-Faire Division

Originally from France, Laurent graduated from NEOMA business School with a Masters degree in Management specialized in Sales & Marketing. He spent 16 years in developing brands and managing commercial activities in the cosmetic and fragrance industry in France and internationally working for Van clef & Arpels, Yves Saint Laurent & Shiseido. This experience gave him the opportunity to travel and discover a lot of countries and cultures around the world.

Since 2005 Laurent has been working in our art materials industry, he joined Daler-Rowney in London to lead the Export business after Patrick Giraud bought the company. In 2010, Laurent moved to the United States, and gradually took over the Sales and Marketing leadership for Daler-Rowney Fine Art & Craft business unit before the FILA acquisition. Since May 2017, Laurent has successfully partnered with Savoir Faire owners’ Maureen Labro and Pierre Guidetti to develop the company’s market shares.

Laurent is a target oriented senior executive with strong ability in elaborating & implementing successful strategy. He is a strong believer that the key leverages to being successful are the team spirit, the brand/product differentiation and a great Social media campaign to reach the end-consumer!

Laurent is a fan of Soccer, playing with friends or watching a Champions league game is always welcome during a weekend. Laurent loves as well to spend time with his wife and two daughters at his home in New Jersey or travelling for vacation.


Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs and answers to help you understand the details about the deal and the transition

