Hotelier Grace Leo
’s recent endeavour — A Touch of Grace
— is a luxury online store offering a wide range of high quality European products personally selected by Leo
What sets A Touch of Grace apart from other brands?
I always think of our brand as not just a vehicle for the marketing of luxury products, but also as a go-to resource for European savoir-faire and the art of living.
At A Touch of Grace, our mission is to inform and educate as much as it is to sell, because to me, an educated consumer is a satisfied customer. Only when armed with the facts about their purchases, like knowing about the authentic European provenance of a product, are consumers certain that our brand fully mirrors their values and fulfils their aspirations.
So then, we as a brand must always strive to let consumers discover what they want, instead of trying to sell them something they’re not completely certain of. We want them, without a doubt, to make a purchasing decision based upon the facts and little else.
What three words would best describe A Touch of Grace?
European. Luxury. Craftsmanship.
Which piece, in your opinion, best represents what the brand is all about and why?
The ‘My Gemstones’ collection from Michelange Fradkof best reflects our brand in terms of its design uniqueness, its high levels of craftsmanship and its lasting quality. Fradkof, in fact, is one of the last artisans in Limoges, France, creating each and every one of her porcelain masterpieces by using handmade decals. They show an amazing attention to detail and beauty. Who else do you know who has the vision and the know-how to create a dinner plate using so many elegantly centered, precious gemstones?
We have many other pieces that also reflect our brand, and each and every one of them must undergo an arduous selection process, or they simply don’t make the grade.
How has Europe inspired you? What has made you so passionate about European lifestyle/furniture?
Europe has inspired me because it has transformed me in so many ways. When you first live here and are surrounded by the many riches Europe has to offer, your wants and desires slowly evolve and change.
At first, you are surprised by all the opulence and the luxury found right at your fingertips. Then, you become exhilarated. You crave those riches. They become part of your life. You insist on having them. You develop a passion for all they represent. So, in answer to your question, what inspired me about Europe the most was how my life has become transformed into a series of one luxurious encounter after the next!
What has been, or still is, the biggest evolution in global hospitality in the past decade?
The most significant evolution in the global hospitality sector, in my view, is the trend of constantly raising the benchmark. Be it the level of service offered, the ambiance experienced, the amenities available, or even regarding the smallest of details, your benchmark of excellence must continue evolving. It must be raised higher than it was before. And higher still, the next time around.
From the hotel business to a luxury online shop, what would be your advice in building your own brand?
Never waiver. When transforming a vision into a reality, you must always and without exception stick to your convictions. Never vacillate. Never get discouraged. Never give up. Give a brand whatever it needs to grow and become established, regardless of the time frame or the resources or the efforts involved.