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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The Amazing Beauty of Murano glass

We recently received a shipment of Murano glass creations by Maestro Imperio Rossi and I have been working on adding them to the database. One of the steps involves taking photos and since Emi is swamped with the new Campomaggi bags that we are adding, I’m having to dig deep to find some photographic skills somewhere in my arsenal.

Unfortunately, I already got proof that I need to keep on digging: I just compared one of the new Christmas ornament photos I took to one that Emi had taken months ago of the NATALE and the difference is night and day. Take a look:

The FESTE Murano glass Christmas ornament

The NATALE Christmas Ornament. Emi took this photo.

Just looking at the two pictures above is not enough. Click on both links and, when you are viewing each product page, click on the product picture: it will be expanded. The difference in quality between the two photos makes my jaw drop a little.

And that is what caused me to want to write this post: my jaw has been dropping all day long. The beauty of these Murano glass pieces is captivating, to say the least. I hope that I can be done by tomorrow.

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Transformations: The Amici

Amici Business Tote by Campomaggi

Campomaggi bags often break down categories, which is part of their charm for yours truly, an inveterate metaphysician.  Poring over the Marcopoloni website as I often do on breaks from my editing jobs, I noticed the Amici. It looked like a girl’s bag; and indeed, if you google “amici,” you will be informed that the name may refer to a girly bag. But Marcopoloni, like Campomaggi, isn’t interested in confirming other people’s conventions (which is part of their charm for this metaphysician). So I decided to look harder at this bag.

It had all the makings of a great man bag. It zipped tight; it had pockets on the outside for phone and keys; it was somewhat narrow, making it sit on the hip (for older men) but could ride next the buttocks (for younger, who don’t mind bringing attention to their buttocks). Best of all, it had generous handles, so the bag could be scooped up from the car seat or the seat next to you at the bistro when your lady friend just happens by.

So, Emi had to be alerted! Manbag sighting on website, but . . . . the Amici was being presented as a lady’s bag, or so it seemed to me; it had cousins on the site that were definitely lady’s bags, even by Campomaggi’s liberal standards (their lady’s bags are indisputably womanly). But could the Amici be both! The Amici is, after all, a Campomaggi bag.

After doing research, Emi agreed it could be a manbag. A new issue arose: in Marcopoloni’s holdings there were two versions (you are warned that Campomaggi bags tend to be one-of-a-kind). One version, in black, was definitively horizontal. Another version, in distressed cognac, was almost square. The difference was genderish, or at least I persuaded myself of this (and I hope someone will challenge this). The more vertical in cognac was worth a try.

And it has been tried and tried again. First, my Amici became the model for a new blog banner; even photoshopped, it holds its own. My Amici is like Wallace Stevens’s jar in Tennessee: “The wilderness rose up to it, / And sprawled around, no longer wild.” The blogosphere is indeed the new wilderness, and I hope my new blog, under the aegis of my Amici, will create a space for itself.

Second test: I recently used the bag on a trip to Bath, UK, where we stay at The Abbey Hotel and confront the grandchildren, at this point limited to Mary Elizabeth of the “terrible twos” and her younger sibling Frederick Emmanuel D’Evelyn, whom I have nick-named Il Presidente, and his lion-like roar bids fair for his living up to that handle. The Amici, if not quite defeating Mary and Freddie’s capacity for creating wilderness wherever they venture, at least reminded me throughout that one must not take appearances as definitive, that experience is constantly challenging stereotypes, and that the most we can hope for is that, in the end as in the beginning, love conquers all.

Bags personify our condition amidst universal change, of personal wandering in an open universe: this is the romance of bags as I understand them. On this trip, the Amici is my bag, and my bag is “literary,” so it will not be amiss to remove from its back pocket a haiku written on the spot:

Full English breakfast

one terrible two, one infant,

tears, wide-eyes, big laughs

Tom and Mary
Tom with Mary ... and his Amici peeking through!
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I Dislike Leaf Blowers

It’s Thursday, and like every Thursday and Monday in Fall I have to put up with the noisy fight between a few hundred leaves and the noisiest leaf blower known to mankind.

