“We must not compete with the store”
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“We must not compete with the store”

What is the best way to establish a new manufacturer-store alliance to help the market develop? We asked Francesco Avalle, owner of CilieGina sulla Torta.

“I believe that partnerships is the way forward, manufacturers and shops have common goals. The shop is the ideal link for publicising our brand. From the very beginning we have established an alliance based on maximum collaboration. The shop window is the ideal place to present the characteristics and uniqueness of our objects to the buyer. Being able to see and touch the product and talk to the shopkeeper provides the customer with security and peace of mind.


We do not compete with the store. On the contrary. We also sell on the website but at a higher price than the retailer. It goes without saying that the online shop does not compete with the shopkeeper who we consider a privileged partner. We deliver a finished package, a display with products and stories. Our dealers offer area exclusivity, in return we ask for consistent product handling.

Little owls, gnomes and hedgehogs, but also candles, scenery and cacti. Small objects in design but with great content that adorn rooms, each accompanied with a message (more than 3,000) made unique by original hand-sewn packaging bags. CilieGina sulla Torta is a young craft workshop, founded in 2017 in Voghera, near Pavia. The name of the family business originates from Grandma Gina, a woman who knew how to create fairy tales and things.



What category of shops do you target?


The offer is wide-ranging. From the herbal shop to the florist, from chemists to gardening shops, from stationery shops to home furnishing to bars and restaurants. We have not set any limits and the feedback is more than encouraging.



What is the secret of each of the objects you design?


The passion of all of us creators, shaping each article with patience and care to convey feelings and values that reach people's hearts. Each of these steps is interwoven with emotions that permeate the entire chain: from the shopkeeper who displays, explains and sells, to the consumer who chooses to buy.


Something for rewarding oneself or to be given as a gift. A sort of reward, a caress, a cuddle: this is the positive message that CilieGina sulla Torta intends to convey.



Creativity, handicraft, exclusivity. The cocktail of values you cherish


Each step is the result of a thorough analysis; everything from conception to manufacturing is done in the workshop. Each item is placed in a package created with my sister Carolina's artwork. The character's story is inside, the message is our strong point. The hedgehog, the owl and the gnome communicate positive, ironic, playful, hopeful and auspicious messages.



A success named after Grandma Gina


Not only the name, but also the values she passed on to us. Handmade in Italy is our strength. The search for quality, attention to detail, Italian handcraft, hand-stitching, and patient processing of the items represent the paths along which we move.


Our objects exude friendliness and the messages are the nicest and most exciting part of the ensemble. The feedback we are getting from the people who buy them around Italy gives us hope for the future.



You have also added cacti and candles to the hedgehogs, owls and gnomes


In the wake of the positive feedback from the Italian and Swiss markets - which are currently the two reference areas - we decided to expand the range of solutions offered by offering cacti and candles.


The cacti are available in two versions, fake and real, 3.5 cm high seedlings. One year ago, however, we started manufacturing scented candles in tin cans, like those used during the world war, with an English company. The candles are also handmade, vegan friendly, and the fragrances are not tested on animals. They are arranged on a palette and the message is written on the lid. This item is also entirely handmade and each candle is individually poured.



What do you expect from Milano Home?


It is an international event, an exclusive exhibition space in a city like Milan that is considered the beating soul of Made in Italy. We strongly believe in the potential of the project, it conveys authentic values with great impact. We identify very much with originality: our handcrafted objects attract the eye of the visitor, buyers and retailers are privileged counterparts with whom we hope to establish fruitful collaborations.