Going beyond the obvious and mass-produced to offer well-conceived artisanal crafts made by highly skilled women. That's the method of Annie Hall's Laura Menci.
“Offering researched collections has always been part of my company’s mission,” Laura explains, “Working in international tourism, I’ve always aimed to offer unique, hand-crafted objects, designed and made in Italy.
Back when we could travel, I noticed that shops either offered luxury items or mass-produced products or, even worse, ones from developing countries passed off as Made in Italy”.
Laura’s research is based on this premise, and she began telling me about artisanship from a woman's perspective: “I offer artisanal objects, made by women. Bijoux that represents their world view and their idea of creativity”. But hands alone aren’t enough... “Like I always say: Before doing it by hand, you have to know how to do it with your head! That's why most of my designers have a research and studies background”, explains Laura.
So what is a research product, then? “To me, a research product is the kind of object that isn't already aesthetically available on the market. I want to see pieces that I myself have not already found elsewhere. The goal is to amaze, to impress, to make people say, ‘I've never seen that before!’. Customers don't often ask me for sustainable products, even though I’ve sometimes met animal-friendly customers who don't want to buy accessories made from leather.”
Is investing in research worth it? Laura sure thinks so as innovation occupies 90% of her display!