Jewellery, ceramics, books, photographs, magazines, items, and plants. A concept store in the oTTo mood: natural, colourful, artistic, independent, lively and sunny.
oTTo Cose is a project that came into being smoothly and somewhat unexpectedly.
It is an add-on to oTTo, the bar located in via Sarpi, created and managed by Roberto Marone and Luca Noviello, the company's director and partner respectively.
What drove the project was the wish to share the passion for beauty and craftsmanship that have always distinguished oTTo, giving customers the opportunity to bring it home by purchasing a small piece of furniture or a piece of jewellery. Their selection is full of items created by small (often female) entrepreneurs who work sustainably and are hardly found on faster online shopping channels such as Amazon. They sell their products online (ottocose.shop) and in their brick-and-mortar shop in Milan, which opened in November 2021.
Francesca Gambino, in charge of product selection and set-up, told us that she finds the most stimulating thing about this job the possibility of meeting a variety of artisans, who are full of desire and who take up ancient techniques and give life to contemporary products.
What values does the store focus on?
The strength of our shop is research and our values focus on contemporaneity, sustainability, culture without focusing exclusively on Made in Italy. Anything that matches our concept of beauty, we try to have it in our store even if this often leads us to challenges. Once, we had ordered a huge hand-painted vase from Crete. It was remade three times by the artist due to various accidents and then had to travel on a ship to get to us and we kept our fingers crossed the whole trip.
How do you expect the retail world to change in the coming years?
People are increasingly aware that disposable shopping is no longer a viable option both environmentally and because of the kind of lifestyle we all lead. Rediscovering and giving the right value to the items we choose to adopt is now the only possible choice. Most of the products we sell are not made on a large scale: they all have a story and we like customers to savour this aspect above all.
Would you advise a young person to open a shop?
It is a very difficult and competitive market, sometimes our margins are not high enough precisely because we work with artisans. But in the right place, even the most daring choices can work.
If you could describe your shop in one sentence, what would it be?
A small island full of colour.