Categories
Marcopoloni, the Tiny Business

Reflections on the past year

Two weeks ago, we celebrated my one year anniversary of working at Marcopoloni! Time sure flies by when you’re having a good time. As you all know, Marcopoloni is a very small company with only a grand total of three employees! Yes, that means it’s just Daniele, Emi and me handling every possible scenario in an online retail business. It can get really busy but it can also be relaxing. Working at Marcopoloni is also an introvert’s dream! I work in my own office in the comfort and silence of my leather-made companions, I am left alone 95% of the time to complete my tasks for the day and handling customer service isn’t bad at all since our customers are extremely nice and understanding. I love that I am encouraged to let my creativity run wild with side projects such as thinking of new ways to show off all the beautiful artisanal products we have! With the added bonus of house made cappuccino at our daily meetings, I don’t think it can get any better. I have learned a lot over the past year and I can only imagine how great the next year will be! Cheers to Daniele and Emi for making my first year at Marcopoloni awesome!

 

Left: Daniele, Right: Me, Bottom: Emi We went to Color Me Mine to make hand painted works of art on my anniversary!

 

 

 

 

Categories
Other

A special July 4th treat

I hope you all had a wonderful July 4th! I’ve been experimenting with baking a lot recently so I decided to spend a part of my day off making a pie from scratch! Cooking is one of my biggest passions in life and I happen to be pretty decent at it. Besides, how much more handmade can it get than cooking something from scratch? Without further ado, here is my handmade strawberry rhubarb pie.

Cutting up the rhubarb
Slicing the strawberries
Rolling out the pie dough
Cutting out strips of dough for the lattice top
Constructing the lattice top

Not bad for my first try, eh?

 

 

Categories
Marcopoloni, the Tiny Business Other

Thoughts on the Forlanini

I’m back with a small update! It has been probably 6 months or so since I first got my Forlanini. The biggest thing that caught my attention was how nicely the leather has broken in. I mean, it looks even better than brand new! The leather is much softer, it has slightly darkened in color overall and it fits by my side like a glove. I’ll have to admit that I haven’t treated the Forlanini in the most careful manner but it still feels like it’s indestructible. It has been exposed to a light drizzle once but I was only outside for a few minutes. I definitely don’t recommend letting your leather products get wet as it will damage the leather. Luckily my bag hasn’t been damaged! I need to be more careful about moisture. The usual wear and tear has occurred though but it’s nothing unusual; Places where the bag rubbed against my clothing has darkened more than the rest of the bag and very small minor surface scratches appeared. Little things like this can be easily cleaned off and buffed out with a leather cleaner but frankly, I don’t mind it. Over the duration of owning the Forlanini, I have used a leather conditioner on it once, maybe twice. It wasn’t really necessary but I just thought I’d try it to see if it would make a difference in the way the leather looked. The small surface scratches do go away with the conditioner, but I think the natural oils in the leather do just fine on its own and it shows! I imagine the leather will be even more awesome many years down the road. Let’s see how this one will look in another 6+ months!

 

Forlanini, 6 months later!
Categories
Other

Customer service? You got it.

Shopping online can be difficult for a number of reasons–photos don’t do the colors justice, size can be hard to gauge, the product you’re looking at might not suit you, etc. Whatever it is, not being able to physically examine the item makes everything more complicated, and we understand that.

A couple of days ago, I had a customer ask for help on choosing a color for the Zavatti. Based on the customer’s preferences, I chose a couple of backpacks that I thought might be good candidates for the job and sent over some photos. This was helpful because the customer was able to choose the exact backpack based on what is shown to them rather than imagining it through a series of convoluted descriptions. I mean, wouldn’t it be more helpful to have a photo of the exact bag? “It all starts with an intense dark roast from the richest Colombian coffee laced with deep red/orange/purple hues comparable to that of the darkened sky at dusk. Highlights sprinkled throughout, swirling, twisting, and fading back into the brilliant sea of ebony like the tendrils of a vine, retreating back to safety.”

