Italian SMBs in Washington

22 min
  • Remo Sartori

    Remo Sartori - Puglia
    Spokesperson: Maria Antonietta Orlando, Owner

    The Remo Sartori company, from Puglia, was born in 2015 as a classic manufacturing laboratory, producing silk textile accessories, such as ties and scarves, strictly Made in Italy. In 2016, the owner Maria Antonietta Orlando had the opportunity to participate in a 6-month Amazon program, where she learned how to successfully sell online, from uploading the most illustrative images of my products, to the most effective titles and descriptions for customers.

    At that point, Maria Antoinetta clearly understood that she would want to invest the resources she had at her disposal - limited, as a small business - in Amazon, because with her “own strength”, within her company, she would not have achieved the same results, except with huge investments.

    Thanks to Amazon, which has a wide user base, and customer reviews, her brand gained awareness, reliability, and credibility in a short time.

    “The presence on Amazon's Made in Italy showcase, also thanks to the agreement between ICE and Amazon, has allowed my company to open its doors to international markets. To date, 50% of our turnover comes from exports, particularly to the United States and Canada (from which 35% of total turnover comes), and to almost all European countries (15% of turnover). Customers, especially in the U.S., often leave very positive feedback of appreciation of Made in Italy quality and style, and this is very important to increase our recognition, as well as resulting in a very high repurchase rate.” States Maria Antonietta Orlando.

    The company is also taking steps to sell in Turkey and the Netherlands. In the future, they would also like to implement FBA service, which would allow them to manage shipments even more efficiently in the markets to which they export.

    Maria Antonietta has replicated on her site as well all the tips and best practices learned from the experience with Amazon. This has enabled her to achieve a resonance of which she is very proud, both at the B2C and B2B levels: some major fashion and entertainment production companies, having learned about her brand on Amazon, have contacted her directly for the production of customized items.

  • Mobili Fiver

    Mobili Fiver - Friuli-Venezia Giulia
    Spokesperson: Ronny Gobbo, CEO and founder

    Mobili Fiver is a family-run furniture company based in Pasiano di Pordenone (in Friuli-Venezia Giulia) that has been working in the wood sector for twenty years and whose online adventure began in 2011. Having started almost for fun, they then realized their true potential and began to work steadily to consolidate their presence on digital channels.

    To date, they successfully sell on Amazon’s Made in Italy showcase, which currently represents the reference e-commerce channel for exporting their products to the rest of Europe. Mobili Fiver’s goal is indeed to offer entirely Made in Italy quality, functional and space-saving furniture at a factory price that can be delivered to your home a few days after purchase.

    Family, innovation and quality are the 3 key values the company is founded on:

    • Family is fundamental for them and, even if each member follows different stages of production and sale. This allows them to discuss and support each other in all daily choices.
    • Then, thanks to innovation, they invested not only in improving their proprietary site, but also in digital marketplaces, periodically including new machinery with high cutting-edge standards, and effectively training their operators.
    • The success Mobili Fiver receives every day is certainly also determined by the quality of the products offered and by the attention paid to the smallest details, including the most efficient and safe packaging used for delivering.
  • Emilia Food Love

    Emilia Food Love - Emilia-Romagna
    Spokesperson: Andrea Magnone, co-founder

    Emilia Food love is an italian company born in 2014 to show and promote the gastronomic treasure from Emilia-Romagna, through various typical products characterized by a unique taste. EMILIA FOOD LOVE - as the name suggests - is a love story, the love that has bonded the two founders, Andrea Magnone and Rossella Perri, whose mission is to bring the quality and the excellence of Emilian products on their customers’ tables.

    In 2011, during their honeymoon, Andrea and Rossella found themselves “looking to find home away from home”: among the shelves of a supermarket on the American East Coast, among food trucks, in shops and people’s hands having lunch sitting cross-legged under a tree in Central Park. And that day, with a single glance, they realized there would be nothing more beautiful than being able to bring their home to all homes, on all tables, on all streets, on all benches around the world. Once back home, there was nothing but an idea that often came back and made its way between routine and small daily thoughts.

    Thus, they spent every waking minute looking for small producers who shared their same passion; meeting and having the privilege of knowing them was a decisive step towards the creation of EMILIA FOOD LOVE.

    The road, however, was not always downhill: there were climbs and tunnels, barriers they bypassed one next to the other, and they climbed holding hands; until the day that idea was found a name that could contain in itself all the love and dedication that from the first moment - and without the need for words - they had decided to dedicate it. So EMILIA FOOD LOVE was born: from the desire to turn a dream into a job to love.

    Andrea and Rossella make their passion and expertise available in full respect of the scents, freshness and flavors of Emilia Romagna, guaranteeing a wide selection of typical products ranging from Salame di Strolghino, to Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar. All the products are present in the dedicated Made in Italy showcase on the Amazon store, thanks to which every day the company reaches customers all over the world.

  • Dalle Piane Cashmere

    Dalle Piane Cashmere - Tuscany
    Spokesperson: Leonardo Dondini, E-Commerce Manager

    Dalle Piane Cashmere has its roots in the experience of a family of artisans, the Dondini family, which for three generations has handed down the Italian textile art from father to son. A tradition that has strengthened over time, rising to the processing of the noblest and most precious yarn: cashmere.

    This virtuous path was made possible also thanks to the territory in which Dalle Piane Cashmere was born and developed: Prato (in Tuscany), famous all over the world for its textile district. Precisely in these lands, already in 1200, high-quality garments were made and sold throughout Europe. Today, wearing Dalle Piane Cashmere means bringing with you over 800 years of Tuscan textile history.

