By Jacquie De Almeida
Donatello Polizzi sometimes prays for rain.
Although she is in the jewellery business, her material of choice is of the flora and fauna variety. Using a proprietary technique, she transforms roses, orchids, and even butterflies into 24-karat gold-plated and resin pendants and earrings.
While the jewellery looks to have been fashioned from man-made materials, they all have their start in nature. It’s something that requires a bit of an explanation, says Polizzi from her booth at VicenzaOro ‘Fall.’
“We’ve had to educate our clients because they were used to jewellery that was made from a mould and with machines,” explains Polizzi, who co-owns Lip Plus with her husband, Franco Lipparini. “If you want 10,000 pieces of jewellery, you add metal to a mould and you have the product in a few days. For us, if God doesn’t send enough rain, we may lose a batch of flowers.”
Exhibitors at the Italian fair were certainly hoping everything would come up roses. And with markets like Eastern Europe buying heavily into the ‘Made in Italy’ brand, sunshine appeared on the horizon for exporters against a backdrop of economic troubles in Italy. This is welcome news for the show’s organizer, which remains focused on creating partnerships with key organizations to help promote Italian jewellery in new markets.
At VicenzoOro ‘Fall,’ fair officials signed an agreement with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) designed to strengthen the presence of Italian brands at the March edition of the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show. It also formed a new partnership with the Armenian Jewellers Association (AJA), which owns the Yerevan International Jewellery Show. The deal looks to explore new promotional opportunities, such as initiatives aimed at engaging buyers. Lower gold prices may also help in that regard.
According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), official numbers are signalling positive results for the first time in two years. Italian jewellery exports for the second quarter of 2013 are up six per cent in value and 2.6 per cent in quantity. Exports to the United States showed significant improvement at 12 per cent in value, while the United Arab Emirates is up by 32 per cent. Both markets have been the focus of the fair’s efforts to grow the ‘Made in Italy’ brand in the form of agreements inked with JCK Las Vegas and the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).