Anyways before I go off on all sorts of wild tangents, as I was saying, we will do our best to help you choose the perfect bag whether you prefer works of visual or literary arts. All you have to do is shoot us an email at info@marcopoloni.com with your request and we will get back to you as soon as we can! Enjoy the quick shots of the Zavattis I sent to the customer!

 

Zavatti Distressed Espresso

Zavatti Distressed Olive Brown

Categories
Marcopoloni, the Tiny Business Our Artisans and Their Products

The Companion I Never Expected

I don’t like purses. Why? Well, the word “purse” ALWAYS implies that it is some sort of fashionable handbag that ladies carry. Any sort of bag a lady carries is automatically seen as a “purse”. That makes no sense to me. With that said, I am definitely not the type of person to carry a purse, a handbag, or what have you. All I need are pockets to carry my phone, keys and wallet and I’m ready to go!

My first impression of Marcopoloni was how it is a company that perpetuates passion, hard work and genuineness. That definitely is what Marcopoloni embodies, no doubt. The products being offered here are so full of life and character that you can’t help but get drawn to them. Well, let’s fast forward to when I had access to the Campomaggi catalog. Found my first Campomaggi creation pretty quickly, I’d say. Not only is it my first Campomaggi bag in general, it is a custom order! Named after the inventor of the helicopter, Enrico Forlanini, it is every bit as logical and practical as its namesake.

After carrying the Forlanini with me on my adventures, the bag has become an appendage of me (Notice how I use the word “bag” to keep the ambiguity of what it is alive. It’s a bag. Simple as that). What has changed since I have the Forlanini? Well, I still just carry my essentials, really. The typical phone, keys and wallet with the new addition of a sketchbook, a pencil, and mints (ginger mints, to be specific). The most important aspect of my bag is how it represents me. The ruggedness of Campomaggi’s signature distressed leather coupled with its simplistic, utilitarian design just makes so much sense to me. It symbolizes my ideals of keeping things simple and straightforward. Lastly, I truly feel that Campomaggi embodies what it is like to be true to yourself–to your roots–in all of his products. As someone who has never envisioned herself seeing any sort of need to carry a bag, my first Campomaggi bag has truly become the companion I never expected.

My Forlanini as it is, scratches and all.

 

Categories
Marcopoloni, the Tiny Business

Vroom vroom!

Ever wanted to buy that nice Italian car you’ve been dreaming about? Well, I believe you are in luck! Last week, we received a Gianni shipment with some brand new products. Yes, including a car! We even held a Facebook contest giving away a free car key chain in the color of your choice (available in blue, red, green, white, black and yellow)! Big congratulations to Jennie for being the lucky winner!

Modeled after the Fiat 500, Gianni’s new car key chain takes you one step closer to owning a genuine Italian car. This surely is the case for me since I am a fan of the Fiat 500. If my dog could fit comfortably (and safely!) in a 500, that would be my “new car goal”. Did you know that a Fiat can make coffee for you right in your car? Well, it exists in an upgraded model, the 500L. Seems like the US is out of luck until it has been approved though, but hey, one can dream!

Speedy blue!
Categories
Other

Valentine’s Day

Ahh…Valentine’s Day. The day that represents love and all that embodies it. That much is true but depending on who you ask about the origins of Valentine’s Day, the stories may not be too consistent, if at all. One person may tell you that it all started with a priest by the name of Valentinus who held secretive wedding ceremonies for soldiers. Apparently, weddings and engagements were banned in fear of the soldiers getting distracted by such events. Another may tell you it all started with a pagan festival called Lupercalia, where men and women were paired. Either way, it has evolved into a day where couples, family and friends get together for fun festivities. What are the typical Valentine’s Day activities, you ask? Probably a romantic outing involving a bit of food, enjoying each other’s company and of course, gifts. Are you going to get your significant other the typical gifts of normal roses, heart shaped chocolates and whatnot? I don’t know about that.

