When Angela and Dave Dawes won £101 million on the EuroMillions lottery last weekend many of us dreamed of what we would do with that amount of cash. While we may think we would have no trouble finding things to spend that money on, who wants to waste time researching the top travel destinations and doing all the negotiations and organisation? Celebrities and multimillionaires know that it is important to have someone in their entourage who can make their every wish come true, no matter how large or small!
Insignia are a luxury lifestyle management company – essentially a ‘wish granting’ company for the super-rich. The company caters to the needs of only the wealthiest elite and membership is restricted to a select number of clients who enjoy round-the-clock access to some of the world’s most opulent hotels, exotic travel destinations, high class restaurants and top fashion brands, and much, much more.
Insignia’s personal assistants are experienced luxury goods and services professionals dedicated to fulfilling any request, anywhere in the world. This job requires exception organisational skills; with the ability to joggle multiple tasks while travelling – often at a moment notice. Here Insignia luxury expert Mariam Lefevre, 27, reveals just what it’s like to make a millionaire’s dreams come true.
What was your career path to becoming a professional luxury goods and services wish granter?
My career started in Switzerland where I worked as an assistant sales and marketing manager at a luxury mountain retreat frequented by many ultra-high net worth individuals, especially from Russia and Eastern Europe. I was then hired by one of the wealthy hotel clients as his Personal Assistant, which took me all around the world to charity events, concerts, sport events, etc. I soon realised that I had a special knack for achieving what many considered impossible and really enjoyed networking wherever I went.
What specialist qualifications, training, skills sets or knowledge is required to work in this industry?
I got a diploma in International Hotel Business which really helped me to better understand the hospitality industry – a major part of my role involves booking luxury travel, accommodation, private jets, private islands, etc. I also attended several courses on protocol and etiquette which have proved to be invaluable as people skills are everything in this job. I have also found that attending events like Les Clefs d’Or Congress are great for building relationships and contacts. With regard to skills, you have to be very organised and good with time management, extremely persistent and driven, and know how to deal with different types of people. Patience also comes in handy from time to time.
What do you feel is the best part of the job, and what is the worst?
The perks of this job are almost infinite. I get to see the world, travel to destinations near and far on a weekly basis and experience luxury that most people can’t even begin to imagine. My favourite part is occasionally getting to go to glamorous events like the Academy Awards, Cannes Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. The worst part I suppose is that you are always on call and your clients can call you around the clock – and they do. It’s just as well I can get by with just a few hours of beauty sleep a night!
What has been the most satisfying accomplishment of your role to date?
Every day I seem to pull something out the bag that people say is impossible and it even surprises me! It’s not an easy job, but the sense of accomplishment I get from rising to the challenge of booking a private island with barely a day’s notice, for example, is simply immense. Seeing the look on the client’s face once you’ve granted their wish is what keeps me going, receiving jewellery from Tiffany’s & Co as a thank you present isn’t too bad either!
[picture credit: Jono Haysom ]