Test driving the new Campomaggi belt loop pouch: Day 1

On Friday we received a shipment of 150 Campomaggi bags. Along with it came a few smaller accessories, including a belt-loop leather pouch with strap that I had picked thinking that it might come in handy to use when I go to Chiara’s soccer practice.
New Campomaggi Distressed leather pouch.
When Chiara started playing soccer last year, I would often wear sport shorts and a t-shirt, all without pockets. Since taking pictures was so important, I started carrying a nylon pouch with strap that was just big enough to store my wallet, my phone, my camera and then I would clip my keys to the strap.

I loved the little bag because it was so convenient, and I soon started wishing that Campomaggi would make one.

A year later I saw this. But the measurements said that it might be too small. Undeterred I ordered it and, voila`, my wallet and phone (a Galaxy SII) just barely fit and I am counting on the fact that with a little use it will get easier to slide the phone in an out.

So, without further due, I fit my leather belt through the belt loop and began the test drive. My wallet fits with room to spare while my phone needs a little push. My first impression is that I really like it, in particular, I really like the color: distressed olive brown is very rich and reminds me of the beauty of walnut burl wood. I am worried that it might look too big so I keep asking my wife and checking myself in the mirror. I don’t think it is too big, especially when you consider the size of what I am carrying. Time will tell, that is why I am going to test drive it!

Read the next part of the test drive: Days 2-4 test driving the Campomaggi belt pouch.

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New Campomaggi Bags Received!

So I haven’t been writing much lately, mainly because I have been feverishly working to ensure that we have plenty of Campomaggi bags in stock for all you fans out there. Some bags are so popular that despite our best efforts, we just can’t seem to keep them in stock. I apologize in advance for that, and to those of you who will have to wait months before being able to hold their bags in their hands.

The first fruit of my labor arrived this week … a shipment to replenish some sold out items and, more importantly, a bunch of new bags!! Because it will take many days before we get around to posting all of the new bags on our website, we put together a quick video to show you what we got. If you see anything that interests you, please let me know! I’d be happy to provide more photos or video. Oh, and one last bit of good news … three new Campomaggi briefcases are expected by the middle of next week. Enjoy!

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A Conversation with Caterina Lucchi (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)
Today business is growing very rapidly at a time when the great recession has negatively impacted growth for a lot of companies in the industry.

Because of this success Campomaggi and Caterina Lucchi have been selected by a european union body as the Italian small business that thrived during hard times through innovation and creativity. The award will be presented in the fall. The choice was definitely appropriate.

After getting Caterina’s take on her favorite leather bags the time came for me to say “goodbye.” The impression I got is that the ingredients of Caterina and Marco’s success are love, passion, hard work, creativity, and intuition. A list of ingredients that requires skill to nurture and amalgamate. As it turns out, Marco and Caterina know something about nurturing and mixing ingredients: the Campomaggi kitchen at home has room for two cooks and if their bags are the clue… dinner must be memorable.

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A Conversation with Caterina Lucchi (Part 1)

At the end of the day, I was able to casually chat with Caterina Lucchi. Despite all of our previous conversations I still felt that a gentle poke into Caterina’s past would help me learn a lot more about her philosophy and inspiration.

As we sat on the couch and started talking, a number of Caterina’s employees sat on the chairs nearby and began listening. It was a cozy moment: we were only missing a crackling fireplace and a snowstorm outside.

Caterina began dating Marco when she was seventeen and Marco was eighteen. Caterina worked as a waitress and Marco was starting to make leather bags with a friend and was selling his unique and handmade bags on the sidewalks of Cesenatico.

Since Marco couldn’t make bags fast enough, Caterina, who aspired to become a Physical Education teacher, began helping and discovered a passion for creating beautiful accessories. Marco and Caterina began exhibiting at local markets and fairs and met such positive response that they had to set aside making progress on their university studies.

Daniele and Caterina Lucchi chat on the couch at the end of the day

Soon it was time to hire their first employee. At the beginning, the position required a little bit of everything. The job description included accounting for a couple of days a week and a lot of help making bags. That first hire is now Campomaggi and Caterina Lucchi‘s Purchasing Manager. Marco and Caterina take pride in never having fired anyone. When the deep crisis hit the industry after 9/11, they reduced hours for everyone at the company.


