What started out as a favour to her father to assist him in finding something he sought to acquire, blossomed organically into a full service concierge company serving the wealthy, high profile and political clients from around the world. Based in Paris, Murielle Ekon and her team work tirelessly in pursuit of excellence in serving the needs of her discerning clients. Her views on serving in this capacity as a concierge of excellence is that Service is an Art not just a solution and that touching their minds and hearts is an important factor, beyond simply serving a need. This inspired approach puts value on the human touch, attention to detail and passionate professionalism into their distinctive, discrete, values driven, high end services.
We had the pleasure of spending time in conversation with the founder and CEO, Murielle Ekon, a visionary entrepreneur of graciousness, warmth and dedication to bringing her talented, trained and highly networked team at the disposal for the satisfaction of their very happy clients. We spoke with Murielle for further insights into her company and views on luxury.
Founder & CEO Signature Conciergerie, Paris
How did you get your start working in the field of luxury? What keeps you there?
First of all, thank you for your interest in SIGNATURE CONCIERGERIE, it is my pleasure to respond to your questions today. I grew up in an environment where we liked things that not only are out of the ordinary, but are also well done. This has stirred up my sense of the beautiful and the rare. By opening an image consulting firm, the idea was to make purchases for people residing abroad. However their satisfaction when I offered them pieces they had not dreamed of, has accentuated and sharpened my sensitivity to the art that emanates from luxury. Quickly the desire to satisfy my customers with beautiful pieces gradually increased and the pleasure was so immense that the more I gave them the more the idea of giving my firm another dimension became very concrete. From this great experience SIGNATURE CONCIERGERIE was born. To me, luxury in its quintessence is a real art. The constant discovery of the wonders that conceal this art in its various forms, through exceptional pieces and mostly the perpetuation of know–how and collections, the discovery of unsuspected places … daily nourishes my passion for my work and my personal growth. To always be amazed and transmit this fulfillment to our members is for me the utmost reason to stay in this field.
Tell us about your company Signature Concierge and its mission/vision?
SIGNATURE CONCIERGERIE was born from the love of perfection in providing personalized service, and from the symbiosis that needs to be created and maintained between the art of luxury and the needs or desires of its followers.
We are a team driven by different sensitivities but with a common core being this particularly keen sharp sense in things that can stimulate, or revive beautiful emotions. We are “life facilitators” with the mission of giving life to our members’ desires, saving them time, but also creating exceptional experiences that meet not only their expectations but also the prestige of the houses, establishments, and artisans with whom we collaborate with.
Through each of our missions, and the attention pay to details, we strive to achieve the peak of our members’ satisfaction.
Life can be fleeting, hence the importance of sublimating every moment of it, and this is what we take pleasure in doing by always offering for example unexpected and rare gifts for a birthday, or suggesting totally unsuspected places for a birthday party or for private events …
Inciting positive emotions is at the heart of our goal, simply because luxury is also an emotion. For us, being a service provider is being a creator of emotions. Our areas of intervention are very diverse (personal shopping; memorable events planning, spotting holiday resorts, finding rare and unique pieces in fine jewelry or fine timepiece, medical concierge, etc.). And to anticipate the desires of our members, we are constantly on the lookout for the “beautiful”, the rare, the precious and the surprising.
What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
I love all facets of my work, but I must admit that there are two moments that I particularly like. The first is the discovery of a new craftsman, a new service, an exceptional place, or a new collection from a brand, this the moment when my senses are titillated and my eyes shine as I can already imagine the feelings of clients to whom we will be showing the rare piece , the collection, the place, the service …
And the second moment that I love is of course the satisfaction of our members when the surprise organized for a loved one has exceeded their expectations, as well as the joy in their voice when they receive the items we have chosen for them… Knowing that we made their eyes sparkle is delightful. It is the imprint of our signature that takes shape in their hearts.
What was the best advice you received about being in the luxury business today?
A few years ago one of our partners told me never to forget that the people we work for and who acquire luxury products and services, are first and foremost human beings, who, like you and me, dream, and have a sensitive soul that need to be nurtured and satisfied. He advised me never to consider them as categories when designing my work, as that would distort the sublime aspect of prestigious service. My collaborators and I apply this advice throughout each of our missions in order to incite special feelings in our members.
What advice would you give to someone interested in starting their own luxury focused business?
