Exclusive Talks with
Today we find ourselves in the halls of the National Museum of the Risorgimento, a baroque jewel in the heart of Turin which also houses the two original parliamentary houses.
We’re here to talk about business and adventure with our two special guests: Aristide Artusio and Pierpaolo Pecchini. I mention adventure because WITT Italia and Erboristeria Magentina is a company which is a real adventure through time, if we consider that it dates back to 1843 and has been based in Poirino since 2007.
So I wanted to ask how important the link with this region is in your adventure.
AA: This land has been very important to us right from the start . I am the son of a shoemaker and my grandfather was a farmer. Already as a child I was of the ground, first sowing and then building. Our company is just like that: sowing seeds and then over time being able to reap what we’ve sown. Furthermore, for 50 years it has been a company engaged with ecology, talking about nature and ecological products. Today it is all the rage because everyone is talking about it; even in Parliament they have even made a ministry for ecology. We have been all about ecology for 50 years, as well as marketing it: therefore the land is very important, as is where one is born and where one comes from.
YEG is also an enterprise based on adventure: we can say 'adventures in space': organizing events, conferences and trips. In other words, organizing experiences… So for you, how would you define the link with the land where you come from?
PPP: It’s fundamental for us. Let's say that the paradigm of territory equal tradition equal values is a key element of every successful company, let's say that it is one side of a coin which has innovation, design and technology on the reverse. They are the other useful ingredients, so let’s say that the deal combination is a middle way between territory, values and innovation - that’s where excellence develops and where a company like YEG is positioned.
Now let's talk about the keywords which are central to these two companies. In particular, for Erboristeria Magentina we know that the mantra is 'the joy of giving well-being' and well-being can be subdivided in many ways if we consider it was the first manufacturer to make the “Micro Nido Benessere” (Kindergarten of Well-Being), with focus on the needs of people and obviously also of the raw materials used. So what does excellence mean to you?
AA: For us, excellence means starting with respect for nature and for people; of having the right attitude towards those who also work for us. Therefore, we created a micro-nursery right inside the factory: we are the only company in Italy that has it right where production take place. This is because we produce items that are so natural and genuine that we can afford provide this facility for little ones up to 36 months. The kindergarten was built entirely with ecological products. The children have wooden toys, have a place where they can rest, as well as a whole programme of music therapy. They also have a cook in-site who prepares organic food for them there and then; it's almost as if they were at home having their mother feed them. There is a respect right from when they’re children through to adulthood and up to those who work with us. Our whole establishment is aromatized, with essential oils also emanating through our offices. Depending on the place where you work, there is a certain type of oil: perhaps to energise you because you are in a meeting room, or more calming where perhaps relaxation is needed ... it’s changed accordingly. Therefore we say that there is this respect for those who work, for the children and then for our customers, as even the products have a very particular processing cycle to be able to provide this level of excellence.
YEG, on the other hand, deals with experiences and aims to create unique, unrepeatable and inimitable experiences. How is excellence expressed in such as fields as this and how can it be defined?
PPP: It’s a very specific term. I believe that excellence must be attributed by the public. it is a quality that, so to speak, is perceived in relation to others. Therefore, excellence for me is synonymous with success. Creating success has always been what has always guided us: so the YEG paradigm - and in particular our philosophy is also the philosophy of Exclusive Brands Torino, which, which is something we’ll look at later. It is based on that of an industrial designer whose name was Loewy and who was born in the twentieth century: perhaps not many people know that he was actually the inventor of applied design, but from a commercial point of view . He was the one who created the Coke bottle, the Shell logo, the Air Force One livery, Studebaker cars and such like. He did extraordinary things like the interior design of spacecraft – his characteristics have always inspired me. The “most advanced jet acceptable” is for him the concept of everything; that the most innovative thing can become familiar if it is understood by ordinary people. So the combination of being advanced but staying grounded is what leads to success; if we want excellence it can be found somewhere in the middle of the two. Tradition, values and what we accept means that even everything that is innovative - like design, and is also the case with Exclusive Brands Torino - becomes a must for us.
It is nice that both of our guests today have brought books that inspired them and the philosophy of their companies. So I ask both of them - first to Aristide - what is the contribution that your company can bring to a network like Exclusive Brands Torino?
AA: When I was first asked, I immediately thought about the quality of our products. However, anyone who manufacturers always thinks their products are good, so I thought even more about our production process, which is very exclusive in our sector. We have energised production based on music, colours and writings. In fact, we have music written by a composer named Simona Colonna at 432 Hertz, so it touches the heart, not the mind. Then there are the colours in the turbo-emulsifiers where materials for the products are mixed and emulsified. There is a colour system chosen depending on the product which gives it an energetic charge. As regards the writings, all the water feeder pipes pass over crystals - and with these, beneficial and pleasant writings that are also engraved on the blades that rotate to mix the products: this provides an energy charge to the products. Until a few years ago, this was not made official or advertised, but now there is the possibility of measuring the energy charges, so we have begun to spread the word and invite people to visit: groups to come and actually witness our type of energy production. We may say it’s industrial production but it’s also very artisan and we want to ensure that it remains this way into the future, by industrialize it but always maintaining its artisan characteristics. Here is also my book, entitled "L’Artigiano della Natura” (Nature’s Craftsman), which talks about maintaining precisely this type of craftsmanship. My story, written together with the journalist, Adriano Muraglia, is a story that even read in schools and universities: to be an entrepreneur, it is not enough to be the child of entrepreneurs - you must also become one.
I’ll also ask Pier Paolo the same question: what was the motivation that prompted you to join this network?
PPP: Exclusive Brands Torino has a lot in common with YEG: choices that unite tradition, design and core-values with innovation. Here is something of the path we have trod: we were founded as a company - formerly Ventana - which was a tour operator for luxury travel. Then we evolved into an events company which we have recently transformed into a enterprise that has television studios and does its own 360-degree content marketing. In particular, as a partner of Exclusive Brands Torino, I’ve had the great pleasure of dealing with one of the Exclusive Brands Torino products because, to quote the president Pininfarina, Exclusive Brands Torino above all about communication. To do this, you must have a product, otherwise it's difficult as you don't know what to communicate. One of the first products we created was Exclusive Brands Torino Tours: we has actually organized tours to visit the various brands, thus promoting a type of industrial tourism in order to also inform people from a corporate point-of-view. So through these tours, which have been built on the basis of themes related to lifestyle, innovation or food and wine, we have the opportunity to bring a certain type of people in small groups, such as VIPs and journalists to be greeting by the company directors, although this doesn’t happen every day! This enables them visit the company through the eyes of the customer but by following a path that unites.
Today our guests have talked about the subtlest aspects of excellence, such as self-awareness, the public and respect for people and products. I thank them both for being witness to this.