NY NOW Podcast

Modern Italian Illustrations with The Napking by Bellavia Ricami

May 26, 2021 NY NOW Season 1 Episode 40
NY NOW Podcast
Modern Italian Illustrations with The Napking by Bellavia Ricami
Show Notes Transcript

The NapKing proposes an original collection of digital prints on pure linen, born from the intuition of enlarging the design on the tablecloth and placing it ad hoc on the different sizes of the articles. The re-adaptation of the typical shapes and colors of the Mediterranean, and the compositions inspired by the futuristic graphic designs of the late 19th Century.

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Dondrill Glover:

Welcome to the new york now podcast, a modern wholesale market for retailers and specialty buyers seeking diversity and discovery, gathering twice a year in America's design capital, New York City. It's where buyers and designers on earth have refreshed and dedicated collection of eclectic lifestyle products. Hi, I'm Dondrill Glover, creative marketing consultant for New York now, and I'm super excited to welcome today's very special guest, Carlo Bellavia, CEO of The Napking by Bellavia Ricami a company I Alice tardy of commercial relations for a conversation with one of New York now featured digital market brands. The Napking was created in 2018 to celebrate the variegated world of napkins and all tableware, in addition to the traditional hand embroidered selections, but Bella be his core family business for almost 60 years. And in that time, becoming a leading force in the Italian embroidery market. The napkin King introduces a bold and vibrant collection, adapting a modern and futuristic design aesthetic, with graphics inspired by the late 19th century, and the lush scenic landscapes of the Italian Mediterranean coast. It's wonderful to have you guys, I'd like to let our audience know that you've been so gracious in joining us from your headquarters in Palermo. So we're really excited to dive into the conversation. I discovered your brand in the digital market. It's such a beautiful collection, I you know, I have to say, it really brought spring and summer to the forefront for me with your brand video. It was really transportive. So I would love to start off by talking about, you know, we know that this is a generational business. And can we talk about the beginnings of bellavia? And how do you get started?

Carlo Bellavia:

Yes, yes. Our company was born about six years ago from the initiative of my father to starting boating and embroideries from the airlines island of Madeira, in Portugal, where embroideries quality was excellent and and the designs were highly appreciated here in Italy during the 60s and the 70s he had managed to create a sale sales network very similar to the one that the door to door sales system, you know, that we had later in the 80s and in the 90s and November the winning element as being the originality of the designs and the great quality which made the offer unique and missed. unmistakable. And so this has been the start that we It's a family business, so wherever now we are me and my brother, we are in the company, this is the second generation and we are going forward what has been our our life, our way of life. You know, when you have a family when you own a family business, when you are you are having lunch or dinner you don't you don't talk about soccer ball or or something else of politics, you talk you speak about your job speaking about your the retailers, the employee, and so this has been our background, cultural background, I mean, the children in our in our family renting

Dondrill Glover:

so starting from there, you know, um, it kind of leads me into the next question, you know, talking about the beginning of, you know, business and the family and how you just sort of this is what you do. The fact that you guys started in textiles. You know, Italy is known for its incredibly fine and luxurious linens. Talk a little bit about linens and embroideries specifically from your region.

Unknown:

