Keychains

KEYCHAINS, FOCACCIA AND CAPPUCCINO

Throughout my professional journey, I have often noticed that creations capable of enduring over time, stimulating the imagination and interest of clients, are those born by chance, sometimes even as a game: such is the case with the keychains I crafted from nautical ropes, still appreciated and sought after today in the maritime sector, as corporate gifts, or simply as a thoughtful gesture for a friend; they possess a unique charm.

Each knot has its own story and symbolism: for instance, the Savoy knot represents unbreakable love, while the square knot symbolizes unity and collaboration. These meanings add a special value to the keychains, making them practical yet imbued with significance and history.

The story of the keychains began one of the many mornings in the early days of my business: as I’ve already told you, I didn’t intend to start a company, and all the bureaucratic matters, contacts, and development were handled by my adventurous friend Paolo.

Paolo had the keys to my workshop-home, and often when I woke up, I found him already at the desk, tinkering with papers and the phone. That morning, still sleepy, I heard him say, “Get dressed, we’re going to visit a client”. I objected that I hadn’t had breakfast yet, and he promised me cappuccino and focaccia in Genoa, targeting one of my main weaknesses. As I got ready, I watched him rummage through the drawers where I still keep pieces of ropes, metal closures, and all the little things I enjoy assembling.

Once in the car, he handed everything to me, saying, “They’ve asked for keychains, let’s see what you can come up with.” I thought to myself that we had never made keychains before, but I said nothing. Simply shaking my head, I started playing with those materials to ward off both the boredom of the journey and my hunger.

Mile after mile, the first keychain took shape, which I called the sailor, extremely useful for keeping all the necessary keys tied to the belt. I made another with a simple bowline, a third with the square knot, perfect for use with outdoor lights, and finally, my favorite, with the classic Savoy knot.

Upon arriving in Genoa, without the focaccia for those who might be wondering, we went straight to the client who was captivated by the small objects I presented on their desk.
The client was Reader’s Digest Selection, famous at the time for distributing condensed editions of successful books read by thousands of subscribers.
They were so captivated by what were, let’s face it, impromptu creations, that they asked me, “Could you produce thirty thousand? We’d like to include them in all the books we’ll be sending out this summer.” With my usual recklessness, I burst out with, “Of course!”

On the way back, after well-deserved focaccia and cappuccino, I tried to address Paolo’s objections and figure out how we could meet the request.
With the resources we had available, working hard all day, we could manage to produce 700 per day. To meet the deadline, we would have had to hire more people, increasing the budget, which indeed was not accepted.

By then, I had already fallen in love with my keychains, and I began to produce them anyway: even today, whenever a client sees them and places an order, I taste the flavor of cappuccino and focaccia in my mouth.

 

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