giovedì 3 maggio 2012

Italian Companies responding to the crisis through hard work and commitment: an interview with Antonella Rossi

(Transcript translated)
Who is Antonella Rossi? Could you tell us about your current company?
Beginning professionally as a tailor in the family, from 1950 in Empoli, in a drapery shop run by Rino Rossi and Anna Fabiani Rossi. Together with my sister Lina, I created my first collection of hand-made and embroidered couture bridal gowns called “AnnaLina”. We use the art of cutting and embroidery; elements that have always characterized the production in the workshop, which is now in its third generation. This is a tailor shop where the search for fabrics, fancy embroidery, love for lace, and the frills and ruffles are the rouches and volants and the key features in the construction of a dress. Be it wedding, cocktail or ceremonial; we use traditions handed down over time, with pride, from mother to daughter.
Today the Antonella Rossi brand is present in many countries. This is with the help of my three daughters, Erika, Anna and Julia. The distribution is in selected, upmarket shops, scattered around Europe, the United States, the Middle East and China. For the more discerning customers, a "tailor one-to-one" service is offered within the customer’s home in every corner of the world.
The workshop, located in a charming building in the heart of Rome, includes a very feminine and glamorous collection, designed for the modern and dynamic woman, committed to work and family. 
Strong points: the lines are wrapped and sexy, using soft and delicate fabrics like jersey and lightweight satin or taffeta, and the Mikado

Can you separate your public and private lives; can you disconnect from work or is it with you 100% of the time?
During working hours, my work absorbs me completely and I am unable to attend to my personal life. In my free time though, I devote myself to my passions: painting, sculpture, music and theatre.

How has your job changed since you started?
I started to work early because I found myself catapulted from morning to evening, having had a significant loss in the family, I tried to follow my way of doing business by associating the concept of art, fashion and culture. The biggest change occurred in the last two years because the aim of my project is to gain visibility abroad and thus open up new markets.

What are the biggest problems in running a business as an entrepreneur?
The main problem is access to credit facilities and European funding: Unfortunately in this society, the entrepreneur is often alone and has to deal with an important sense of responsibility towards people who work for them.  So two aspects: difficulty finding investments for growth and sense of responsibility toward employees.

You've been struck by the "disease of the century." Do you want to talk about this? And especially how it changed your relationship with your work?
Regarding this question my answer is "yes", it has changed my relationship with work, both physically and financially: surely I can testify on both issues that I came out stronger and more determined.

What are the future projects for your company?
The biggest project that I'm pursuing right now is to present the Antonella Rossi brand as a brand of the world.

This question is quite rhetorical but inevitable: that this country needs to become modern? Especially that politicians should?
From my point of view, the way in which the Italian system was brought forward does not work. To improve our country's system we should leverage on what we are good at: tourism, cuisine, the arts, and, last but not least, fashion. Fashion is where I wish to move up to place me in an important position amongst the small and medium enterprises in crafts and ultimately, our story will be… The excellence of MADE IN ITALY.

You live in Rome: how is your relationship with this city? You're not originally from Rome ...
Coming from a situation where one breathes the Tuscan Renaissance, living in Rome means living in a city where the empire is felt in every corner. The best thing to do is to see it again through tourists’ eyes, and then discover the wonders and enjoy all that surrounds me... no wonder it is called the Eternal City

A word of advice to young people who are looking for work
The youth are our future and our hope. I would advise them to study and enter the workforce during university to pursue the goal they have set; always aim high; and that any job will do.

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