Ten Year Anniversary Celebration: Day 3

During the month of October, we are offering our Top 10 Bestsellers at 10% off! Today is Day 3, which means we are showcasing our #9 bestsellers! Follow this link to grab your coupon code for the #9 bestselling items! This offer will be good through the end of Friday, October 4, 2013 (Pacific Time) so don’t miss out!

We will be posting the #8 bestsellers next week on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 and Week 2 Giveaways next Wednesday! Keep an eye out for more goodies!

 

#9 ASTUCCIO Leather iPad Cover by Giudi

Our Week 1 Giveaways: La Cuoieria and Campomaggi

Today is day 2 of our month-long anniversary celebration and, like every Wednesday this October, we are announcing two giveaways, no purchase necessary. The two winners will be randomly picked and announced next Wednesday.

>> Enter Giveaway <<

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Gianni cell phone charms

Gianni Cell Phone Charms now come with a peg to insert them in your headphone jack

If you are selected as the winner of a Gianni cell phone charm you get to pick your favorite cell phone charm.

Marco, the Campomaggi key fob

Marco, the Campomaggi key fob

Instead, if you are selected as the winner of the Marco, that’s exactly what you get: there is nothing to choose.

Ten Year Anniversary Celebration: Day 1

Today we kick off a month-long celebration to commemorate the tenth anniversary of our founding. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we are going to count down the top 10 bestsellers for each of our best artisans. So today we are discounting the number 10 bestsellers. Get your offer code now and keep in mind that the code expires at the end of Wednesday, October 3, 2013 (Pacific Time).

Don’t like what you see? On Thursday we are going to post the number 9 bestsellers. So make sure to come back often and not miss any of the deals. Tomorrow we are going to announce the two giveaways for the week.

Thank you for your support over the last 10 years

We appreciate your support very much and to celebrate our milestone we are making it more fun for you.

Roma Looks Unstoppable

Roma won its sixth game in a row and is definitely claiming the right to be considered the favorite for the championship. Napoli and Juventus also won, while Inter, Fiorentina, and Lazio tied. Milan finally won. While Roma and Napoli won convincingly (Roma beat Bologna 5-0 and Napoli won at Genoa 2-0), Juventus won a derby against Torino 1-0 thanks to an offsides goal that should have been taken back. That’s two more points gifted by the referees to Juventus, and the total stands at 4 so far this season. I almost wonder if Moggi is roaming the referee dressing rooms again.

Inter tied but played a pretty good game. It scored first and was caught by a shot that was deflected. Though it was unlucky, it feels that a championship candidate would have brought home the full three points.

Roma has won all six matches, including a difficult one against Lazio. Its next match is at S. Siro against Inter. Some say that this is going to be the first real test for Roma. I disagree. Napoli is the only test for Roma, and maybe Juventus if it starts to live up to its potential. Inter, realistically, will only hope not to get crushed and hope in a tie. If Inter surprises and demonstrates to be a top-three contender, then this is going to be a very interesting championship. Otherwise, my prediction is for Roma to win the scudetto, followed by Napoli and Juventus. Inter will be a fairly distant fourth with Fiorentina, Lazio, and Milan at its side.

Sailing Into Fiscal Headwinds

In my last post, I said that the Fed made the right decision because the economy has been weak this quarter and it is going to face some fiscal headwinds. By fiscal headwinds I was really envisioning the debilitating debate in Washington over the debt ceiling. I should have been more specific and called it theatrical headwinds. Although it is easy to think that the government shut-down will be averted or at least short-lived, the specter of a threat of government default pushed to the very last minute is all too real. The other thing that worries me is that this discussion could lead to the third round of fiscal tightening in the span of less than a year. I don’t care how well people think the economy is doing: if you keep on throwing water on the fire it will begin to extinguish.

So, if rising interest rates are damping the housing recovery and uncertainty is sapping consumer confidence (at a five month low) is there any reason for optimism? Is the better growth for the second half of the year that economist have been forecasting going to materialize? The answer is yes and no. I think that there is a signal that is pointing to a pickup, eventually, in employment: the drop in jobless claims that has been remarkable during the last month. Eventually this might lead to significant employment growth (at least 300,000 jobs added per month), but I am afraid that continuous fiscal tightening will prevent this from happening.

Economists are predicting 180,000 jobs added in September. I am willing to hope for 200,000 based on the Bernanke delay, the positive jobless claims, and the fact that a shutdown and a default have not yet materialized. If they are avoided, then we can start thinking about a real recovery taking hold.

Campomaggi Writes About Artisanship

This month I selected the word “artisanship” as our Facebook short address because everything related to Marcopoloni was already taken. Artisanship is one of those words, such as artisanal, that must be so uncommon in the English language that the spell-checker underlines them. For years this led me to believe that the words did not exist in English until this month just a little bit of research on dictionary.com proved that the words do exist in English too.

If artisanship is the translation of artigianato, on Monday Campomaggi used a word in his e-mail that, although it makes sense, I had never seen used before: artigianalita`. Artigianalita` is a word that embodies the quality of being artisanal. I suppose that translates into artisanalness, but that, unfortunately, broke my spell checker. “I love imperfection as a witness to a unique product, made with care and precision, and never like another.

