Capitanio Lovere is a shop with a history that started 100 years ago. More precisely, it was established during the Second World War, thanks to the will of my grandparents, explained Rosella Capitanio, the current owner of the shop.
“This business has always required great sacrifices from the family. In that period, many military soldiers used to come to the shop mainly to buy stationery paper and ink to write at home. Over time, this allowed to establish a relationship of friendship and trust, and so my grandmother would often leave with the military truck, even during the bombings, thus taking the opportunity to catch a ride to Milan and find something to sell in the shop. Later, the business passed to my mother and I finally came along. In the beginning, I chose to take a different course of study, but thinking back to all the sacrifices I had made, I felt a great sense of responsibility. I was only 20 years old when I decided to interrupt my studies and continue the business, driven by the passion for this work that my family always instilled in me”.
What values does the store focus on?
The human relationship with my customers. For me, the real reward is knowing that the customer, even during the lockdown period, instead of buying on online platforms, relied on me, on my knowledge and experience, thus giving me the opportunity to work even in times of great difficulty and establishing a relationship of trust that lasts to this day.
The customer, first and foremost, is a person. The passion I put into my work allows me to help my customers choose the products for their homes, guiding them in their choice. The profit is certainly significant, but what gratifies me the most is when the customer leaves my shop satisfied.
How is your store different from the others?
It differs because it is a creative shop where choices are made from the heart.
It is not a rational shop where the exhibition space is designed according to the profit I can get. I never made these calculations, and maybe I was wrong, but the shop has always been set up with the heart. I am not able to create economy in the shop through rationality and clear criteria, but it all starts with an emotional and purely aesthetic choice.
Do you use social media to promote the store?
I tried to use social media to promote my online shop, but without much success.
I think this activity requires a lot of commitment, time and available resources that I do not have at the moment.
However, through Whatsapp, I was able to find a channel that allowed me, over time, to make important sales. It is a fast and very direct tool that allows me to communicate with my customers by informing them of any offers, presenting new products and interacting with them frequently.
How do you choose the items for your customers?
Through the emotion that a product stirs in me.
I like to attend trade fairs to find inspiration. I am enriched by the various displays, the setting and the atmosphere created at the event, which always give me new ideas and inspiration for renovating my shop. I am convinced that a sale is made by conveying emotions to the customer, which is why I also devote time and attention to quality when choosing products. I prefer to see and touch a product before showcasing it in the store, this is why I do not search for new items online, because this world is too diverse and I am afraid of finding mass-produced products.
Would you advise a young person to open a shop?
Nowadays I think it is difficult for a young person to open a shop like mine, you have to be very well covered financially and you have to deal with a culture that is constantly changing.
What I would recommend is to experiment with the online world for our industry as well. For example, I noticed that foreign customers, in general, are more and more passionate about tableware and made-in-Italy brands, there is a greater sensitivity and willingness to spend.
If you could describe your shop in one sentence, what would it be?
I would like my customers to describe my shop, my only ambition is to convey something positive.