Susie Goodman Art Auctioneer and Trailblazer

Grab every opportunity, have fun, and appreciate the small things.

Globally the art auction market is still male dominated with the very important and high value evening auctions mainly being taken by men. But at Strauss & Co, the situation is different – we have three women auctioneers and one man. The art world is generally a good place for a woman to work because it is so flexible and variable, but there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things one has to do in a normal working day.

We connect with Susie Goodman who who shares her story as a female auctioneer and advises how to cease the opportunities  while appreciating the small milestones.

I am a very positive and optimistic person who is always looking for new ideas, new ways to connect, and trying to grow this market constantly. Challenges usually make me rise to the challenge even more. South Africa’s is a relatively young market, particularly in auctioneering terms – Christie’s was started in 1766, Strauss & Co was started in 2009! Providing all the tools for buyers to make well-informed decisions when they buy an artwork is really important and we need to work at this constantly and find new ways to do what we do better and more effectively.

How do you balance work and family

Often by the ‘seat of my pants’! I am not the world’s best spreadsheet organiser, so I try to make my girls responsible for their needs and requirements for school and sport. To be honest, I have been the mother who accidentally left someone at school!

The art auction world is very variable, there’s no such thing as ‘normal’ at Strauss & Co, every day is different! We have intense pressure leading up to a sale and straight afterwards, but my family understands and have helped me put measures in place to deal with the very busy times, long hours and occasional late nights. Spending time together as a family is very, very important, and we have a lot of laughs. Lock down has brought us many special moments together and the Goodman’s are certainly becoming expert card and board-game players!

Advise to other women entrepreneurs

I love art, and in this job I see more art than I would anywhere else and I engage with a multitude of people every day. We have about 1 000 works of art in our offices at any one time and I get to see them up close and talk about their stories with the artists, the owners and the collectors. I am passionate about people buying art and I love finding new homes for the lots I have the privilege of auctioning.

And I love life, so I would say live your passion, grab every opportunity, have fun, and appreciate the small things.

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