Campomaggi writes about artigianalita`

Campomaggi writes about artigianalita` or artisanalness as a witness to a unique product like no other.

When I was talking to Marco he said that our mission focusing on artisanship is very close to his values. He goes on to write: “artisanal objects exhude the effort and care necessary to accomplish each individual item created. As a result, the item acquires the charm of uniqueness.” This is exactly what we get when we buy Campomaggi bags and this is exactly what we are seeking. To us, Campomaggi is not a brand to sell. It is a cause to embrace, because we want to bring you the charm of uniqueness.

Inter Flexes Its Muscles

Inter played on Thursday against Fiorentina this week, a day after the rest of the league. It went into the match knowing that Roma is the team to beat (they are 5-0 now, their best start ever), Napoli amazingly tied at home against Sassuolo (maybe we knocked some pride into them last week) and missed a golden opportunity to stay at the top of the table, Juventus was losing against Chievo and then, oops, the refs denied Chievo a goal that was valid and Juventus won 2-1 (old habits never die, do they?), Milan scored two goals in the last few minutes to tie Bologna 3-3. Lazio and Udinese won.

So what did all this mean? It meant that going into the game a victory was mandatory to stay close to the top of the table, and the same meant for the opponent. In the second half Inter went down on a penalty. The reaction was convincing. In a matter of less than half an hour Inter scored two goals and defended the victory. This show of character is very unusual for the team I am used to experience and supports the view that a top five finish is in the cards. The team looks better than last year, when it also started strong but finished ninth.

So… What’s up with Roma? At the beginning of the season I did not consider them as a Scudetto contender at all. Now look at them. Maybe Totti should go to Brazil this summer.

Marcopoloni Turn 10-Years-Old! Thank You

According to Daniele (me), Marcopoloni turns 10 on October 6, 2013. Emi is not so sure about that date. What I remember is having a particularly bad Monday at work and coming home determined to move forward with the Marcopoloni project. I distinctly remember the date, but memory often fails me.

Whatever the date, we started without any products, suppliers, or customers. We started from absolutely nothing with just the goal to bring our clientele-to-be closer to outstanding artisans: artisans that we knew existed in our home countries (Italy and Japan) but were yet to get to know or contact.

We took the plunge, we explored, and we found some artisans who took the time to talk to us. We tried what we liked and offered those products on our web site. Some products really found favor with our clientele, which is what enabled us to continue to explore, for 10 years.

The first product we added to our catalog was the Heart Leather Key Chain. It was also the first item we sold.

The first product we added to our catalog was the Heart Leather Key Chain. It was also the first item we sold.

We are extremely grateful that you enabled us to keep on doing what we love. As a way to celebrate the success and to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH we have decided to offer discounts and promotions that are truly hard for me, the CFO, to accept. We are offering a deep discount on our BEST selling products of all time and we are giving away in simple contests almost $700 worth of merchandise. In addition, all orders over $50 will receive a Marcopoloni reusable shopping tote, as we hope to help you eliminate the need for single use plastic bags.

The celebration will continue all month long. As the month progresses the discounted items will become more popular and the value of the prizes will increase. Fittingly, we are expecting a baby boy towards the end of the month so we kept in mind our joy when picking our promotional items: we truly hope to bring a little happiness in your world too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Going forward we hope that you will continue to support us and we know that our success will depend on how well we listen to you. We are trying to make it easier and easier to contact us. Please let us know how we can better serve you.

Cheers!

It Is A Different Inter This Year

This Sunday Inter played away against Sassuolo, a newly promoted team from Serie B which has only played three matches in Serie A and lost all three. In normal circumstances Inter would have presented Sassuolo with its first points thanks to concentration lapses that seem to be ingrained in the franchise I love.

That didn’t happen today. It seems that Mazzarri was able to wipe those lapses off. What we have as a result is a team that is focused and void of the many superstars that spoiled team chemistry in the past. That’s how the 7-0 victory came to be.

The two teams that impressed this week are the two teams that were already at the top: Napoli and Roma beat AC Milan and Lazio, two championship contenders, and remained at the top of the table. Juventus and Fiorentina also won so the situation at the top of the table is completely unchanged. But something has changed: Roma and Napoli, who seemed to be accidental group leaders last week, proved that they are top contenders to be reckoned with.

As an Inter fan I have to be pleased. I can get used to Inter showing some strength. We are in the top five and have only allowed one goal. I have said that arriving in third place would be a huge success, but, realistically, the expectation should be for fourth or fifth place as the competition this year is really fierce. But we do have an advantage: we are not fighting for any European cups so we should be more rested and less stricken by injuries than our competitors. Who knows, perhaps we will get lucky or we could aim for a Coppa Italia win–the trophy that no one cares about.

Fed Tapering Will Have to Wait

The Fed has spoken, there will be no tapering for the time being as “the tightening of financial conditions observed in recent months, if sustained, could slow the pace of improvement.”

In other words, the economy is nowhere near growing on its own at a sustainable pace. That is the sad truth but gives me some relief: at least it wasn’t just my analysis to conclude that. The coming debt-ceiling discussion (the third in twelve months) is enough of a head-wind for the economy that I think that the Fed will be very careful before actually beginning the tapering process.

As a small business owner I say thank you to Mr. Bernanke for being very careful and I resolve to improve our business by listening to our customers better than ever.