Romain Guinier – one year in as CEO of Colart


Romain reflects on his first year as CEO of Colart and lists his top three Colart highlights.

We have embarked on a transformational journey this past year that saw us begin to reshape Colart to capitalise on the company’s fantastic assets, especially our portfolio of iconic brands.

I am excited about our ongoing transformation. It is about blending our strong artistic passion with a robust, performance-driven culture. Our focus is on enhancing our distribution with a direct-to-consumer model, including revamping our brand websites into digital flagships ensuring they are fully equipped for e-commerce functionality and enabling direct consumer purchases. This strategic move aims to foster customer interaction and loyalty, deliver added value to consumers, and improve our online distribution.

We also strengthened our long-term commitment to the sustainable transformation – not just of Colart but the wider industry. This was reflected in our B Corp certification in May that followed the rigorous assessment of our company’s social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Our sustainability journey evolves, currently with investments in decarbonising our factories and the development of bio-based paints. Our goal is to make our sustainability initiatives more visible and impactful, to ultimately show consumers that choosing our brands offers real advantages.

I firmly believe that sustainable financial success is the foundation of our ability to deliver on our pledge to be a strong ‘force for good’. It’s therefore pleasing that we have successfully returned to growth in net sales and significantly improved our profitability.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our employees and partners who have contributed to making this past year a success for Colart. It has been my pleasure to lead this great company and I look forward to more achievements as we continue our transformational journey.

My top three highlights from a year as CEO of Colart

1. Force for Good

In our inaugural year as a B Corp certified company, we've made significant strides in our commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. These efforts underscore our dedication to leveraging business as a force for good. As we reflect on our journey, we're proud of our progress but remain steadfast in our pursuit of a more sustainable and equitable future, where our partners and consumers expect companies to operate more ethically and sustainably. Last year we were also certified as the Most Loved Workplace. While this is a wonderful recognition of the culture we are working hard to build, we do not take it for granted and will strive to uphold a common purpose that unites everyone at Colart.

2. Repositioning our Brands

We're embarking on an invigorating journey to redefine our leading brand positions. This is evident through our brand repositioning launches that include ‘Through the Eyes of the Artist,' from Winsor & Newton, 'Just Imagine,' from Liquitex and 'Dare to Paint.' From Lefranc Bourgeois. With assertive voices and a curiosity to explore new creative realms, our aim is to forge deeper connections with emerging generations of artists and creatives.

3. Value chain collaborations enhance our market presence

In a strategic move to bolster distribution and market presence, our joint venture in Japan, Bonny ColArt, has partnered with Faber-Castell. This promising collaboration aims to enhance revenue streams and open up new avenues for brand expansion, particularly in stationary and the mass retail sector. Faber-Castell's renowned reputation for high-quality products complements our own manufacturing standards.

Our distribution partnership with edding, manufacturers of writing and marking pens, was launched in North America in October 2022. We marked the second phase of our partnership with the edding brand in April 2023 by extending its Creative Life portfolio to customers in France, within both the fine art and arts and crafts channels.