Convelio x Stars Solidaires: A Partnership for Good

Convelio is collaborating with (and shipping for!) Stars Solidaires x Telethon, an association that fights relentlessly against rare and severely disabling genetic diseases. We spoke with the CEO & co-founder of Stars Solidaires, Natacha Benabou, about the transcendent power of art and the challenges of organising a contemporary art lottery.

What is the story behind Stars Solidaires? What drove you to start this charity initiative?

It all started during the first confinement in Paris. It was obvious that the healthcare sector was in trouble (no equipment, long hours, very bad working conditions...) and I wanted to find a way to help them. The idea of a big tombola with celebrities came to me like an epiphany! I onboarded my 4 best friends and Stars Solidaires was born. At the beginning it was like a joke, we were trying to contact celebrities but didn't really know any. Along the way, we met wonderful people who were drawn to our mission, which helped us achieve our goal: 2 million dollars raised in 2 weeks for French health care workers. Thanks to my amazing team and to everyone who participated! Following this first edition, Laura Tenoudji contacted us to help them... and here we are!

How has the art market responded to your initiative?

Very positively! Artists are sensitive and often very generous people with a big heart. Their art is their life and they are happy to support good causes when they can. Big thanks to... Kamel Mennour, Lucas Ratton, Frederic Jousset, Gilles Dyan, Arnaud Adida, Anne Heilbronn, Frederic Chambre, Eric Landau, Cécile Verdier, Arabelle Rey, Soledad Bravi, Nicolas Lefebvre, la fondation A.R.M.A.N, Yoyo Maeght and Nathalie Rodach… and all the participants !

What have been the main challenges of operating during the COVID crisis?

There were many challenges: every interaction had to be done via Zoom or phone. We had to find a way of contacting celebrities, convincing them to participate, urgently obtaining the legal authorization, and putting together a big operation in just two weeks! It's much easier to convince people face-to-face rather than via email or phone, but we did it. I love real interactions but we had no choice given the situation. We were under a lot of pressure but that was also something that boosted us and allowed us to achieve this success!

What have you been able to achieve so far?

For this second edition, we gathered 150 prizes from the best artists, galleries and celebrities out there, from Tadashi Kawamata, Aki Kuroda, Robert Combas, or Bernar Venet to MBappé, -M-, Pierre Gasly or Tony Parker - all of these incredible artists joined our adventure with an outpouring of generosity. We selected prizes that speak to everyone, so whoever heads over to our website will find something to suit their taste, all whilst raising money for children with rare diseases!

Are you a collector? If so, what are some of the highlights in your collection, and which lots would you love to win from the tombola?

Art is my greatest passion. Being in contact with art, in museums or at home, moves me and nurtures my imagination. Intelligence uses what is known to solve problems. Creativity uses what is unknown to discover possibilities. I especially love old photographs of modern artists like Picasso or Soulages in their studios, I feel like travelling in time. Choosing between all these amazing lots is not easy. I really like Seen’s style, Leo Nataf’s art and the visit of Chambord castle by Stephane Bern is just priceless !

Are there any future initiatives after the tombola that you are already thinking about?

Yes, a lot of associations are contacting us. We want to become THE communication agency in the non-profit fundraising sector. Our mission is to create the best events for associations - not limited to tombolas - and help them raise awareness and funds. To me, gravitating in the non-profit sector is synonymous with meeting people with very big hearts who want to be in the thick of the action. I love it.

Any last words?

Thanks again to Convelio for being our partner in this operation. You guys are an amazing team, and certainly the most reliable shipping company we've encountered so far! We love you. And also a big thanks of course to my dream team: Octave, Marguerite, Miléna and Pierre (who happens to be both our artistic director and a great Artist himself : Verceighty!)

December 1, 2020