Yeah, okay, the traditional dressing linen, linen fabric was deeply rooted in the in the south column culture. And not only here in the south, as it represented a very important element of social distinction, because the wealthiest families could afford the best and more expensive quality of fabric and embroideries. The style of the lacking embroidered items is strongly linked to our now and to many of our classic design. Of course, our offers been conditioned by the evolution of the cultural system and consequently by the new lifestyle, the new families, the new the new way of living. We therefore concentrated on what a part of the market was asking for. For example, as we were participating often to international fair, like for example in France And we were exhibiting our very beautiful tablecloths, you know, and embroidered with napkins on the set each year after year, clients were asking for only the napkins and not tablecloth. So the first time, second time, third time, I said why not offering, creating a new line of products that are a new company that sells only napkins, because it's the request of the market. And so I started thinking, and I did it effectively. And one day, I grabbed several napkins that we thought we were selling inside with our tablecloth. And I place I place them in this table where we are now we are in the meeting room of the company, there is a huge table, and I created the saw display with these napkins. You can imagine all these little round triangles, you know, all organized in the table and, and then I saw Suddenly, there was a beautiful eye catcher. And it was the 2016 at the time and my father was still alive. The founder of the company, and I called him I said, Papa, come here, look at this idea. What do you think about that? And he answered me only with two words. He said go for. Wonderful. And so yeah, he pushed me in, in going forward in this experience in this new new challenge for our company, you know, because of that fear there was so what we're seeing, as you know, is something that I mean, is not very important for the company, because you know, we produce tablecloths, we produce curtains that fall over, you know, huge and big items and embroidery was considered as something that was very much not very important for the company at that time.

Dondrill Glover:

I understand, you know, and going forward with that. I know that Bellavia is in its second generation of leadership, tell us what was important for you to continue in the tradition. And then what was meaningful that going forward to change the brand. I look at the Nat King, and it's gorgeous, what were some of those elements that you wanted to keep and to grow?

Unknown:

Yeah, the most important thing to go farther and beyond was to keep producing high quality items. This was the basis you know, a principle that we have always been an important goal for our company. And also another Another important element has been always the attention needs or clients customer what we have to walk on walls to keep up with the stylistic offer and materials to meet the test of our our customer. with particular attention to the stylistic offer, we have translated the type of placement of the typical designs of embroidery items expecially for the placement on the of the tablecloth designs for the napkin plan, so we re edited them with different sides and color,

Dondrill Glover:

then love that modern fresh aesthetic that you have is you know, today's market, we're really brand conscious about ethics and transparency in value systems and having such a generational business, what are the value systems that you'd like customers and buyers to know about, about the brand and what it stands for,

Unknown:

the important for us is to be very close to the clients, you know, the satisfaction of our clients is one of our rule that is the first thing that we discuss every morning, when we do the check the check meeting of the the beginning of the day. And so we discuss very, very often about that client, the other client what we can go to go forward to the needs of our clients even if they require things that are not for us very, very institutionally mean important for us. And so another thing that we are very, we are taking care of is the the US we don't we don't use chemical agent on our products. So this has been something that for us has been very important because you know, tablecloths are things or even napkins are things that you have very close to you and the attention to The certification, for example, or Ecotec certification that is, for us, very important. So this means that we don't use formal de the, I don't know, in English, how is the name in English, but these are very dangerous chemical, exactly, we probably care about to avoid mean, presence, all

Dondrill Glover:

types of toxins in your textiles, which is really, really important. And as you said, you know, these are, you know, napkins, linens, all of those things are close to the skin. And you know, having that value system of non toxics in that makes makes a difference. And that is, you know, a very forward consciousness that buyers and retailers and your, you know, customer consuming clients that are out world that it really matters in materials, it's also just a sort of another Ode to you know, the really fine Italian linens that Italy is known for. So it's really

Unknown:

also I mean, our core businesses has been always to work with the linen Fabric is a natural fiber. That is it's not plastics, not something I mean, that is created after industrial process is something that whoever is is created from the nine is the natural create these these elements. And so we care that during all the steps of production, there are not dangerous chemicals that affect the quality that we would like to apply.

