“Be brave and patient.” Martina Grasselli, born in Reggio Emilia on the 16th March …
“Your dream should be to create a new product, to express a new philosophy, to stimulate the mind of the people, to be able to bring innovation”
Let’s start talking about you, who are you, when did you decide to work together and to create From Owl?
It all started back in 2013 when we both decided to start printing some designs we made together with Marco Gherri (Filippo’s cousin) on some t-shirts. We made 60 t-shirts and sold them all. Since that moment we understood we could make something more sophisticated, with the help of other friends who became part of the team eventually: Luca Rovelli, Luciana dal Zio, Lorenzo Maestri, Luca Marocchi and Matteo Costa.
How did you begin and where does your passion come from?
We started in the summer 2014 to learn about the process, we bought the first textiles and focused on the first ideas.
What it is important to say is that we’re not fashion designers, we’re economics students with several passions (sports, web design, photography, fashion and innovation), but practically we are not able to design as a normal skilled designer. We just brainstorm new ideas and work with our team to develop them. That’s probably our advantage: we gather ideas from our ignorance without being limited by “design dogmas”. We are very passionated about products and innovation.
Difficulties encountered to manage the business?
There are lots of difficulties, but that is part of the game. If it was too easy, it wouldn’t be challenging. I could list shortly some of the most challenging ones:
- To find the right suppliers. It’s the most boring activity but the most important one. We contacted over 300 potential suppliers in two years, and worked with just 20 of them. It’s very hard to find the perfect supplier.
What would you say to somebody who has a dream like yours?
Don’t start a brand/company just to produce clothes or for the sake of earning pennies. Nowadays everyone can make a t-shirt. There’s a lot of superficiality when starting a brand. The true difference between an original brand and a superficial one stays in differentiation so… Your dream should be to create a new product, to express a new philosophy, to stimulate the mind of the people, to be able to bring innovation…“making clothes” is not enough.
From Owl is not a famous brand yet, and I certainly still don’t have the “privilege” to deliver advices to other people: I’ve still have a lot to learn. What I’ve done till now is just following the instinct with ideas and skills.
Do you have a place/city in which you feel more inspired and why?
London, Cape Town, Los Angeles, Lofoten Islands. They are all inspiring cities because of their landscapes, colors, the citizens’ way of living. But our first source of inspiration is Parma: our hills, our philosophy, the excellence of our companies (Barilla, Parmalat, Rosa dell’Angelo).
How do you communicate with the world/ how do you concretely express yourself?
Videos, photos, stories. We communicate with the world with these three vehicles and through years we learnt a lot about video making and photography. But, as always, you can’t have skills without ideas, that’s why when we make a video it’s not really important how we make it, but it’s fundamental what idea we want to express.
What makes your brand different?
We think we’re different from other startups for several reasons, starting from our “unique” set of skills we have: from management to photography, design and web design, which hardly you will find in one team (many of the clothing companies outsource at least one of those activities). A second reason is that we have a philosophy: we want to express emotions, to connect clothes to stories. The third reason is about quality, since profitability is not our main goal, we don’t make compromises: we always strive for perfection and we work with companies which are used to work with famous luxury companies. Our idea is precise and it is getting even more sophisticated the more we work.
Projects for the future.
We have a big mission in mind to make From Owl an international popular brand, how? With the products we’re working on, with the clear communication, with the right prices and durable quality. We strive for this goal, but we’re aware and ready to fail and learn.
Ready to shop now? Their Online Shop is waiting for your visit here at www.fromowl.com
You can also follow their adventures and their trips around the globe here: From Owl Facebook Fan Page