    Dalle Piane Cashmere proudly proves the Italian manufacturing production quality through the 100% Made in Italy certification, that worths much more than a label. Dalle Piane garments are conceived, designed and manufactured exclusively by the company, in Italy. They are made of high quality and first choice natural materials, with traceability of the origin of the raw materials. Being witnesses of Made in Italy also means making garments with particular craftsmanship and typical traditional techniques, that in the company are indeed handed down for generations.

    The adventure of Dalle Piane Cashmere begins with the spinning of Leonardo’s grandfather, Walter, who transformed wool into yarns and cones. His children, Roberto and Massimo, as soon as they could, started working in the family spinning mill. The story of Dalle Piane Cashmere is also - and perhaps above all - a love story. It was in fact thanks to the wives of the two brothers, Luana and Lorella, that the idea of the knitting factory was born. It started as a game, but given the rapid success that the first knitwear achieved, it soon turned into a real business. That’s how, after investments for the modernization of spaces and the purchase of cutting-edge machinery, the Angorelle knitwear factory was born in 1988.

    In 2001, after the important awards from renowned luxury brands, the Dondini family decided to make the qualitative leap, giving life to the Dalle Piane Cashmere brand. The idea is to offer their cashmere garments directly to the end customer at an almost factory price, while at the same time guaranteeing the quality that has always distinguished the Angorelle knitwear factory.

    Then, the work begins to get more intense and demanding, always in the name of the highest quality. And so we arrive today in the third generation, with Leonardo, Roberto and Luana’s son, who felt natural to continue the path of his family. A child with the dream of doing “the school of wool” who spent his time playing in his grandfather’s spinning with spindles, balls and pieces. A boy who grew up in Prato who has always breathed textiles and that infinite galaxy of professions that make it up. Today, Leonardo carries on with pride - always alongside his parents and uncles - the family business, an artisan craft that has always chosen to focus on quality and refinement.

    With the Amazon Made in Italy showcase, Dalle Piane garments have conquered customers all over Europe, also landing in the United States. Leonardo Dondini states: “Amazon has given us the opportunity to expand abroad with a very low investment. The costs we would have had to incur to open a shop or a showroom in another country would have been unsustainable for a reality like ours. An opening to the world that has put us in contact with thousands of customers who otherwise, for us, would have been inaccessible”.

  • PlayWood

    PlayWood - Emilia-Romagna
    Spokesperson: Stefano Guerrieri

    PlayWood is a revolutionary start-up based in Reggio Emilia (Emilia-Romagna), specialized in the production of eco-friendly, recyclable and renewably sourced furniture components and home accessories, founded in 2014 by Stefano Guerrieri with partners Carlotta Nizzoli, a business communication expert, and Mirco Bonilauri, a product designer.

    After graduating, Stefano worked in communications as a creative director, moving between England, Holland and Belgium and, during these relocations, out of necessity, he had to leave his furniture behind and buy everything back, since, trivially, transporting a low-cost wardrobe costs more than buying a new one. An unreasonable waste, in economic and ecological terms. In 2013, he returned to live in Reggio Emilia, starting working as a freelancer in the garage of his home, where he had set up a temporary office. And at that very moment, a light bulb went off in his head: "Why not imagine an alternative assembly system for the necessarily temporary spaces of modern life?" Said, and done: Stefano invents those special clamps that will make PlayWood's fortune.

    "Over 100,000 tonnes of furniture are thrown away every year in Europe, because the traditional assembly method requires screws and glues that ruin the furniture panels, making it very difficult both to disassemble them and to reassemble them elsewhere," explains Stefano Guerrieri. "We, at PlayWood, offer an alternative that is as practical, inexpensive and fun as a child's play." These are special attachments that work like a clamp. Made of a high-tech material that makes them lightweight and extra strong, they slide over the wooden panels to be joined, and tighten to the correct position. The furniture is thus assembled by interlocking the panels with the clamps.

    Initially, as a start-up, PlayWood debuted in 2017 on through Launchpad, the program designed for small companies launching innovative products, and which offers brands a specialized showcase with the possibility of uploading specific images, texts and videos to make themselves known. "For us, it was like going into fifth gear," comments Stefano. "The type of product we sell requires explanation: having additional text and images was essential."

    After Launchpad, PlayWood enters Amazon's Made in Italy showcase, dedicated to the excellence of our country. Being included in this special selection, under a label that in the world is synonymous with refined materials, attention to detail and creativity, has allowed PlayWood to increase its sales by 20% and reach not only all of Europe, but also the United States and Japan.

    Before the pandemic, 70% of PlayWood's turnover came from the distribution network of physical chains. With the arrival of the lockdown, they could not rely on physical shops, but fortunately the online presence was already established and the percentages were totally reversed: the turnover from e-commerce came to weigh 80%, while that from traditional channels 20%. And the same proportion is still holding true today, as sales in traditional channels have returned to the rhythms of 2019 and online sales continue to grow at an average of 20% year-on-year. To date, due to the crisis linked to the conflict in Ukraine, while on the other sales channels PlayWood is experiencing a drop in sales of around 50%, probably due to the decrease in purchasing power, on Amazon there is no decrease, and, on the contrary, the trend is one of constant growth. PlayWood currently sells to customers in 32 different countries and exports about 80% of its products.

Read more about the Made in Italy days


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