Dondrill Glover:

Let's talk about a little bit more about the transition into modern contemporary and the digital print that you're in now. How has customers and clients responded to these beautiful textile, reenactments,

Unknown:

we're going to transition was more like overcoming frustration in terms of the size of our design? You know, I'd explain it better. Whenever we needed to photograph embroidered items, it was never possible to take beacher in which you could clearly see them royalties, and then our item itself and talking about tablecloths, for example, all those small embroideries of little flowers are always very complicated for photograph, you know why picture. And so we need to talk brains, we wanted to create huge drawings instead, and just to satisfy this frustration. So so we conceived the new designs by exploding small elements, making them the protagonists of our new new style and our new offer. This has been the element that the markets appreciate the video law, because in the digital brain until our entering the market, there were always small patterns. Not an enormous data logger. We what we need as being to reconsider the design of our and the style that we normally were we were using for the embroideries in terms of placement of the design in the table. But at that point, we wanted to escape from the small flowers not

Dondrill Glover:

Yes, and so we did these huge designs. And I we saw that the clients were very, very excited on receiving these new offers from from from us. They I can't tell you, I mean, for me, when I look at them, they feel super fresh, contemporary, there. transportive. As I mentioned, when I watched your your brand spotlight video on it brings you that feeling you can see it you can feel it. You know, it's really, I feel like when I look at these textiles, they really kind of embrace they show what we love and adore about Italy, you know, we love the culture, the food, the landscapes, and I feel as if in this collection, you've captured it, it's alive, it's breathing. And so those translations have really, really come through I think they're fantastic. I want to talk about some of your more popular items for spring and summer and winter and fall, or are you not finding that customers and clients are doing seasonal shopping? Are there parts of the collection that people gravitate to in a seasonal way or is that not the case for for you?

Unknown:

During the spring summer season. We have some best seller for that obviously because we have lots of flowers. very timely. So our collections and solve for example, the garden item collection, the Nisha collection, and also seanna the one that we have in our website during the video that few that We filmed the video. These has been chillin, it's been it's been crazy is hearing we're seeing very lots of congratulation from our clients because this team that has been really appreciate

Dondrill Glover:

oh this is right and what about for,

Unknown:

for them to move into we have a Rudolph Rudolph is the year that is very, very nice. And so clients enjoyed these Christmas style it came out from an aqua rainbow design. And then also we have he likes collection that these are is a reenactment of a very old or very vintage design that we create edited to create this new pattern. And so we exploded also these these branch of Christmas over Christmas three, whatsoever a collection that, for example is not affected by by the seasonality is, for example, our destiny motor collection. That that I mean,

Dondrill Glover:

I've got a question coming about that if we definitely have to talk about that at length. I have to say that you know there's I love so many but a couple of my favorites just in the immediate and you spoke about the garden eating fruit love and the Andre tablecloth collection. But of course as you just mentioned, the tested MRL Can we talk I'm I adore that collection. I know that it's got Sicilian history and inspiration. Can you give us a little bit more detail about that collection and what we can find in it and you know where it comes from and all that good stuff.

Unknown:

Yeah, this the model is designed that is part of our historical background here in Sicily. Obviously, dogs and Gabbana, they need really a lot because in their collection, there were these designs and they need lots of lots of good promotion to the Sicilian star or whatever. In the past centuries. You know, cc has been colonized by many culture including the Arabian, yeah. And which is the is the one that left indelible marks on our background. And I'm referring to architecture, engineering, but mostly unfolded. In particular, the ceramic basis is the is the shape of a Morehead our saw widespread in Sicily that they have become one of the representatives sign symbol of the island. And this particular object other than the balconies of the houses and are very often used as a decorative element living rooms, and also seniors and tourists to buy them as a souvenir as the various at the various artisan shops, you know, we have lots of them that create different styles of these of these ceramics. But the singular shape of this basis or wherever there are their eyes from a markup legend set in Palermo, which not everyone knows. I explained by them, please. Yeah, said that around the year 1100. And the period of domination year CCD, a beautiful young girl that lived in the cancer. Cancer is an ancient the streets of the city in the center in the heart of the of the of the family and so the girl spent days almost exclusively at home, devoting ourselves to the care of the plants that predominate the airport. One day passing through the path sir young Arab saw this girl was at the balcony and he fell in love there. That's crazy. He decided he wanted there. And so without delay entered the girl's house to declare his love to her. The girl was impressed about this action you know the by the balding the 10s feeling that this guy showed that returned to the end so he returned the lot to the to this young, this young man. But when she knew that you will soon lever to return to his land in the East where his wife and children were waiting for him. He took advantage of the night and killed him while he was lying asleep. Cut off the head and made up box with it. And later she planted the buzzard plant in this vase that he created. But But finally shipping She puts she puts it on display outside her balcony so that the men will the women will be there forever. The basil grill looks your monthly thanks to the tears that the gear shed their daily every day, or whatever arousing the envy of all the inhabitants of the labor. Who Not to be outdone at terra cotta pots built in the shape of a man. So this is the story. Yeah,

