Sophie Weill and her sister Kiki are of their early 30’s however able to decelerate. Sophie who has constructed a a communications profession, working her personal public relations company for the final 4 years, and Kiki, who works in healthcare as a speech therapist, take an annual sisters’ journey. For Sophie’s thirtieth, they selected Italy’s Amalfi coast. It’s there that Piano Piano, their new homeware firm was born serendipitously. (Piano means “gradual” in Italian, and thus, an apt identify for his or her new enterprise.)
“I didn’t have any plans of beginning an organization, however once we there, we took a cooking class and the woman instructing us simply saved repeating the phrases piano piano—when she put the wine within the sauce, when she stirred it. It was simply this effort to be current, within the second,” Sophie says.
That reminder to decelerate got here at a time when each sisters felt a bit overwhelmed with their busy, career-driven lives. “PR is a fast-paced trade. There’s a by no means enough-ness issue to it the place you may all the time do extra. I’ve tried to construct an company with my enterprise accomplice [Megan Maguire] that’s extra considerate. However typically I ask myself, the place are we going or working to?”
Whereas her youthful sister Kiki works as a speech therapist, and never in PR, she echoed the same sentiment of high quality over amount. “Even in well being care, though I really like working with my sufferers, I see that we’re simply making an attempt to deal with as many sufferers as doable, and also you’re probably not giving everybody the considerate time they in all probability deserve. After the journey, I spotted, perhaps I can not do 12-hour days, however the time that I do give every affected person, I’m extra invested in it.”
For each sisters, it was a pause button on what had been go-go lives. And the reply Sophie says was not one other Italian trip. “I simply realized I didn’t wish to spend my life, ready to journey to a vacation spot like that to decelerate, or ready for the weekend to have a ‘gradual’ second.”
“The message goes past the product. Take pleasure in every day. Take time to take pleasure in your espresso, have a couple of minutes of pleasure over a meal,” Kiki provides.
Impressed by the ceramics they noticed within the outlets in Italy, the duo determined to start out a enterprise that solely celebrated the craftsmanship of the artisans, who labored slowly to make the on a regular basis plates, cups and platters—all of that are hand-painted, but additionally embodied this concept of a slower, extra lovely life every day.
“I really like my life in America, and I needed to deliver this philosophy, and the great thing about the Amalfi coast to my group right here in New York,” Sophie says.
Forgoing a seaside day on their trip, the sisters as an alternative began working with potters and artisans in Vietri Sul Mare to deliver a choose few gadgets to promote within the US. On November 1st, they launched their model, named after the Italian phrase taught to them by their Italian teacher.
Working a lean operation, and persevering with to do their day jobs, as they construct out the corporate, the sisters have been shocked by the response. “Our platters have been a giant hit with prospects, and we’re shocked as a result of they’re a pricier product. However they’ve resonated as an exquisite middle piece for the desk.”
The colourful assortment, Sophie provides, is a reminder of what they noticed in Italy. “None of our stuff goes to be minimal or monochrome. There are already firms doing that properly. We, as an alternative, ask our query, ‘Does this make you are feeling alive?’”
Since this can be a self-funded enterprise, they’re doing all of it themselves, together with packing the orders and getting household concerned. “I wish to perceive the patron journey. It’s useful for me for my PR enterprise as properly, so I can seek the advice of purchasers higher. However I’m not within the mentality of develop at no matter price. I haven’t thought of an exit. That’s not the intention of this model. If somebody sends me an image of consuming on the Piano Piano plates, I’m completely satisfied and content material with that. We’re not doing this to compete with American consumerism,” she says.
Whereas the duo are the not first set of People to be impressed by the great thing about the Amalfi coast and a slower tempo of life, it’s a good reminder to take a pause, and maybe ask, “Does this make you are feeling alive?” If not, it could be time to pivot.
And that’s the message Piano Piano hopes to evoke with its model and storytelling.