Living the Stories: Paul Meccanico
Is the mountain a dry land of ideas or inventiveness? And who said it?
We bring you a rapidly expanding reality that arises from the combination of courage and genius, friendship and passion, protected by the mystical air of the Sibillini Mountains. I meet Massimo Quintili, co-partner of Paul Meccanico, in his other passion and job: the gym (I-FIT di Amandola, FM).
How was the idea born?
“Paul Meccanico is a start-up born in 2015 in Sarnano in the valleys of the Sibillini Mountains. An idea conceived by fashion designer Paul Albert Dari and cultivated together with his team, small but full of passion. But obviously it was not born by chance and suddenly, it took years of reflection, moments of strong galvanization and others of deep fear. Paul and I have been friends and colleagues for a long time, we worked side by side in a local company where I was in charge of the commercial and he was, and still is, a very good stylist. At a certain point in our life the spark went off. "
That is to say?
“In the company we had to reach a production goal that had to be the quantity and not so much the quality of what we did, we aimed at sales and not perfection. Paul designed footwear models and more and they were created by distorting the author's original idea. For a stylist it was like not valuing talent, his work. So he started to create for fun, bags with advertising banners and matched them on reflectors. He created ten total pieces and asked people for opinions. Many were fascinated by the quirkiness of the idea and originality. Then he created the nice little robot "
And how do we get to the Paul Meccanico brand?
“The name is simply Paul's alter ego and to this we added Meccanico, to associate the idea of the workshop as we are, after all. The idea was still a bit crude and unpatented. But we were understanding that that name combined with that product could work because it was a one-of-a-kind piece and liked it. Obviously we worked on it in our spare time, what full time work allowed us to dedicate. Then we started using other materials and so they were born with the truck tarpaulin and the logo. "
A road that seems downhill ...
“No, I assure you that it was not at all, but we had a fixed point to start from and we are talking about just four years ago. We looked into how we could develop this innovative creation and we threw ourselves into it. We quit, especially Paul did it in an afternoon of uncontrolled anger, which he interpreted as the perfect signal to give up and start over. I followed friendship and instinct ... luckily. "
"Yes. All the modeling is our stuff, unique pieces. We opened the social networks, wrote texts, took photos for the site that we made completely by ourselves, as well as all the systems. We have planned effective communication and worked on the premises, with various contacts. But the biggest obstacle was in convincing the artisans to believe in us. Two young people investing in PVC truck tarpaulin and reflectors? We had to use local craftsmanship to produce. "
And how did you do it?
“Luckily someone believed in us and we left with great fanfare. The first laboratory to join in this adventure was Taffetani Enrico di Sarnano. From there we perfected the materials for the color retention and after six months the site was complete with a lot of e-commerce. The surprising thing that testifies to the effort that the departure costs, was that the first order arrived two months after its installation. "
But then the satisfactions also came, right?
“One that we didn't expect and that gave us a lot of visibility was an article that appeared in Vogue that talked about a life-saving bag and an innovative philosophy. Thus the first contacts and shops arrived. "
Where is it?
“The very first to have our products was the Thelma and Louise perfumery in Amandola and another in Sicily. While today we have about fifteen scattered in many Italian regions and we have sales channels in Belgium and Holland, but we are also arriving in the United States. "
Not bad for a start-up. So what is your philosophy, your most appreciated themes?
“The key points of the Paul Meccanico concept are: uniqueness, awareness and freedom of expression. Composing the story of oneself is not easy. This is partly why fashions were born: to provide common codes to adhere to, defined codes that are easy to understand, reassuring, but definitely limiting and perfectly homologated. Paul Meccanico is the antithesis. He has his own style that makes him recognizable, but he does not follow trends: the bags are all different, grouped at most in small limited series. Each is a still empty sign waiting to be filled with the meaning that the wearer decides to attribute to it. And then it's all handcrafted and made in Sibillini more than Italy! (Massimo jokes) "
And in addition to everything you mentioned, there is also the social and security aspect, right?
“Absolutely yes, we thought that our motto could be linked to raise awareness and reflect on various aspects of life. This is how the "Stop and Think" payoff was born, to recall all this. Then from internal tests carried out, he thinks, it was seen that with our reflective bags at night the visibility of a person increases from 50 to 150 meters distance if you have the high beams on. Furthermore, the tarpaulin we use is tearproof, resistant, withstands high temperatures from -30 to + 70 °. All animal friendly and patented. "
“Providing something original while also finding the innovative eye-catching graphics. But also to convey a social message that can lead to reflection. We also campaign against doping, the abandonment of animals, in favor of the environment and on environmental damage resulting from skin coloring. "
How long does it take to produce a single bag and which are the commercial groups that prefer your brand the most?
“On the subject of creativity, at least two to four hours to create a bag, which is a unique piece in the world or at most a limited edition, let's remember. Whoever buys a bag buys a work of art. When some Dutch friends arrived in Gualdo and saw what we were doing, they immediately understood the message and the work behind it and so they invested in their countries in Northern Europe, taking our products around even for fairs. While the customers who buy our products the most range from mixed age groups: 18-35, but above all 35-54 and even more are loyal and satisfied customers. "
While distinctions between men or women? Who buys the most?
“I would say that we are 54% women, 46% men. Men ask for more useful things perhaps, women perhaps more showy but the gap is narrowing, and we did not expect it. "
Do you sell more in Italy or abroad? Are you thinking of strengthening the sales network?
“In Italy we are doing well, trying to increase our presence where we are not also through agents. Then we sell a lot in the Marche region, above all we got a huge response from Sarnano, denying the saying that no one is a prophet at home. If we had a shop by province as faithful as Sarnano ... I don't know where we would be today! Eheheh. Even if when we have gone or we go abroad, we always have a greater interest, perhaps because Italy still has some cultural heritage that keeps it blocked and that sees little traceability of products and too much made in Italy, which perhaps deceives . So even we little ones lose visibility and trust. "
However, are you satisfied with the progress made and what are the forecasts for the future?
“If I look at where we were, I say that there is still a lot to do, but I am also satisfied with what we have created by giving up everything and believing in a dream that is now alive and well. Surely, however, by improving the commercial network, the site, the social networks and going more abroad, we aim to grow but always taking one step at a time and never two together. Our idea will always remain to provide products that are against the approval of today's society. "
And we wish you to be able to continue like this, with the audacity of a territory that is far from lacking capable and courageous people.
di Marco Squarcia firstname.lastname@example.org