She is Alessia Crivelli and her surname alone evokes the world of diamonds. Today, Alessia, Managing Director of the family business, Crivelli, is also President of the Fondazione Mani Intelligenti which, in the Valenza territory, has managed to bring together the sector’s companies to stimulate the development of renewed cooperation between companies and training institutions. We met her in the midst of these Covid-19 crisis days, starting exactly from there, to understand what all this stirs up in the head of a steadfast, young businesswoman who, from one day to the next, finds herself having to deal with an unexpected reality. A difficult challenge but one that can, in fact, act as the impetus to positively overturn the viewpoint.
«It is a little like the concept of a tree having more solid roots to help it not fall down. I have the feeling that many things will change because the whole set-up must be reviewed and we must put the ability to re-question ourselves into play. This health crisis has completely overturned the viewpoint. With stores closed, we can no longer think in terms of sales, the final customer has more things on his mind than jewelry. So, how can we reinvent ourselves in order to keep our image and the beauty that we produce alive? We can take advantage of this standstill to speak of jewelry through its stories, to re-discover what was, and is, its intrinsic value. Where do the stones come from? Why is the value of jewelry so high? It is not just a question of luxury. Jewelry must be re-discovered through story-telling because, from now on, the value of an object will no longer be linked to satisfying a whim or celebrating an event. It will have a different value, something marvelous. And, on our part, this different perspective offers the chance to work considerably on communication, which, now more than ever, must not stop. We have to see it as a new moment of reflection and, since jewelry has always been synonymous of luxury and vanity, why not latch onto an aspect that we were no longer seeing? Jewelry is passion, art, culture, tradition, ability, craftsmanship. This is where I would like things to re-start from».
We are therefore speaking of a moment of reflection, of the fundamental role of communication, of re-discovering the real value of jewelry, of an upending of business logics that must look to purchases and not only sales. But are we ready to enter into this new logic that everything will change?
«I hope that things will also change in our sector and that it will become more familial. The trade show (Vicenzaoro, ed.) was right to organize events linked to the territory and things that were not only for business. Of course, for us it is work and everyone has to keep his own books, but now we need to account for something that is truly valuable. We have to work systematically, not just in terms of training, but also by reviewing the various structures that we have created. We have to take a closer look at how we have managed buying all these stones. We have to take another look at the ethics, the solidarity. It is a moment of extreme and strong internal reflection.
We all have a passion for this extraordinary work but we have forgotten it and now we have to re-awaken it.
If we are ready to accept that everything will be different and prepared to change the cards on the table, I think it is actually an exceptional opportunity. The work must not just focus on sales. Sure, as an entrepreneur I have to consider the economic aspect but the health and safety of my employees is still top priority. Let’s freeze all the costs that there are. The State is helping me to pay the salaries and I will deal with the taxes, but not before having fed my employees and paid my suppliers. And, in order to make this changeover, I need the State to be on our side. The Italian engine works, if it slows down, it can be started up again, but if it stops, the risks are high. We have to get the Italian machine, which was going well, up and running again. The engine is not broken, it works and Italy is alive and will be great again. Perhaps at a lower speed, but healthy».
We are speaking of re-starting without yet having a clear horizon in terms of times and modalities.
«We are frozen and now, as a sector, we have to use the resources available. We must understand which costs are effective and which are superfluous. SMEs are drowning and this is not right. We need a system and to be extremely careful, starting from the assumption that our sector is not one of prime necessity, in fact, it has become a safe haven because people sell everything in a moment of crisis. The problem with the sales point is linked to fear of the unknown. But the problem is worldwide, not Italian and, besides, Italy will recover first and this will bring advantages». The key word? «Reciprocal help with awareness of what we are doing. We will only get through this if we are all untied, individualism is not going to win now. Companies have logistics standstill problems. The re-start can only be linked to new initiatives». A comment on the Cura Italia decree. «They got a bit lost but I cannot judge because nobody, until now, has ever been in this situation. So, on the one hand I feel protected because the decisions have been taken pragmatically and not on impulse. If they had closed everything from one day to the next, there would have been a revolt. We are not in China. We are in Italy, the country of artists, poets, wonders and wise guys. The State must help us to reduce the times and deadlocks and get us going again. Everything that must be done is in response to an immediate and real need. We need easy and immediate decrees even though we are tangled up in our own bureaucracy and are not used to having straight lines. Yes, we have time to think about how to improve our lives but we don’t have time to delay this situation». If the government does its part, then the sector’s companies have a very important and challenging task. «Yes, having beautiful things to listen to and see is, now more than ever, a real need and this is our task. Let’s show them and keep communication alive. There is a positive aspect to all this. We just have to keep a clear head».
CRIVELLI IN NUMBERS
- Employees: 68
- Markets: Italy, Europe, Asian South-East, Russia, Usa, South America
- % export: 65%
- Financial statement 2019: Euros 78ml
- Point of Sales, Italy: 200
- Point of Sales abroad: 200 (ca.)