Creativity as a way of life, Francesca Basilico
Today my guest on The Age of Independents is Francesca Basilico--the first person I ever watched build and run her own independent business. This was back in the mid-1990s. Francesca and her mom, Mariapia, had recently launched i golfini della nonna or "grandmother's little sweaters". Their idea was to to make and sell classic, hand-knit children's clothing based on the timeless European designs that Francesca's own grandmothers had knit for them.
It was a smash hit, and Francesca ran i golfini for nearly 20 years. The products were so beautiful and so beautifully made that they developed a cult following. While she started with clothes, Francesca soon extended line to include inventive hand-knit toys that continued to delight her customers. Check out Francesca's site to see the products firsthand: francescabasilico.com.
Back then, so much of what Francesca was doing was totally new; things like manufacturing through a women's cooperative in Bolivia or selling directly through an early ecommerce site.
Francesca continues to be the kind of creative entrepreneur who's never happy to rest on her laurels. She's always dreaming up new products, whether for her own business or for her clients' businesses. But the real magic is in the way that she is able to operationalize those ideas and make them real. It's that combination of inventiveness and practical know-how that have defined her career.
This is our last show of the year--thanks everyone for listening and providing such positive feedback. We'll be picking things up again starting in mid-January. Meanwhile Happy Holidays and all the best for a prosperous and independent **New Year! **