Interview with Alice Alessi
Alessi Domenico represents an Italian excellence that arose in Bassano del Grappa in 1946 from the desire to dream of a young artisan goldsmith, Domenico. From the laboratory founded after the war, the company has become an international group, remaining deeply linked to that desire to dream big and to the territory. Alice Alessi, the fourth generation of the Family, takes us to discover the company, where craftsmanship, research, and innovation come together to give life to creations of excellence, now present all over the world. A success that derives from a philosophy in which the person and the nobility of his work are always put at the center.
How important is the value of Family, and how crucial are generational transitions for the long-term success of a company like yours?
Family is one of the founding values of our company. It has always been very important to us to enhance the contribution of the different personalities of the Family, across the various generations. Each of us brought unique added value. Alessi Domenico arose from my great-grandfather Domenico’s ability to dream. My grandfather Giovanni was an aesthete and created a sense of a company in which everything is functional (the fountain placed outside the company was created for example to cool the production ovens) like the communication between the different departments, which derives from a deep reflection and knowledge of the sector. My grandfather and then my father Paolo brought the company to an international vocation and crossed all borders. My father and his brothers then led the company to further development, creating the industrial project, and we too, as the fourth generation, feel that we have contributed and continue to contribute to a step forward for Alessi Domenico, consolidating the group more and more as a brand while remaining faithful to our authenticity and Family identity. Generational transitions are always important and delicate moments for which we must be prepared even before they happen. My brothers Filippo, Tobia, and I were lucky enough to have been supported with attention and dedication by a special figure, my father, who is still the backbone of the company today. Our journey began as children when we started to get to know every aspect and process of the company closely, immersing ourselves completely and passionately in what was and today still is “home” for us. We owe great credit to my brother Filippo who, joining before me and my brother Tobia, contributed to an important company reorganization.
In addition to Family, what are the values that have always distinguished the company since its foundation?
Among the values that have always distinguished us are craftsmanship, attention to the person, transparency, and the constant search for excellence and improvement, in every aspect, from production processes to communication. The latter has great importance to us, because it allows us to create a sense of sharing and then involvement, and only through involvement can we ensure that all those who work in this company, which is like a big family to us, feel part of the company strategy, and work as a team to achieve common goals together. Furthermore, an important value of Alessi Domenico is that of always having a very strong vision and identity: we know our history well, we know where we started from, and this allows us to never get lost and have a clear idea of where we want to arrive.
What are the strengths that have allowed Alessi Domenico to become a unique reality on the national and international scene?
As they say, “Unity is strength”, and we as a company have always been strong in a great family union. This has allowed us to face many changes over the years, seeing them as opportunities and not being afraid to question ourselves. We have also drawn strength from the ability to think strategically, in the short and long term, without ever stopping learning and being aware of the importance of teamwork. Decisions must always be made together, in sharing with the people who work with us and with whom we collaborate, each of whom is indispensable to achieving common goals.
Who passed on this clear vision to you?
My father certainly passed on to me and my brothers a great corporate culture and a great passion, as well as a sense of sacrifice. Observing him I understood that dedication and constant commitment are the keys to success. My grandfather was also a great teacher. Everything happened in a very natural way: I grew up in this company as if it was my home, and I immediately absorbed its values. My brothers inspire me every day. Each in our own areas and with our own different skills we manage to complete ourselves.
And the connection with one’s territory and the tradition linked to it? How much does it influence the creativity and identity of jewelry?
Our territory contributes a lot to our identity and the identity of our creations. Our story began after the Second World War, in a difficult historical moment in which Bassano del Grappa had been hit hard, but it still allowed us to sink our roots. After almost eighty years we are still here, feeling Bassano like home. We were the first brand active in the Vicenza district, and we have never abandoned our territory because this would have meant distorting who we are. We still have some notes from our great-grandfather, where he wrote down his ideas about chains like Herringbone, which were created right here and today from Bassano del Grappa are present all over the world.
What is the philosophy that you communicate to the world and in which you involve the people who work within the company?
Here at Alessi Domenico we believe that, even before business, everything arises from human relationships and trust. This is why we give great importance to the team, the collaborators, and the clients, who are family to us. People are at the center of everything, the company must represent an orchestra within which everyone expresses themselves in harmony, and this is a philosophy that we hold dear and that we want to maintain in the future. This is why we try to involve people through transparent communication and various initiatives. For example, in each room we have included communication flows, charts that allow each office to communicate what it considers important, thus helping us to continuously share everyone’s ideas on every company aspect. We always leave room for people’s feedback. On our website there is a reserved area where customers and operators can enter and interact, finding all the necessary information with absolute transparency. We have real “logbooks”, it’s as if we were all together on a ship, united towards a single destination.
How important are the specialized workers and craftsmen who help give life to the chains and your jewels to Alessi Domenico, and how is the craftsmanship of the creations enhanced?
For us, human resources are everything, and we always try to give them great value. I believe that it is essential to put the specialized workers and craftsmen at the center, because their work is important and beautiful, and unfortunately we run the risk of losing artisanal know-how which is often not adequately transmitted. We wanted to give great emphasis to craftsmanship also through the Dinasty collection. At this moment in Italy there are only two old-school professionals specialized in microscope setting, and they are our collaborators, who are training new resources internally. Our commitment is to enhance the figure of the craftsman as the backbone of the company and transmit this value to the new generations through a dedication to continuous training.
Nowadays, companies are increasingly experiencing the need for young artisans. In your company, how do you manage to attract and keep young people?
This is certainly a very important and heartfelt topic. We have been very fortunate to have always had people at our side in the team who have worked with us for many years, whose families we have also involved, so today we work together with their sons and we hope to continue working with their grandchildren. We have always tried to improve our communication in conveying the emotions that this job can offer, and we are very committed to investing in junior figures, offering them continuous training. We want those who work with us to feel supported, safe, at home, and have strong growth potential. Precisely for this reason there is a specific figure within the company who is responsible for communicating with all collaborators, ensuring their satisfaction and always collecting their feedback and needs.
The new Dinasty and A1 collections were designed in the name of innovation. Do you want to tell us more about their uniqueness?
The uniqueness of Dinasty and A1 starts from the moment of their creation, which represented our real first step from a brand perspective. We thought: “This is where a new story begins”. When we created A1, we chose to work with patented plating techniques that had never been used before in the world of jewelry. Silver is combined with a precious metal such as ruthenium, thus fusing worlds and tastes that are distant from each other, which are expressed in different high-tech and exclusive finishes that can have a polished, frosted or hand-brushed touch. One of the bracelets, for example, features leather, a new material to us. This collection gave us great joy. Dinasty is the line I am most fond of. It arose from the creativity of us three brothers together with my father. The collection has a great peculiarity that makes it absolutely innovative: it combines the goldsmith world of the machine-made chain with that of high jewelry craftsmanship, thus fusing two universes with different visions, with a surprising result. The passage that fascinates me the most is precisely this one: the moment in which the chain, once the machine work has been completed, is delivered from the diamond cutting department into the hands of the setting artisans who set the diamonds one by one onto the chains under the microscope. In that magical moment the chain becomes a truly unique piece, which is Dinasty. This project saw all the company’s collaborators united towards a single direction, bringing the chain to a completely new development which was welcomed with enthusiasm by the market, filling us with satisfaction.
What are the most important challenges for the future of the company?
Our most important challenge for the future is to consolidate the brand without ever altering our identity and history. Our goal is to always remain faithful to who we are, while at the same time creating a strong brand identity that is highly recognizable, starting from the technical aspects of the product.