Dondrill Glover:

it's got it's so much there. And I guess that's how, you know the destek the motor was born.

Unknown:

So if you imagine that all the story, I mean, all these designs came out from Santi like that is very strange.

Dondrill Glover:

Yeah, you're talking about, you know, really evolving it and taking something that is so layered with with strategy. And then now with this beautiful design, you know, as you've stated earlier, you know, Dolce Gabbana is, is has been incredibly fantastic. And he's kind of interpreting Italian life, and its designs and clothing in a very bold and vibrant way. And so when I saw this collection, along with all of your other collections with, you know, way it's presented, it's just this ongoing trend of really bringing the life and the culture and I love, I love the fact that in your designs, and you embrace history, but you also are showing just natural things around you. And I think that, you know, there are many parts of Italy and I haven't gone to Sicily yet. I've been on Verona and Venice and on the other side, but one of the amazing things in my impression of Sicily, such a fusion of history, and the beauty that has been left whether it's in design or architect, it's nice to see those wonderful Sicilian traditions being continued and layered into the belavia story. So it's a it's definitely a collection, we are still using the ancient water tubes that the Arabs created here in Poland. Wow. So we are still using that, yes, to have water inside our houses. And he's fascinating, you know, just to veer off just a little bit I have to mention I remember seeing on television, these windows that were made centuries ago. And now during you know the time of the pandemic and people doing the social distance they were able to reopen those windows for happy hour to serve your beautiful wines. There's something to be said for the preservation of history. Yeah. Now used to doing the club. Yeah, yes during the night Exactly. And I thought they're beautiful windows and

Unknown:

so, yeah, we recently introduced furnishing accessories through the use of a printed fabric always because we always use our Greek we expanded the knocking of and so, we starting create creating trays, actually trays with our fabric inside it and so, there is a fusion the acrylic is melted on our on our fabric and also we created melamine plates with destiny motor is the unique items that we are selling with this design, but also the karate cushions. And so, but you know, we are improving ourselves every day and every day there are new ideas and we are still working on new samples of production and in the new in the next next month of May will be an important milestone for us because we will be received back from production the new the new experiments that we do in our fabric in terms of new new objects that can be used on a table or in your living room. And so we experiment always we are we we never stop. We never know. When we close the company in the evening we I start I start another process that is the the creative process outside the company, you know that you see things differently? Because you are you're you're outside and so you see things with a different eye and so while you are at home, you discover that you may be okay maybe this this could be great to produce for the company. And so, and I mean we we always have our brain moving. Yeah, our products are The result of this mail that we feel why we are hearing CCD, or the or even of the landscapes and the colors, all these, these different culture that we had here. And so we can we have in our collection designs are very, very rare. Okay, for example, for the North Northern Europe market, we have designs that are perfect for the south of the world of South America or south of Italy. So, in our collection, everyone can find something that plans and we, but the problem is that each each, six months, we create new six, seven new design and we have to take away some designs from our catalog. Because after would be book, and then we always are in trouble, because we don't know what to take away from Oh, yeah. And so on each season after season, our catalog start becoming always bigger. And so yeah, we'll see. We'll see.