Let me get to my point: I hate leaf blowers and I love rakes.

I understand that the landscaping company that landscapes our office complex has probably signed a contract that they will do this… but it really seems unnecessary. Leaf blowers are extremely noisy, they kick up a lot of dust, and they consume more energy than, in my opinion, is worth consuming for what you get.

What is the benefit of a leaf blower? Do they really save time? Are landscapers that use leaf blowers really paid so much that there is an economic advantage in using them? Well, I’m sure that there is an economic advantage in using them otherwise they would not be around. Yet, sometimes I watch them in use and wonder if that gain is lost because of the methods employed by the people that actually use the leaf blowers. On many occasions I have seen them used to push the entire crop of leaves across the entire property. On others I have seen them used to clear a dusty patch, but the dust temporarily floats in the air only to settle on a wider area.

Last year I saw a guy rake leaves with a rake around a restaurant. I was waiting for someone so I got to experience the entire job. I was shocked that it got done in less than half an hour. I never thanked the guy for the pleasant half hour. I regret that.

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My Business Story Submitted, Awaiting Moderation

So after running into some inexplicable error messages over the weekend, we were finally able to get our video uploaded to My Business Story. It was a lot more work than the 1:40 video may lead you to believe, but I hope it was worth it. The video is now in “moderation”, and once approved, will be entered into a contest sponsored by AmEx and Google for a chance to win some pay per click advertising money!

Well, now that this project has been completed, I have to turn my attention to putting up all the new products that are not yet on the website, including Japanese pottery and Murano glass items!

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Can Your Keychain Save You from Zombies??

So Daniele and I had been wanting to put together a video explaining the features of our Snaplink leather keychain for quite some time. We never dreamed it would turn out like this…

What started out as a regular product review video morphed into a less-than-serious skit, complete with a mad scientist/entrepreneur, a Silicon Valley startup guy, and … wait, is that a zombie chasing after Daniele? This one, you have to see. If nothing else, this video should remind us not to take ourselves too seriously!

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Stazione by Giudi: the Evolved Man Bag

Stazione messenger briefcase
Stazione Messenger Briefcase

Young men who, on a day off,  can slow down, who know how to move as if they were old, are way ahead of the game. It takes talent and a certain bag.

Giudi’s Stazione is a most evolved bag. It’s a hybrid: A blend of messenger and briefcase, on a modest scale. It is no burden to carry, it has many pockets but little bulk, it zips up tight. It draws on many types of bag, but I’d call it a man bag.

A man bag is a bag a man is not embarrassed to carry, but it is not a briefcase or tote. It is too small to be a “work bag” – a new category which helps in marketing because it makes men feel they will be identified as a “worker” when in use. This need to be seen as working is one of the myths that keep men from being honest about their needs for a bag and the associated problem with self-expression: what does this bag, your bag, say about you?

As boomers mature, this identity as worker becomes problematic and finally false: I’m not working, I do not work, my career is over! I carry a bag because I like walking about (though on some days I make slow progress) and seeing things and people and I need to have some things with me.

I carry a bag because I don’t like vests with “multiple” pockets (I am not a mountain climber or an adventurer; I don’t turn leisuire into work). My bag may look like a briefcase, an echo from the past;  but it is a shoulder bag and only big enough for the novel I’m reading, my journal, my newspaper, my reading glasses, my keys, a pen, a flask for the grappa I will add to my espresso, and there’s room for something small I will pick up later in my wanderings, some nice chocolate. If I remember, I will get the mail – it’s always just bills these days, the children use email — and store it in my Stazione until I get home.

I am Odysseus, back from the wars, happy to have survived; Penelope is at home, or not (she’s a bit like me, likes to get out, we are not the jealous kind); I still wander, but I don’t make people suffer for my libido. I’m at peace with myself and my bag makes no apologies. It happens to be quite handsome, Giudi being a very fine outfit, masters of hides, and women do ask me about it, it has real charm. I like to think it rubs off on me, we’re that close.

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