The evolution of Rue Pigalle and forging connections across the world

When faced with the impact of a global pandemic, Isabelle Fish, founder of Rue Pigalle seized the chance to deepen connections amongst her loyal female clientele, the opportunity to demonstrate her tangible reverence for the skills of makers and craftspeople and create a greater appreciation for craft.

Born and raised in France, Isabelle Fish is a Canadian entrepreneur with a long list of achievements; from a background in law, raising a family, opening up new markets for designers and makers, owning and running an exclusive contemporary jewelry gallery in Toronto, organising and hosting upscale salon-style Jeffersonian dinners and most recently launching her business Rue Pigalle.

"It is really important, she explains, to explore and understand what it is to be a maker and the relationship between galleries, the artist and their audience."
Isabelle Fish | Courtesy of Rue Pigalle

Isabelle fundamentally believes that craft has a valuable part to play in society; that it connects us. It is really important, she explains, to explore and understand what it is to be a maker and the relationship between galleries, the artist and their audience. As a child Isabelle was taught by her mother to respect and appreciate the skills of craftsmen with an unparalleled reverence. Her early cultural exposure and a chance meeting with another Parisian in Calgary in the early 2000s sparked her evolution from lawyer to businesswoman to patron of craft and design.

Building a successful luxury jewelry boutique in Toronto highlighted to Isabelle that there was a great thirst amongst women to connect with each other and to feed their souls through travel, education and discovery. It was clear that she needed to create a federation of women that would have an impact, strengthening connections and collaborations and for the past 3 years she has developed a new business; her travel tours, her interviews and her club. These initiatives were an opportunity to support and promote makers and carry the message for the long term; that traditions should be preserved, and skills revered.

Since 2018 Isabelle has collaborated with London Craft Week, leading a series of studio tours in London and Somerset, and hosting a lecture series based at the prestigious Goldsmith Fair. Every week since March 23, 2020 when COVID19 Restrictions were imposed, Isabelle has interviewed a glittering list of artists and craftspeople as part of her ‘In Conversation’ offering designed to ‘stimulate, enrich and energise’ through online engagement.

Her focus for 2021 is The Club which she launched in September 2020 with a long-term purpose to connect and support crafts people and to create opportunities to learn and discover. With nearly 40 members to date, there are numerous benefits to the exclusive membership, including access to biweekly ‘In Conversation’ meetings, discounts for workshops, virtual tours, and monthly hosted member meetings. For details on how to to become a member of The Club further information can be found at Rue Pigalle Club.

Driven by her passion for art, design and craft and an understanding that it will enrich the soul, Isabelle continues to face the challenges of our current online life whilst developing a business to carry her message about the importance of being a patron of the arts and crafts world, to achieve a connection amongst women and to create a legacy for generations to come.