My Journey with Angelo

Alexandra Johnson @ 2020-09-08 10:49:08 -0400
{"category":"Ask Maria","body":{"nodeType":"document","data":{},"content":[{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"If you know me (and I’m honored that so many of you do) then you know that I’m fueled by passion, by people. I would come back from my trips to my home of Italy talking about the multi generation artisans and what would happen to them as people started cutting corners. If we didn’t find a way to make what they did available at real world prices for real world people, without compromise. This is why M Gemi was born. ","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"When Covid hit Italy, my emotions went into overdrive. I talked on the phone to colleagues in the US and Italy every single day about what we could do, what was going to happen. Can you imagine a revered trade that had gone on from generation to generation, and all the people who counted on it, ending because of this virus?I had trouble sleeping at night.","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"In mid April, Italy was shut down. We didn’t know who or what would recover. My relationships with the small factories since the start have created a kind of telephone line where information travels, and it’s how I was connected to Angelo, the owner of a small artisan handbag factory in Abruzzo.","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"His business was in trouble. He only knew one way to work, the right way. The way that was taught to him by his parents and theirs before them. It meant that he didn’t have lots of clients, only those who understood his vision. And now they were canceling orders. No new orders were being placed. After decades producing for some of the worlds finest brands, this could be the end of the line. I know that’s why he was brought to me.","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"Soon Covid hit America, we changed the way we live, and the future felt uncertain. All of the business rules will tell you: it was no time to launch a handbag brand. But I’ve never followed all of the business rules. I’ve tried to follow my own rules and do the right things, and I am lucky enough that my colleagues feel the same.","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"embedded-entry-block","content":[],"data":{"target":{"sys":{"space":{"sys":{"type":"Link","linkType":"Space","id":"iy53htc1d0h4"}},"id":"4RbauLPdhlUDVp65eBNyqe","type":"Entry","createdAt":"2020-09-08T14:56:50.595Z","updatedAt":"2020-09-08T14:56:50.595Z","environment":{"sys":{"id":"master","type":"Link","linkType":"Environment"}},"revision":1,"contentType":{"sys":{"type":"Link","linkType":"ContentType","id":"imageSet"}},"locale":"en-US"},"fields":{"images":[{"sys":{"space":{"sys":{"type":"Link","linkType":"Space","id":"iy53htc1d0h4"}},"id":"29BFRPQ9gicmRQKH45oAVG","type":"Asset","createdAt":"2020-09-08T14:55:22.876Z","updatedAt":"2020-09-08T14:55:22.876Z","environment":{"sys":{"id":"master","type":"Link","linkType":"Environment"}},"revision":1,"locale":"en-US"},"fields":{"title":"HP 1 (3)","file":{"url":"//","details":{"size":771725,"image":{"width":1080,"height":720}},"fileName":"Untitled-2.jpg","contentType":"image/jpeg"}}}]}}}},{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"I truly believed that if we partnered with Angelo and created truly spectacular bags, using the most impeccable materials and designing for our real lives and what we want most, if we made them passionately and thoughtfully and if we found a way to offer them to clients at prices historically impossible for this kind of workmanship, we could help Angelo make it through.","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"Over telephone calls and Zoom videos for hours on end, Angelo and I worked together. He approached every detail, every decision, like it could be his last, like he was called to do so. And as a result we created four perfect, practical, beautiful handbags. Handbags for the front of your closet. The ones you reach for when you want to take a the walk around the block you’ve been looking forward to all day, to sit outside and reconnect with a friend over coffee. The kind that will be practical and beautiful and effortless season after season when these trying times are long behind us and we are ready to carry on.","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"embedded-entry-block","content":[],"data":{"target":{"sys":{"space":{"sys":{"type":"Link","linkType":"Space","id":"iy53htc1d0h4"}},"id":"2eD5UQ6WHmLC0AXGEoY4WH","type":"Entry","createdAt":"2020-09-08T14:56:24.948Z","updatedAt":"2020-09-08T14:56:24.948Z","environment":{"sys":{"id":"master","type":"Link","linkType":"Environment"}},"revision":1,"contentType":{"sys":{"type":"Link","linkType":"ContentType","id":"imageSet"}},"locale":"en-US"},"fields":{"images":[{"sys":{"space":{"sys":{"type":"Link","linkType":"Space","id":"iy53htc1d0h4"}},"id":"FpGaiN2zAA1musT0V09XN","type":"Asset","createdAt":"2020-09-08T14:56:15.862Z","updatedAt":"2020-09-08T14:56:15.862Z","environment":{"sys":{"id":"master","type":"Link","linkType":"Environment"}},"revision":1,"locale":"en-US"},"fields":{"title":"Untitled-1","file":{"url":"//","details":{"size":509664,"image":{"width":1080,"height":720}},"fileName":"Untitled-1.jpg","contentType":"image/jpeg"}}}]}}}},{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"Angelo and I are both so proud of this work and it means so much to share it with you. I hope you’ll ","marks":[],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"hyperlink","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"take a look ","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{"uri":"/collections/leather-handbags"}},{"nodeType":"text","value":"and tell me what you think. I’ll also pass along your words to Angelo (and it will mean everything).","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}},{"nodeType":"paragraph","content":[{"nodeType":"text","value":"","marks":[],"data":{}}],"data":{}}]}}