“My father Silvano didn’t like my grandfather’s job: he owned a barber’s shop. That’s why he started working as an apprentice by a workshop when he was 17 (in 1947).”
He worked there for some years, after that, with great satisfaction, he managed to start working at the Scuri factory , one of the best leather goods shops in Italy at that time. They worked hard, even for important foreign firms: nothing seemed to endanger their success, but one day a big foreign firm didn’t pay the order, leading them to bankrupt. One morning, the 100 craftsmen of the Scuri factory found the door closed forever, without having been previously informed! Silvano went through a very difficult time: after the firm had closed, he couldn’t get a new job because in Florence the job demand was higher than the supply.
Right in that period, one of his uncles died. He had rented a small room on Piazza del Mercato Nuovo where he repaired leather articles. After his death, he left Silvano the task of arranging and giving all the articles stored in his room back to the owners.
In that way, Silvano started to repair bags, belts and wallets as well as to contact costumers who had to meet him in order pick up the articles and pay him. This helped him being known and made him economically independent from his parents again. People were satisfied with the job, they keep on consulting him in case of need and sent their friends to him. Silvano used the first money he made to pay the rent of the small room, buy a sewing machine and an entire hide. This is how his first bag was created. The bag was sold to an American lady, who is still one of our customers. The lady was so excited about the working process that she began to “promote” him among her friends, so that they started buying Silvano’s bags, according to their needs.
Union and collaboration
In 1957, after 7 years of engagement, Silvano married my mother Anna Maria. She had been working for years in a tailor’s shop but after the marriage she chose to start working with Silvano. My mother already knew how to sew cloth; Silvano taught her to sew leather as well as to flesh and to cut. Later they hired a craftsman: things were going well, the word was spreading and soon their costumers included the most important families of the Florentine aristocracy.
In 1960 they bought a flat on the first floor of Via del Sole 9, where the workshop is still based. In 1967 they purchased the adjacent flat. Here they furnished a delicious shop, so that the costumers liked to stop both for shopping and for having a chat. My parents hired more staff because at that time they were working for many factories and they handled a large amount of work. In the new workshop they even started to meet the first foreign customers coming from all over the world.
In October 1983 a new shop at number 37R was open. At that time I began to work as a salesperson on my own and together with my father, while my mother kept on dealing with production. With the shop, more and more costumers came, so that, in 1985, Alessandro -my boyfriend at that time, my husband now- started working with us.
Unfortunately, my mother died in 1989. In October the same year, the shop was enlarged and reached the actual size.
Due to such a big shop and the loss of the mother, we had to hire sales assistants. My husband and I had to share the work. I started to look after production and sales management at the same time, day by day, I have more and more collaborated with Silvano until replacing him in the workfactory, carrying on the production with the manual techniques teach by parents and supported by good collaborators who are now continuing the activity of production and sale on the first floor of the building in Via del Sole 9.
It will be a pleasure to open the door and show you the new sales room as it was when the Cellerini Company started the activity in year 1960.