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FRECCIA Leather iPad Bag by Dionigi (Video Review)

Daniele reviews the popular FRECCIA Leather iPad Bag by Dionigi.

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PETALO GRANDE Large Laser-cut Leather Handbag by Caterina Lucchi (Product Review)

PETALO GRANDE laser-cut handbag

PETALO GRANDE laser-cut handbag. By the way, I am 5'5" and the bag in no way feels too large for me.

When we write product descriptions, we try to go beyond simply listing features and convey the essence, or the “personality” of the product. Often I’ll let a product sit on my desk for days before I feel like I am familiar enough with it to write about it. If it’s a handbag, I might try carrying it on my shoulder to see how comfortable it feels, or try filling it with different items to see what kinds of uses it might be best suited for.

With the Petalo Grande Laser-cut Leather Handbag, I wanted to try something different. So I had Daniele take photos of me as I was toting it around. The result was somewhat surprising … the image I had of the bag was not the same as what I saw in the photos! Because the bag is so light – one of the big pluses of Caterina Lucchi‘s leather bags – I hadn’t realized how large the bag seems from a distance. (I also realized that my sepia-colored sweater does not really bring out the nuanced java color of this bag). The bag IS quite large. You can fit quite a bit of stuff in it. But you won’t feel like you’re toting around a bowling bag, because even though it’s real Italian leather, it’s calfskin … super soft and supple, and light-weight.

I love the Batik, two-toned look of this bag. It’s subtle enough as to not detract from the gorgeous laser-cut flower motif, but offers just enough of a contrast to remind us that the understated brown is most definitely intentional. A very nice feature (also typical of Caterina Lucchi’s handbags) is the removable leather strap. I thought this bag would be first and foremost a handbag, and secondly a shoulder/cross-body bag, but to my surprise, it looked fantastic worn crossbody style – perhaps even better than high on the shoulder. I loved this look so much that I decided to take even more photos with my 1-day old HTC Vivid and play around with some of the nifty effects that would take several steps to do in Photoshop! These two were my favorite.

Camera Effect 1

Depth of Field

Camera Effect 2

Vintage Effect

Anyway, now that we have smartphones that can take high-quality photos and videos that can be uploaded to our server with just a couple of key strokes, we hope to post more photos and videos of our products going forward. Hmm, maybe I can use this as an excuse to go shop for some new clothes!

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The GILIANI Convertible Clutch by Campomaggi (Product Review)

Here I review the new GILIANI Convertible Clutch by Campomaggi. I like how it’s large enough to carry your essentials and can convert into a crossbody or shoulder bag.

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Posting More New Campomaggi Bags!

We love that we carry such a large collection of Campomaggi bags … But that means we are constantly adding new products. From taking photos to writing descriptions, it’s not an easy feat. But perhaps the hardest part is coming up with a good name for each bag that has meaning, that is more than just a name that sounds cool.
This bag is yet to be named, but Daniele decided he couldn’t wait to show it to everyone!

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Shirakawa-go: Worth a Visit!

View of Shirakawago

Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

When we went to Japan last summer, I had high hopes of being able to take and post photos on the go. Of course, reality was a bit different, and here I am, 7 months later, getting around to posting one photo from the trip. This was the view from atop a hill in Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in Gifu prefecture, this village was close enough for a day trip from Takayama, where we met with Mr. Dai Nagakura of Koito Pottery, our latest addition to the Marcopoloni family.

Shirakawa-go is famous for its historic farmhouses with steep thatched roofs, designed to combat the heavy snowfall they experience during the winter months. I’ve seen posters of Shirakawa-go covered in snow, and it seemed like a magical scene out of an old  Japanese fable …  I just might have to go back again and brave the cold!

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The DA VINCI Soft Leather Briefcase by Campomaggi (Product Video)

As some of you may have noticed, we name each and every Campomaggi bag after a notable Italian. It’s a very careful and thought-provoking process … the personality, character, imagery and features of the bag must match, and be complimented by, the figure after which it is named. Our Campomaggi bags are named after famous explorers, scientists, philosophers and more. There are a few obvious names, however, that have been reserved for fear of  another bag coming around that is even more befitting of those names. “Da Vinci” was one of them.

When we laid eyes on this soft leather briefcase, however, it didn’t take long for us to be convinced that the name Da Vinci would not go wasted on it. We think it is that beautiful, versatile, clever, and mysterious.

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