Q: With the integration of Savoir-Faire into MacPherson’s, does this mean that Savoir-Faire’s brands will become part of MacPherson’s E-Brand portfolio?
Yes. Once the agreement is finalized, MacPherson’s will assume exclusive distribution rights in North America for the following brands: Fabriano, Sennelier, Raphael, Cretacolor, Edding, Isabey, Artfix, Lascaux, Lama Li, Awagami, and Charbonnel. A key part of this new partnership is that Savoir-Faire will be set up as a separate business unit, a Division of MacPherson’s, reporting directly to our CEO, Dave Schofield. We will be bringing over the key resources from Savoir-Faire which are needed to maintain continuity and directly support the Savoir-Faire brands with the same high level of quality and attention that Savoir-Faire is known for, but now with the entire MacPherson’s organization behind them to provide our support. More details are outlined below.
Q: What will happen to the distribution of Savoir-Faire brands?
The process of Savoir-Faire integrating with MacPherson’s will begin immediately. We will begin transferring Savoir-Faire products to both the Atlanta and Reno MacPherson’s Distribution Centers and the Savoir-Faire warehouse will close within 90 days post-merger. We anticipate an interruption in the supply of Savoir-Faire brands during the inventory transition.
Q: Will Savoir-Faire products ultimately be stored at both MacPherson’s distribution centers in Reno, NV, and Atlanta, GA?
Yes. Part of the many customer benefits of MacPherson’s and Savoir-Faire joining forces relates to operational efficiencies. A large number of Savoir-Faire’s current customers are located on the East Coast, and those customers can begin receiving orders from MacPherson’s Atlanta DC once the transition is completed. We’ll evaluate the best approach to determine stock levels at both DCs, ensuring customers across the country are properly covered.
Q: When do I start ordering Savoir-Faire products through MacPherson’s?
We are ready to accept orders immediately. While we transition the inventory from Savoir-Faire to MacPherson’s, your orders will be accepted in our system and shipped as soon as we are able. All Savoir-Faire items have been set up in MacPherson’s database, and we have established a cross-reference file pointing Savoir-Faire item numbers to the new MacPherson’s item number.
Q: Will the entire Savoir-Faire catalog be transferred to MacPherson’s? Is there anything new getting added to the US market?
Yes, the entire existing catalog is transferring to MacPherson’s, and items are already set up in our database. The data brought over to MacPherson’s includes Special Order and Discontinued items for reference. Additionally, MacPherson’s is having active conversations with the key brands to assess how we can expand their product catalog in the US market, working with them to identify the most appropriate opportunities. These assessments will be informed by data and collaboration with our brand partners, ensuring new product additions will help our customers’ business grow.
Q: Will MacPherson’s keep larger inventory levels than Savoir-Faire?
The inventory and ordering strategies are top priorities during our transition, with our goal to improve greater access and availability for Savoir-Faire’s products.
Q: Is the Savoir-Faire office going to close?
Yes. The Savoir-Faire office and warehouse in Novato, CA, will eventually close. Daily operations, administration, and customer service will be redirected to the MacPherson’s organization. Inbound and outbound operations will shift to MacPherson’s distribution centers in Reno and Atlanta.
Q: Are all of the Savoir-Faire employees now MacPherson’s employees?
Yes and no. Now that the merger is official, all Savoir-Faire employees will move over as MacPherson’s employees. They will be incentivized to stay and help with the transition. After the transition is complete, a portion of the Savoir-Faire employees will then be leaving MacPherson’s. We have identified a core group of Savoir-Faire key personnel who will become long-term employees within the MacPherson’s family. This “Savoir-Faire team” will include co-founders Maureen Labro and Pierre Guidetti, sales executive Laurent Duthoit, and other key employees from Savoir-Faire, ensuring coverage and expertise to support and build their brands. This team will continue to “own” and manage the Savoir-Faire brands as they have in the past, but now will have the entire MacPherson’s organization behind them to provide support and assistance.
Q: Will Savoir-Faire’s sales reps continue selling the brands?
No. The transition will shift the day-to-day sales and account management responsibilities to MacPherson’s sales team. Co-founders Maureen Labro and Pierre Guidetti, and sales executive Laurent Duthoit will transition into MacPherson’s and will continue playing an integral role in managing the vendor partners and customer relationships.
Q: Who will be my Savoir-Faire sales rep?
The MacPherson’s sales and account management team are receiving in-depth training on all of the Savoir-Faire brands. Throughout the transition, MacPherson’s VP of Sales & Account Management, Neil McIntyre, and Savoir-Faire sales executive Laurent Duthoit, will develop the engagement structure. Both MacPherson’s and Savoir-Faire will support the management of Savoir-Faire customers.
Q: Are there new contract terms with the Savoir-Faire products?
During the transition, MacPherson’s and Savoir-Faire will review contracts with all Savoir-Faire customers, evaluating terms, service level agreements, and pricing. Our goal is to minimize disruption and provide as much continuity as possible with each customer.
Q: What are the details of MacPherson’s new contracts with the Savoir-Faire brands? How long are they? Are they similar to existing E-Brands?
MacPherson’s is in the process of finalizing contracts with Savoir-Faire brands. Upon completion of these contracts, MacPherson’s will secure clear exclusivity and ensure long-term agreements.
Q: With the integration of Savoir-Faire, will this result in MacPherson’s discontinuing products from domestic vendors?
MacPherson’s conducts annual strategic SKU rationalization reviews, and this year will be no different. The addition of Savoir-Faire’s brands does not impact this process. We will remain focused on providing the widest selection and most attractive catalog of products in the business.
Q: How will MacPherson’s reconcile competitive products?
We currently carry much of the overall Savoir-Faire portfolio, so we don’t anticipate a large need to reconcile competitive products.
Q: What’s the E-Commerce strategy? Is MacPherson’s going to sell Savoir-Faire products on Amazon?
The E-Commerce strategy has not been developed yet, but the overall approach will be determined in close collaboration with the brand partners. Similar to our approach with the existing E-Brands, we’ll create a strategy that is supported by the brand partner and considered most appropriate for the brand and the channel.
Q: Can MacPherson’s deliver the same level of attention, support, and education as Savoir-Faire?
The product education and training for which Savoir-Faire is known will continue with MacPherson’s. We are taking steps to retain the resources and employees responsible for the education and training services that Savoir-Faire’s partners are accustomed to.
Q: Can MacPherson’s effectively manage Savoir-Faire brands?
Savoir-Faire will be set up as a separate business unit within the MacPherson’s organization, reporting directly to our CEO. They will have all of the key resources and expertise that they have always had to support and build the Savoir-Faire brands, but now with the entire MacPherson’s organization behind them. MacPherson’s is known for the best sales and account management team in the industry, supported by world-class, reliable operational service. The overall organization has deep experience within the industry across all key functional areas, including product development, merchandising, creative services, and B2B/B2C marketing. As Savoir-Faire joins the MacPherson’s family, we are well-positioned for the future with the key resources, personnel, and industry expertise to manage the Savoir-Faire exclusive brands.

About MacPherson’s

MacPherson’s is a 100% employee-owned company with over four decades of experience connecting the art supply industry. With unrivaled product selection and best-in-class distribution, connecting businesses to the creative world is MacPherson’s top priority. Our portfolio of over 50,000 creativity products celebrates premium quality, value and on-trend brands appealing to creative people of all levels and ages. We deliver logistics brilliance and creativity expertise to a wide array of businesses, including independent, regional chains, mass market and E-Commerce.

About Savoir-Faire

For almost 40 years Savoir-Faire has been working to bring the finest art and stationery supplies the world has to offer to American artists. Every product line we represent has been chosen either for longstanding tradition as a premier manufacturer or as an interesting new comer with innovative products and ideas. As both a direct importer and a distributor, Savoir-Faire is committed to forging lasting partnerships with the companies we serve. In addition to working with our suppliers and retailers we are constantly seeking the input of artists for product development. Through our long and committed involvement with the artistic community we are able to provide our manufacturers with direction on how to meet the specific needs of American artists.

For additional questions or inquiries, please contact your account manager, customer service or contact us at learnmore@macphersonart.com