Dondrill Glover:

Well, I'm excited to see and certainly I'm sure as our buyers, and retailers are, I like to ask, and I want to I particularly want to ask this but before I forget where we're talking about being creative with linens. How How should How should people be caring for them? I mean, I think you invest in these, you know, beautiful linens, you know, quality, organic, and pure and very often clients are confused about how to care for them.

Unknown:

It's It's very simple. I mean, it's not normally people when heard about linen fabric gets stressed, because you know, after who aren't, who will care about it. The thing is that, when you buy one or all that you the first thing that you have to do is to wash it in cold in cold water buying machine, you put it in inside the washing machine and use cold water for the first time you will live you will be sure for the next wash that the product will win will be always the same. Now we saw the next WASHING MACHINE WASH should be done at the maximum temperature of 40 degrees. And to have the best result when you will have the tablecloth or the napkin on your table is the three keys to irony yummy. on the reverse side. And so that's it.

Dondrill Glover:

It's good information to know as many people as I say it's a question that comes up particularly on the customer and once product gets in the store. You know, how do I care for these? How do I maintain the beautiful looks? So thank you for informing us and we can take it from a generational family of textiles that would understand So anyway, put it on the on a card in packaging. Oh, wonderful products. Yeah, we do that for each product. Excellent.

Unknown:

packaging is very important. Because whenever we have a beautiful Yeah, people buy in sometimes we heard about the people were buying things from our company to have the box is crazy. And

Dondrill Glover:

yeah, people recognize our product in the coffee shops, because of the of the because of the packaging. Well it's a signature thing. And people as they eat with their eyes, they shop with their eyes as well. So nothing more special than something that's beautifully packaged. And beautiful on the inside and quality. And so that is a win win every time. So customers and buyers and retailers really, really appreciate that.

Unknown:

He's also the people. Yeah, everything. And you know, now you buy a feeling. You buy a sensation, you buy something that will let you be better even if you have the house full of tablecloths, for example, or kitchen towels, you buy things that let you be comfortable with us.

Dondrill Glover:

Yeah, very much. So you know, our I feel that our emotions are very tied to things that we invest in and buying something that you love that you need something that you've been inspired by something, a new discovery, it does, you know, lead and invoke a feeling and so it's wonderful to hear a developer a designer and a company understand that the buying public That is part of the feeling and the expectation in the experience, you know, when you are shopping, so I couldn't I couldn't agree more. You know, in that that vein, can we talk about what is the experience for buyers and retailers and building a relationship with Bella via

Unknown:

the people is buying also in additional to provide to providing a high quality product product that is made easily 100% made and we are proud about that, that is produced on very fine linen for free, they are sure to receive an article that is modern by design and the represent the essence of our way of being Sicilian and the way of being the napkin, you know, the napkin side. And so they buy the results of all these culture, they buy the results of our point of view and until now we can say that people is appreciating really a lot.

Dondrill Glover:

Can we talk a little bit about just briefly about lead time. So the buyer was placing an order in from the States, what are they looking at in terms of lead time with for delivery?

Unknown:

Okay. Now, obviously, it depends on the demand and the period in which the request is made. Now whether at the beginning or at the end of the season, or which season, we usually always have a minimum of stock available. And then in case of out of stock production, we will fulfill orders within two three months maximum.

Dondrill Glover:

Wonderful. Well, I once again, I can't thank you enough. I really appreciate you taking the time to join our New York now podcast audience today and giving us this Yes,

Unknown:

thanks for this opportunity and for your enthusiasm in our brand in our products. And thanks a lot very much for your for your support in New York now. Yeah,

Dondrill Glover:

number one fan. To learn more about the napkin King and other home collections by Bellavia visit the napkin king.com Thank you for listening to the New York now podcast. Make sure to tune in weekly for engaging and insightful conversations touching on the most relevant topics facing our community today. Is it through your mouth comm to learn more about our market, and how you can join in all the conversation