At last! Feels good to be back with our producers, after a far too long absence, from what, I really consider the heart of this company…The active, creative work, happens in Tuscany, always. All of the little impressions and ideas, that occurs from day to day in Copenhagen or elsewhere, are brought and processed here. This process, is free, open and undisturbed, always has been, always will be in, order to keep the authenticity.
Ever since, I founded my brand, a little over 12 years ago, my main focus has been, not just to design products, but to work closely with people and artisans, while acknowledging, that their effort and dedication shapes our products. Together with them, it all makes sense, without them, the purpose, would not be the same. Might not sound like the most common business plan, but ever since, I learned, that in the end every collaboration, comes down to the personal connection, I figured, it made good sense to actually, really have a personal connection. So being here, right where all the ideas come to life, always brings a lot of fresh energy, inspiration and clear sight.
Friday evening, I was meeting our bag producer, Filippo and his wife, Ketty at a local countryside restaurant. Ketty is basically the super boss of the bag factory, I could not imagine this place, without her, constantly keeping the full production overview. And like they agreed, this evening, when asked how it really feels to both share a marriage and work life, sometimes it is not the ideal, but at the same time, “there is no Filippo without Ketty and no Ketty without Filippo”.
When we met, Filippo had been working on a few new samples right up until our dinner, and of course he brought his latest protos to the restaurant, so I had "something to work on for the weekend". This is also how it is to be here, my mind is basically wrapped around work, day and night, but in a light and joyful way, that never feels forced. Sometimes the brain does need a little break here too, so yesterday, I went for a little road trip to gather all the ideas, and I ended up making 8-10 impulsive stops on my way. When I saw a beautiful color, a plant I liked, an antique shop, a bar, that looked sweet, or a mountain village, I have never noticed before, I stopped. The trip was supposed to take a couple of hours, but ended up taking the entire day. One of the sidetracks, I did was to the tiny village, Castelvecchio di Compito. It was equally small and peaceful. Nothing special to see or visit, but just a feeling of a very quiet life lived there. And me being a spectator for a brief moment. Except for a cat, flowers in front some houses, and a few half open blinds, I never saw a sign of life. When I came down from the village, I met a group of local men at the bar, they invited me for a coffee, and a talk about their life, and expressed some curiosity about, what I was doing around here. These little random moments of not much happening, or no specific goal for the day, is what makes the work routine feel special here.
As usual, I can not really show much of the work, we are doing here yet, but I do want to show you a new material, we are testing. Stay tuned for more on that via our stories next week.
Pictures above in order; the village, Castelvecchio di Compito and chairs on front of one the houses, the view and the olive garden at the sweet restaurant and gust house we went to (will return to that briefly), some fabrics, a stopover at a bar and some cakes.