Mr. Kergoat, you are the President of the "Les Jolies Ceramics" company, through which you perpetuate the French tradition and expertise in the field of ceramics. We pass the stage to you today in order to allow you to announce good news…
The Briare enamel was chosen by the Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez as part of the artistic decoration project of the Marlins stadium in Miami. Mr. Cruz-Diez was actually the winner of an art competition that was specifically designed for this purpose. We have been working with him on this project for over two years, so it is a great pleasure for us to finally see it realized.
The Briare enamel was used by the artist, seeing as he was familiar with our products, including their exceptional strength and durity, including their slip-resistant property and of course, their vibrant colors.
In the past, we have decorated with him the airport in Caracas (Venezuela) as well as the Venezuelan flag for the Universal Exhibition in Seville. In the United States, for example, you can also see us within the Pittsburgh airport (designer: Tassos Katelas).
In France, enameled Briare perpetuates a Mediterranean tradition and ancient art. What is the reputation of these glazes in modern times?
It is these same characteristics (durity, exceptional resistance to extensive use- slip-resistant property-for safety reasons which are more and more important today-and strong colors so that the technique does not come at the expense of aesthetics) that explain why our products are selected for high-prestige projects worldwide in addition to the interior decoration of Mr. & Mrs. Martin viz. Johnson. In addition, our products are resistant to frost as well as to most chemicals which makes them useful everywhere: walls, including those located in countries with extreme temperatures, pools, floors with heavy traffic etc..
You can go to our website www.emauxdebriare.com and look under the "Projects" tab to take a look at them.
We must also add to all the above the reassurance that comes with our long history (founded in 1845 in Paris, in the United States since 1853), the creativity of our engineering and design department (which had no role in this particular project) , the brightness of our colors, a product of a manufacturing process actually derived from fashion jewelery etc..
Seeing these enamels resist the onslaught of time for over a hundred years (we have many samples from our nineteenth century mosaics to show) also reassure our users in their choice.
A few days ago, Frédéric Lefebvre, Secretary of State, including Crafts, was traveling in the United States in order to promote French expertise and living legacies. As a business leader struggling with the reality of today’s export markets, how satisfied are you with this situation?
We did, indeed, have the honor of having Mr. F. Lefebvre visit our factory in December 2011, as part of his effort to promote companies possessing unique expertise. It is a struggle sometimes, and it can be an uneven and bumpy experience. Almost all of our competitors have preferred to relocate their production to "low cost" countries in order to lower production costs as well as to escape environmental protection constraints, keeping their country of origin ( eg. Italy) solely for marketing purposes.
We have chosen the exact opposite by hedging on the intelligence of our consumers who will recognize the value of a product and the philosophy attached thereto in preferring authenticity.
A strong effort in communications as well as a strong conviction are both necessary for this to succeed, however, it is not enough. In speaking of the United States market, one must keep in mind that the euro is still very strong compared to the USD (in purchasing power parity) crippling our exports, and that there are still many places where the image of France is, in general, not necessarily positive (for political reasons) and of course, that Americans -especially in terms of building- have strong protectionist tendencies.