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Being an Artisan in Florence, and how to reach the world from the Oltrarno - Part I

What does it take to be an Artisan? ... LOTS OF LOVE, SWEAT AND TEARS!!

I think the number one characteristic of an authentic artisan is passion. Passion is definitely what defines the true artistic vein and allows the art within explode. Creating with our hands, unique masterpieces and refined products, is often an unreachable dream. There really is no price that can be put on any piece, if you consider the time and the effort put into each single item; many can't even imagine the amount of problems that arise when working on something new, not yet clearly defined, but intimately forged - because all these creations, come from deep within. Trying to make something artisanal requires that particular experience and rare genius, typical of true artisans. To have it become a piece of reality, is extremely consuming and often overwhelming.

Yet there is the other part to promoting artisan goods: not only is the molding of the product necessary, but also proper sales channels are required.

My very first attendace at an exhibiton was at a show called "InFlorence" and held at the Leopolda center here in Florence, Italy way back in March 2011. It was indeed a very interesting event that unfortunately didn't have a sequel. This is the difficult part - finding momentum with the right events and shows.

That was my new mission for Monnaluna. Reaching people, beyond our borders, became my obsession together with the creation of Monnaluna fashion jewels.

This was our very first show here in Florence at the Leopolda in March of 2011
Monnaluna at InFlorence Exhibition

And that was the beginning of my in person attempts at selling B2B (business to business). Soon I tried more international channels by reasearching opportunities (it didn't take much as the main cities for fashion are well known to all and my previous years in fashion, working for other brands, had introduced me to the best shows around). I sent our presentation to the most important shows, and crossed our fingers while we waited. I was ecstatic to learn that Monnaluna had been accepted at the Bijorhca show in Paris.

Here is my first exhibition outside of Italy, in Paris, in September of 2011. This is at the Bijorhca Exhibition.

This was our debut in Paris during the Bijorhca of September 2011
Monnaluna at Bijorhca in Paris

It was the first time I attended the show with my own brand - I had had prior experiences there while working for other companies. Considering that all exhibitors are filtered and must go through approval through a panel of judges, it made me very proud of what I had begun and the fact that Monnaluna was now a part of the show. The stand was small, but I was quite satisfied with the show as Paris is one of the top fashion hubs of the world and the international scene of buyers was exactly what I was aiming for.

Shortly after that egregious French debut, I began with my first experiences in Asia, and more specifically, in China. I began selling into China later that year, finally visiting Shanghai in person for the very first time, early 2013. Since that first trip, I have been to China four times, each one with incredible experiences, making new friends, learning more about the market, and planning. China is a very big and a very diversified country, so it is hard to encompass energies under one uniform approach, and defining strategies for our proper debut there, in reality, comprises more than one channel.

Monnaluna sales point in Shanghai, China
Monnaluna in Shanghai 2013

In 2014, I went to China again to build relations and build my knowledge of Shanghai and its very modern appetite for fashion, forever amicable towards new brands like my own. I was very proud to be mentioned in an article of Forbes regarding my attempts at being noticed in that market to this regard

2015 was a very intense year with the two editions of the CAF show in Kazakhstan and again, another show in Paris, but this time at the Premiére Class Exhibition

Our 6 meter long stand at the Première Classe in Paris
Première Class in Paris September 2015

The first CAF exhibition in Almaty, Kazakhstan was in March of 2015. Indeed, Russia and the Ex-URSS territories are very attracted to fashion jewelry in general and my experience there was very positive. You can view here my interview in the Almaty city news, whilst at the second edition of the CAF Show in Almaty, Kazakhstan in September of that same year. I explain our fashion vision: Renaissance designs and harmonious pieces with the high degree of personalization.

I have more events that I have attended over the years that I want to share with you, but I will save them for Part II of this blog story, coming to you next month.

Now I'd like to reach the end of this first part of reminiscing about travels and shows, with a focus on what our Monnaluna fashion vision is. I wish to reiterate the role of the Renaissance in my creations. The Renaissance is a historical time where Florence flourished and its frantic impulse for all things beautiful impregnated every corner of this city. The most spectacular pieces in any of the arts, all stem from here.

Renaissance, rebirth and renewal. Perhaps this is why I have always been attracted to Florence. Now more than ever, we need these elements in our lives to rebuild a stronger, more balanced and respectful world, starting from this very moment.

Monnaluna thrives on making our proposals symbiotic with your inner YOU, which is why I wish to have your idea of color put into the piece that we make for you. Customization, in fact, is the way that we can be a part of who you are, allowing us to contribute to your outer you - which is the image of your inner you. I believe that accessories are fundamental in creating the right look just for you.

Stay tuned for Part II of "Being and Artisan in Florence and how to reach the world from the Oltrarno

Monnaluna shop in Sdrucciolo de Pitti 22r
Monnaluna Boutique

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