Assocalzaturifici is now the official partner for online mediation and consultancy.

What inspired David Clementoni (a third-generation descendant of a famous Italian family of toy manufacturers) to create the “Italian Artisan” platform was his awareness of Italy’s unique heritage, made up of numerous small and medium-sized enterprises with deep local roots, and an understanding of the advantages offered by the leather goods supply chain. Clementoni realised that what was needed was a network that would enable international designers and brands to tap into the potential offered by ‘Made in Italy’ craftsmanship and find the right interlocutors and partners to do business with.
To boost the service further, a partnership with Assocalzaturifici has recently been launched to provide users with direct online and offline support in the form of consultancy and mediation by experts – project managers and product managers – in the field of shoe manufacturing in Italy.

How did the idea come about?
From my academic career and a thorough knowledge of my home region, the Marche. I studied architecture in Rome, followed by a Master in Business Administration in Madrid. After that, I went to New York for a period before coming back to work in Clementoni, where I had the experience of working in a well-structured multinational company that at the same time maintained the nature of a traditional family business. And it’s thanks to the values learnt when I was in Clementoni and to my professional experience abroad that I came to realise what my true mission was.

By closely observing the area I live in, I realised that companies had major problems as far as business management was concerned and that communication and interaction with foreign markets was inadequate. While on one hand there were entrepreneurs with a passion for beautiful, quality products, on the other hand, there were companies lacking in initiative or the will to push harder for growth.

So the solution was to provide businesses with concrete tools for them to use?
The first obvious problem was that medium-sized businesses found it difficult to achieve sustainable internationalisation and that even well-structured brands looking to diversify their production or to re-shore to Italy were unable to get concrete results notwithstanding their efforts and despite investing heavily with respect to their turnover. “Italian Artisan” offers a concrete and sustainable solution to these issues.

What are the most frequent problems encountered by companies?
Low levels of digitalisation and difficulty in innovating.
A customer base which often does not correspond to their target.
Effective marketing communication and optimising channels in order to reach their targets.
We have been working on exactly these aspects: technology, business models, company’s customer portfolio. My experience enables me to evaluate a company from a global perspective, a vision that many Italian manufacturers lack.

Who is the B2B platform for?
For international brands/designers and manufacturers of ‘Made in Italy’ products.

We help international brands and designers to produce in Italy and grow their online business.
Through Italian Artisan, designers and brands can make contact with the production infrastructure by leveraging the network of artisans who have registered on the portal. In addition to this, our accounts provide the tools needed to optimise, plan and start producing what they have designed.

We help Italian manufacturers develop and expand their business through digital channels.
Through Italian Artisan, manufacturers can reach and connect with international brands. We help them expand into the most interesting markets and provide them with all the support and assistance they need thanks to our dedicated project managers.

Who is community made up of at the present moment?
Right now, the community includes 250+ artisans, 1000+ brands.
But it’s growing all the time and it’s hard to pin it down in terms of a few figures.
Italian Artisan is a tool for creating value.