Family-run furniture brand Verzelloni digitally adapted to the pandemic with new design solutions and communications practices that highlight the importance of keeping creativity close to home.

The Davos Sofa is Verzelloni’s response to lockdown living: elegance and ease are perfectly combined to suit all life being lived under one roof

Family Values from Verzelloni | News

The Davos Sofa is Verzelloni’s response to lockdown living: elegance and ease are perfectly combined to suit all life being lived under one roof

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Family businesses in the design sector have weathered recent storms well. It makes sense when you think of the advantages of family firms - stability, shared values, authenticity, quick decision-taking resulting in short lead-times, the capacity to be adaptable and flexible. These are all things that have become pillars of successful trading through the pandemic and beyond. Not to mention the speedy recourse a family firm has to the technical flair of a younger generation, when suddenly everything is being conducted in the virtual world.

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For its designer Alberto Lievore, Davos, with its comfortable curved and buffered high back is a reflection of the Verzelloni family ideals

Family Values from Verzelloni | News

For its designer Alberto Lievore, Davos, with its comfortable curved and buffered high back is a reflection of the Verzelloni family ideals

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Increasing the reach

For the consumer, the pandemic and its legacy of accelerating so much of life into the digital realm has brought some of the less visible and more geographically static firms closer to home, wherever home is. This is what Verzelloni , a family-run business of 70 years based in Parma, Italy, have found over the past 18 months.

Accustomed to sharing its contemporary seating designs face to face, alongside the fabric and formal customisation options, its Made in Italy credentials that synthesise industrial design and superior craftsmanship, its refined materials and the characterful stitching details, things changed abruptly 18 months ago. When 2020 brought fair cancellations and operational shake ups, they initially put aside some of their plans for new designs and focussed on responding to the needs of a consumer stuck at home.

The new Robin coffee table from Verzelloni is designed to slide easily into both modern and classic interiors. It pairs particularly well with the Davos sofa

Family Values from Verzelloni | News

The new Robin coffee table from Verzelloni is designed to slide easily into both modern and classic interiors. It pairs particularly well with the Davos sofa

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New ways to connect

A shift in communications methods was led by the younger digitally-deft team members and 3D visualisation tools developed to take inspiration and solutions directly to the clients. Increasingly they were talking to customers straight from their Parma base, sharing their know-how and working out with their sales team and retailer in order to give interior design solutions virtually. "Online activity has developed really quickly and it’s brought us into closer contact with the end customer,” confirms CEO Tiziana Verzelloni. “In a way the online platform is a democratic opportunity. You have more chances to be found but at the same time you have to be prepared. The digital marketing office was ready to respond.”

From one home to another

As a family working from home and having access to the homes of potential customers, they have taken not only operational but design inspiration from the situation. “For sure, working from home has changed our perspective,” says Verzelloni. “Like a lot of things in life your small reality is a mirror to what is happening outside. Working from home makes us understand what other people need working from their houses.” And holding the mirror up to their own family group has directed the details and choice that is built into the newest product. “my uncle is tall, I am smaller, I like certain colours and he might like another,” says Vittoria Siniscalchi, who is in charge of digital marketing and the daughter of Tiziana. Our products are a reflection of our family but of others’ too.

The new seating collection, Emily, also designed by Leivore + Altherr Désile Park, can be produced in many different fabric finishes

Family Values from Verzelloni | News

The new seating collection, Emily, also designed by Leivore + Altherr Désile Park, can be produced in many different fabric finishes

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Verzelloni’s new launch, the Davos sofa was born of this thinking. It’s comfortable and liveable, it’s elegant and timeless with a high backrest and rounded edges, it’s firm and supportive but cosy too. And there is the opportunity for it to be tailored to taste. “The Verzelloni family structure lends itself to design for the residential space, says Alberto Lievore, who with his studio Lievore + Altherr Dèsile Park has worked with the brand for many years and authored the design of Davos , and its complementary new products the Emily armchair and pouf. “Davos is distinguished by the Verzelloni spirit: friendly and close.”

Alongside its complementary pouf, the Emily armchair has a timeless elegance, while at the same time inviting you to stretch out and put your feet up

Family Values from Verzelloni | News

Alongside its complementary pouf, the Emily armchair has a timeless elegance, while at the same time inviting you to stretch out and put your feet up

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With all the inbuilt trump cards of easy communication and rapid turn-around times from initial contact to delivery, combined with new global visibility and connectedness, smaller family firms of furniture makers are becoming a force to be reckoned with.

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