I think wanting to highlight luxury is a great initiative, especially the know-how. Because luxury is a very vast and rich field, I would advise this person to show curiosity, which will allow her/him to speak with ease about a piece of fine jewelry, fine watchmaking, or a place. .. her/his understanding of luxury and its nobility should be reflected in her/his words.
The definition of luxury is generally speaking, greatly misunderstood. How do you serve a more refined and sophisticated client who wants true luxury vs the mass approach to luxury?
True luxury, the one with a soul has been able to maintain its prioritization of the individual over the group. Recognizing the uniqueness of the individual is the finest way to serve a refined and sophisticated person. The exclusivity of the service is its best ingredient in that it gives access to what not everyone has.
It is no longer a matter of just listening to the client’s desires, but hearing and anticipating them as this person chooses luxury to assert an identity, and not to identify with anyone. The emotional experience incited in a refined and sophisticated person, to use your terms, is totally different from the approach to mass luxury, which prioritizes the group of individuals.
What are your personal philosophies about luxury as a mindset and approach to living? How do you think people could get more out of luxury beyond acquisition?
There is a maxim from Oscar WILDE that sums up my personal philosophy on luxury: “I have the simplest tastes in the world, I am satisfied with the Best ” To me, this “Best” is the luxury that has a soul and nobility that we like to reveal through our work. Responding to a quest for enchantment is what drives me. For the followers of this luxury, its essence goes beyond the commercial notion. Beyond the acquisition, more and more people want to know about the history of a collection, a place, or the journey of a craftsman. This emotional feeling is the best part of luxury because it accompanies the act of acquiring and gives it its sensory dimension. It is therefore important to highlight the history of a design, and a production …
Where do you see the luxury industry heading overall and as it pertains to the field of concierge companies?
The world of luxury is in constant turmoil. Fortunately, the perpetuation of values remains and will always remain in order, as it is one of the guarantors of the nobility of luxury.
A luxury that has an eternity has already existed in the time of Cleopatra who was fond of rare perfumes. Today the appeal to what is beautiful and rare, remains, and it will be the same in decades to come. It is proof that the soul of luxury crosses the ages with all its nobility. With regard to private concierge services, it is essential that we maintain the human dimension of our service, which allows us to nurture the soul of luxury.
In this age of robotization and automation, it is not good to robotize everything. There will always be people adept at scarcity who will not have the time to seek it out. Concierge services such as SIGNATURE CONCIERGERIE will be there to be that bridge that will bring the two together.
What do you wish was better known about luxury that is not being talked about?
It would be good to stress that luxury is primarily a human story that has an infinite dimension, and each product, service, room, or exceptional place is ultimately the result of a know-how that is perpetuated while referring to the past.
In your view, what has been some of the biggest changes in the way HNW and UHNW clients fulfill their luxury lifestyle needs today?
Much has changed today when it comes to needs. The attention of luxury shoppers has been diverted by the emergence of COVID-19 and the panic it has sparked. Internet sales have taken over from in-store sales, which has affected the volume of sales of ready-to-wear, haute couture, and luxury travel … but keeping the market afloat for sale of accessories, but with results not comparable with the pre-Covid years.
Today, because of the health crisis, the big houses think and present their collections and services differently. It was necessary to adapt, and now more than ever, HNW and UHNW customers surround themselves with people who can make them discover new collections and exclusives.
How do you think luxury could be better articulated in these changing times?
The articulation will depend now and always on daring in creativity, especially in the form of presentation which will remain a major axis in attractiveness and the desire to buy. It will make the final click.
How do you think that luxury customers can get more out of how they relate to their engagement with luxury?
Luxury customers, like other customers, are as changeable as the weather. They buy luxury for a multitude of reasons and can change their mind at any minute, all is about passion in luxury. These customers are certain that through the collections and everything that constitutes Luxury, there will always be a mix of refined craftsmanship and just the right amount of technology. Ensuring that their level of requirement will always be met is the best they can get.
I would rather say that it is luxury that has a commitment. That of seducing, being unique and exceptional, and of crossing time.
Exclusivity in luxury has always been inherent. Since luxury is more accessible today, how do you see this increasing the value of exclusivity now and into the future?
Luxury may seem more accessible today because social media and the internet provide access to more information about it. However, there are experiences that are truly exclusive and go unmentioned. The value of this exclusivity will increase in that it will always be disseminated sparingly. Moreover, through their services, luxury actors will still have to always personalize their services to their customers.
For more information about SIGNATURE CONCIERGERIE visit https://signature-conciergerie.com