If you want something a bit more creative and original but following the general theme of Valentine’s Day, I have some great ideas for you! Hand-picked roses? We have hand-molded ones! Hearts? We don’t skip a beat! Need something for the men? More paua to you! I hope you find something special that is dear to you. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Categories
Our Artisans and Their Products Product Reviews

Is it just me or is my shelf dripping?

Unique dripping wall shelf by Antartidee.

 

When Emi and Daniele left me for a month to go on a business trip to Italy, they met with several potential new vendors. The most distinct vendor of them all was Antartidee. I was barely able to hide my excitement when I was first presented with their catalogue and was anxiously awaiting Emi and Daniele’s return to discuss the possibility of ordering from Antartidee. We spent a lot of time deciding on products, narrowing down a huge list and then finally, placing an order. Of all the products that we received, the Dripping Shelf was my favorite. I was simultaneously very excited but filled with regret because I didn’t order one for myself. However, I did get a Dripping Shelf for Christmas (from Emi and Daniele) and this is definitely one of the best gifts I’ve received in a while. Nearly a month has passed since I first received the shelf. Let me just say that it is so awesome to have such a beautiful shelf to have a place for my dog’s (her name is Spot!) leash and my keys.

Prior to owning this shelf/hook combination, I was constantly searching for my keys and using anything that even remotely resembles a table to put Spot’s leash on. I installed the shelf right above my light switch, right next to my front door. So when I get home from work, I turn on the lights and then hang up my keys. When I walk towards the door, Spot charges over, sits down and looks up at me as if to say, “Are we going out?”. Even Spot has learned that Antartidee is awesome because there is a convenient place for her leash!

Aesthetics? 10/10. The white shelf complements my “almost pea green” and white colored walls perfectly. The surrealist fan in me loves everything about this shelf. This is probably the next best thing to hanging up Salvador Dali artwork in my house! Functionality? 10/10. It is such a sturdy and well made product! I feel like I could put my 47lb dog on the shelf (Please do not try this at home!) and it will hold up just fine! Overall, I am extremely happy to have such a handy and unique wall shelf in my home. I see at least a few more Antartidee products in my future!

 

Spot is sunbathing like a princess.

 

Categories
Marcopoloni, the Tiny Business True Artisanship

The Revolution Begins! (with our Zavatti backpacks)

Daniele and Anita posing with the backpacks for Revolution
Daniele and Anita pose with the actual backpacks that shipped to the set of the new NBC TV series, “Revolution”

Very recently, we received an order for two ZAVATTI leather backpacks from a brand new TV series, Revolution, written by Eric Kripke. For those of you who follow TV shows often, you might have seen his name written all over the credits of the extremely popular TV series Supernatural and the Boogeyman movies! Not only does Revolution have an amazing writer, Giancarlo Esposito is starring in it! Sounds familiar? Well, he plays a crucial role in the TV series, Breaking Bad (it’s such an awesome show if you haven’t seen it)!

We are all absolutely thrilled about this opportunity because this has the potential to give our name a big boost! Here at Marcopoloni, we strive to support the artisans who make all their products by hand. There is no machinery involved; Just humans utilizing their creative skills and talents! Revolution is a TV series about life after electricity no longer exists. Everyone is forced to live as they did before the industrial revolution. This means genuine handmade products (weapons, clothing, backpacks and bags *nudge nudge*, you name it!) all around and no machinery to mass produce anything ever again.

Marcopoloni is definitely the right place to look for a pre-industrial era themed backpack to use in the show. As you all know, Campomaggi’s rugged-chic distressed leather products emanates all that comes with age; Character, memories, and most importantly, the essence of the owner. The backpacks will look amazing when paired with the characters because they have such a rugged, “survivalist” image. However, the Revolution set put in the order for the ZAVATTIs when they have already filmed the trailers, previews and the initial few episodes. Hopefully we’ll get some exposure later on in the season, but who knows! Until we find out for sure, we’ll be kept in suspense about the ZAVATTI’s TV debut.