What can you tell us about your company?
My company has been founded in 1945 by my grandfather, and then developed by my father and my uncle. Since the beginning the company’s efforts were devoted to produce and sell high quality fashion buttons not only to the national market but also abroad. Our target is still to sell our Made in Italy buttons to the retails shops, namely: haberdasheries, distributors, wholesalers that are selling high quality fashion products. Nowadays we are proud to say that, thanks to a sound network of agents and distributors, we sell our buttons in several part of the globe. If you go to San Francisco, NY, Madrid, Paris, London, Rome, Osaka, Moscow you can find Bonfanti’s buttons. All our styles are studied and produced in Italy and we can create approximately 200 new styles each year using several materials from natural to synthetic materials.
What or who inspired you to set up your own company?
Before starting to work in the family business I worked for another company for almost 6 years. In that period I acquired a lot of experience in managing projects and this helped me when I decided to join the family business. In 2009, at the beginning of the general economic crises that still affect the European economy, I decided to quit the company in which I was working is and to start to devote my energies to an entrepreneurial adventure. Is it true that I have not set up my own company, but it is also true that since I joined the family company I had to develop new markets, to find new customers in new sector of business and also to imagine new products to enrich our buttons collection. The inspiration to quit my previous job and join the family business came from inside…I presume that in some ways I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit.
What were the challenges that you faced when you decided to launch your company? Did you have any support from organisations?
As mentioned I have not launched my own company, but since I started to work as an entrepreneur I spent my energies to imagine and develop new markets/products/ideas. I always shared my ideas and new project not only internally but also with people that I deemed qualified to give me some helps, namely the entrepreneurial association API, but also other entrepreneurs or friends. Their support have been always crucial because I needed not only a technical advice, but sometimes it was needed just some empathic support in order to find the motivation and energy to continue in a project despite all the difficulties. In my opinion the may challenge is to keep going on despite all the difficulties.
Entrepreneurship is still often considered a man’s territory; what advice would you give young women who want to become an entrepreneur?
To be focused on their own target. To be very well trained and very motivated. In addition I strongly believe in the importance to have a strong network. This means that you have to be open to share your ideas/projects with others without being afraid to lose your idea.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Being in contact with new customers and participate to new fair all around the globe.
Favourite quote/motto?“Never give up and keep moving!”
Name of the business: F.lli Bonfanti sas
Other positions: Advisor APID, Advisor Gruppo Giovani Imprenditori API Torino, Advisor CAFID