I’m pleased to announce the launch of a new platform designed to bring artisans of the Oltrarno together with discerning shoppers – IN BOTTEGA. The pandemic has led to an increased demand for online access to artisanal work, but not all artisans have an online presence, which severely limits access to their creative products and services.
IN BOTTEGA is an organization designed to provide broader exposure to the work of these dedicated artisans and to help them connect with their clients. The site is a dynamic information hub with details on how to access the work of individual artisans. It is also a resource for classes and coursework, personal shopping services, private commissions, restorations, and a variety of online and social media channels related to art and culture in Florence. We will also feature a section with links to similar efforts both in Florence and around the world. Demand for unique and one-of a kind pieces from a core group of intenditori – those who appreciate artisanal goods – has no borders.
IN BOTTEGA serves as a connector of these connoisseurs and artisans and will endeavor to ensure these relationships thrive in a peri- and post-pandemic world.
We are conducting virtual shopping tours with historian Simone Catelani and Andrea Brilli of @firenzeprimaedopo. Visiting individual botteghe, Simone, Andrea and Giovanna Bruno of MONNALUNA showcase artisans of the Oltrarno, and introduce their unique creations. The series is an inside path to a variety of artisans’ work, and a peek inside their fascinating studios!
IN BOTTEGA is an inclusive effort, open to all artisans, and avenues to reach them. Through difficult times it’s reassuring to know it is also an opportunity to forge new collaborations and consolidate endeavors, for the benefit of both artisans and their intenditori. Thank you to The Florentine and its readers for helping to preserve art and culture in Florence!
Fashion jewelry designer Giovanna Bruno of MONNALUNA was integral to the launch of IN BOTTEGA, and has been devising a new business model. “Many artisans have been hit particularly hard by the tourism downturn, we’ve had to reinvent how we connect with clients,” said Giovanna. “We’ve been fortunate to have access to some critical partnerships via IN BOTTEGA”. The organization has invested in building a new modus operandi.
“As artisans we want to focus on our work, which is our passion, so maintaining a website, social media channels, marketing…it’s just not feasible for most of us to do optimally. Having a platform that is professionally done, with a team of marketing experts behind it is an invaluable resource,” said Giovanna of her work with the organization.
Giovanna’s MONNALUNA brand is fashion jewelry with a Florentine twist. Enchanted from an early age by the antiquities of piazza Santa Croce, her designs are both traditional and contemporary. She started the MONNALUNA brand in 2009, followed by the opening in 2013 of her flagship store in Shanghai, coinciding with the launch of her line of handbags. She opened her Florence bottega on Sdrucciolo de’ Pitti in 2015 which is home to the MONNALUNA workshop and store.
Dazzling Swarovski and Preciosa crystals, in every imaginable color, are set with gold plate (yellow, white or rose). “My clients are attracted to the array of color and style combinations available. Each piece is customized and a one-of-a-kind original”. Visitors to her bottega are met with a shimmering rainbow of color, seemingly every hue imaginable.
Artisanal work affords endless creativity, and for Giovanna, that has also led to creatively re-inventing her business approach. Reconnecting with existing clients, it emerged there was significant interest from people who wanted to host small in-home parties for family and friends, many of whom had canceled their travel plans for the last two years. Giovanna assists clients in selecting multiple products from a variety of local botteghe, consolidates the purchases, and ships directly to the client. Per Giovanna, “It’s a great model and everyone is happy! There is a lot of pent-up demand and I had to position myself to meet it, and to deliver on what clients want.”
Another added facet to Giovanna’s business model is multi-channel content creation. Hers is the first in a series of Instagram virtual shopping tours. In partnership with IN BOTTEGA, Simone Catelani and Andrea Brilli of @firenzeprimaedopo highlight Giovanna’s methods, techniques and materials as she explains her process of bringing unique and brilliant creations to life. Links to the IGTV series can also be found at: inbottega.org.
Sdrucciolo de’ Pitti 22/R | (+39) 055 21 58 29
Join Simone Catelani and Andrea Brilli of @firenzeprimaedopo as they tour the bottegas of the Oltrarno and introduce our artisans and their work.
Choose from a selection of original and authentic Florentine products. We consolidate all your purchases with one local, trusted shipper and your selections are delivered directly to you!
Looking to commission a unique treasure? We’ll help you connect directly with an artisan to design a one-of-a-kind original.
Planning a visit to Florence? We offer classes, tours and in-bottega experiences – these make great gifts to customize and plan in advance of your trip!