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Art & Crafts

Veronica Tordi: handmade jewellery from Italy to New York

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-26 March 2019

rings designed and made in Italy Veronica TordiFor some people, work is love at first sight, for others it’s a family tradition.  For Veronica Tordi it was both of these things.  She was fortunate enough to take her job, that of artistic artisan of fashion accessories, from Emilia Romagnia to New York, on the other side of the ocean.  A job that she had breathed even as a child, that was in her bones, her eyes and under her skin.  So that if today the Big Apple relaunches the concept of “handmade” it does so with an artisan who is 4.0, that is someone who knows how to present themselves and who is extremely evolved in digital methods.  Thanks to Veronica’s well-constucted on-line presence  we have been able to discover her bracelets and floral earrings. Because there isn’t just one “here and now ” but many, and it’s the whole world that welcomes, knows and loves “made in Italy “.

A handmade piece encapsulates the uniqueness of a place, a moment in time, the identity of a family. Even without speaking it says a lot.”

handmade jewels made in Italy

I learnt the motto “the only limit is creativity” from my father.”

A Romagnolo accent is one of the friendliest (do New Yorkers know this?) Her silvery laugh is like a ray of light on an afternoon.  In New York it’s about 8 o’clock in the morning. Veronica recounts that during the 1970s her parents opened a workshop in S. Giovanni in Marignano in the province of Rimini, where they produced handmade fashion accessories using semi-precious stones from India and Asia, they soldered minute metal pieces and worked leathers from excellent artisans. “My dad used to travel the world when no one else did, for him “the market was everywhere”– says Veronica. “Their business, Officina Artigiana, was at the forefront in the production of accessories for clothes for many big names in Italian fashion.”

The financial crisis of 2008 changed the destiny of many small and medium sized businesses in Italy;  those that survived after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc did so because they reinvented themselves into something different. In another scenario.

At the end of the 1990s, Officina Artigiana started producing own-brand products.  Veronica graduated in Economics and in search of her own path, arrived in New York and started working for a company that looked after small and medium businesses abroad, helping them to operate in the US market.  But instead the US market welcomed her. “The first three necklaces that I sold were almost by chance in an Italian shoe shop in SoHo.  It was there that I realised that “made in Italy” products that were handmade with care and imagination had potential.”

Do you design the jewellery Veronica?

“I would like to emphasise that my brand Veronicatordi is new but my history is 40 years old. When I design jewellery I am inspired by the Italian landscape, the blue of the sky, the light – for example on a summer’s afternoon when the sun goes down – the colour of the burnt earth in the countryside in August, the wild flowers, the smell of a meadow.  Flowers are a big passion for me.”

artisanal rings Veronica TordiWe are struck by the colours in your creations…  

“Yes, the colours are mine, in the sense that I work with my own palette, with graduations and shades created ad hoc in my family’s business.  The advantage of my resins (very hard, varnished by hand, perfected by us) is that we can achieve a great variety of tones and match them very well together. Her resins are then combined with Swarovski crystals, hand-painted acrylic stones and metals; everything is completed with soldering and careful finishing.”

How do you sell your jewellery?  

“They are available in 12 stores in the US, but naturally I sell them on-line.  Craftsmanship encapsulates a great creative expression that today communicates with a completely mutated world that has no borders.  My father, with his work trips, taught me that the world has few borders even though he sold mainly in Italy.  Nowadays I produce in Italy and sell in New York, almost simultaneously. Traditions and know-how are neighbours.  Thanks to a worldwide net you can find and know anything.”

Handmade Veronica Tordi

Therefore it was very important in your work to trust someone who prepared the way and continues to make your brand communicate with the whole world.  

“Yes, the work of Claudio Iannetta our social media manager was fundamental.  There was a need to tell the story of the artisanal production of the family business, and this site and the social networks were vital in creating the right emotions.  Claudio helped me to describe the unfamiliar places where I come from, the history of the artisan, the culture of our country that appears in my creations.  Which are essentially the most loved characteristics of what is “Made in Italy”.

Success today is also about professionals who know how to narrate in a digital world.

Veronica recently won the AIC mentorship program from the Accessories Council, a no-profit organisation that is affiliated with FIT  (Fashion Institute of Technology), a prestigious university of fashion in New York.  Three established business people from well known brands (Deepa Gurnani Jaunt Lovard) will support Veronica in the development and growth of her business, from pricing, selling,  market strategies, relationships with agents, focusing on the seasonal collections and so on.

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