THE TALK: Conservative jewelry with a digital approach
A leading company in the production of silver chain with about eight thousand items and a Karizia ‘family’ of sixty employees. Where and how are you re-starting?
It’s like being in a blender that shakes you up really well and mixes all the ingredients. Now the time has come to understand. With our kind of work, we were forced to stop but we must not think we can just start again from where we left off. We will be starting from zero, with something new, with many opportunities and just as many difficulties, to be reviewed and overcome.
What was the focus of your lockdown? What did you prioritize?
First and foremost, technology, thanks to which we have understood that there are many things we can do without necessarily seeing each other and without which, it would have been impossible to have kept dialogue and relations with the customers alive, even with just a message, a photo or a video. Some relations were consolidated thanks to this virtual closeness and, from now on, we will try to maintain these new and wonderful habits. We missed a lot of key moments, like, for example, Mother’s Day, even if the few retailers that were open, recorded significant numbers. However, we realized that a lot can be done digitally.
What do you expect form this reprisal? Will the physical moment be put in second place?
No, never. What is important for me is the handshake, the smile, the glance, all fundamental radar for a confirmation, a disappointment, in short, to understand whether a product is liked or not. Above all, in the coming months when travel is not possible, we must find a way to be able to communicate. To this regard, we have adopted technologies for taking photographs and videos. I’m highly optimistic. We sell emotions, even with so very many difficulties. The priority will never be to buy a charm or a ring but, as someone who really loves their work, I am firmly convinced that we well find a new way to recover and that the sector will bring us many wonderful surprises by the end of the year. I am proud to be part of a gold district and I would also like to underline that, despite believing in the value of personal encounters and facial expressions, now is the time for digital.
Karizia is rooted in the Vicenza district while mainly working on the foreign market. How do you combine these two aspects?
Karizia mainly produces silver chain, 70% of which is the finished product and another part is sold by the meter. We supply almost everywhere in the world, from Asia to the USA, the Middle East, Africa, with a market share of 99% going to export. We have never particularly focused on Italy due to the type of product, which is more suitable for the international market and customers that range from the importer to large groups and the more consolidated brands. In terms of pricing, we cover the market with an extremely wide range, from the most affordable to a higher product with different weights that allows us to supply a variety of customer types.
Which markets are showing the first encouraging signs of recovery?
All the markets are starting up but it is a difficult question to answer just now. We are all being cautious in order to understand how to re-open and are waiting to re-start production. No one market is better or worse. If the lockdown continues in the USA, there will be a problem but, in any case, we hope it will all just be a bad memory, even if it has taught us a lot.
Precisely, what is different to before?
We have had time to linger on relations and have rediscovered values that we had no time to consider before the crisis or did not dwell on long enough. With the initial re-opening on May 4th, we all returned with more determination and we have discovered the value of the Karizia family.
A scenario that must flank business with a strategy focused on values then.
Certainly. From the value of relations to the value of the territory. Karizia manufactures silver chains but mainly supplies an unbranded product. Made in Italy is the factor that drives us, that allows us to anticipate trends, new shapes and new ideas. It is always a strong point. Even in managing this crisis, made in Italy has been able to organize itself and set parameters with specific procedures for the reprisal, showing signs of respect to the entire world.
Karizia was one of the first companies to join the RJC. How important will sustainability be in tomorrow’s activities?
We were among the first to be Responsible Jewelry Council certified in the silver sector. We believe, and we want to believe, that each of us can make improvements. In our own small way, we have been introducing improved production cycles to support our environment every year.
Pioneers in the world of chain. What jewelry will be worn after Covid-19?
We have an extremely vast catalogue of about 8,000 articles which we have continued to add to for thirty years. But the chains that were once trendy now need to be re-dusted. At the moment, a classic chain is popular, the trend is basic, because people want to invest in something conservative. I’m thinking of Giorgio Armani’s letter: let’s focus on two collections a year. So that people can use the items today and tomorrow.
The jewelry sector should think in the same way.
Interview by Federica Frosini, Editor in Chief VO+
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