We were thrilled to get a call recently from Pierre-Yann Guidetti, chief executive officer of Savoir Faire. The Novato company imports beautiful, high end art materials from Europe and sells them wholesale.
When the coronavirus forced schools to shut, Pierre asked himself what he could do for his community. He thought about all the kids stranded at home without art supplies – and he thought of us.
“Art is good for you, and it is good for the world,” he said. “I’m always fighting for the fact that art is very important. I think it’s essential.”
Pierre donated more than 80 sets of lovely Austrian CretaColor pencils, 70 packets of gorgeous Fabriano paper and high quality white paper, too! Youth in Arts has already begun distributing them to students in our Arts Unite Us program, which serves young artists experiencing disabilities.
“These children are most at risk for being left behind as schools move to online learning, ” said Youth in Arts’ Program Director Kelsey Rieger. “We’re so grateful that Pierre stepped in to help us serve them.”
Pierre travels the world lecturing about art and meeting with suppliers, often influencing product design. The paper he gave our students comes from Fabriano, an old Italian company that invented the modern cotton paper and once served great artists like Michelangelo and Da Vinci.
“It was like the Silicon Valley of the 13th century,” he said.
Pierre shares one of Youth in Arts’ core philosophies: give kids the best art materials you can.
“The experience of making a mark with a bad color and bad paper is different from making a mark with a beautiful color and beautiful paper,” Pierre said. “If kids don’t know the difference, they feel it.”
To learn more about Savoir Faire, please visit their website to see which local stores carry their supplies. It was Pierre’s wife, Maureen Labro, who began importing fine art supplies in the early 1980s. She and Pierre went into business together (she is president), fell in love and got married.
“Everything we sell, I’ve seen how it’s made,” he said.
Thank you Pierre, Maureen and everyone at Savoir-Faire! And thanks to artist Kay Carlson, executive director of Marin Open Studios, who helped Pierre connect with us. Community support like this makes all the difference.